Mayor calls out Toronto police for missteps in Bruce McArthur case
Tensions have been running high between Toronto Police and members of the city's LGBT community in recent weeks, as more and more is revealed about the increasingly-grisly case of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur.
McArthur was arrested in January, but only after years of speculation around Toronto's Gay Village that a serial killer could be responsible for the disappearances of several men from the Church and Wellesley area dating all the way back to 2010.
Today, with six first-degree murder charges laid and four sets of remains yet to be identified, Mayor John Tory has called for an independent review of how police handled the missing persons cases that have since been linked back McArthur.
My statement on the Bruce McArthur investigation. pic.twitter.com/BsxExVEm8y— John Tory (@JohnTory) March 7, 2018
This, after a series of events that did little to raise confidence in the Toronto Police Service among those hardest hit by McArthur's vicious alleged crimes.
Last week, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders – who as recently as December blew off the idea that a serial killer was responsible for the Village disappearances – was criticized widely for suggesting that the community hadn't done enough to help the investigation.
TPS: the Public should have let us know of this suspected serial killer!!— holly m-s (@hollerdoller) March 1, 2018
The Public: last year we presented you with a literal PHD thesis profiling this suspected serial killer https://t.co/c7REsOf6lU
On Tuesday evening, The Star reported that McArthur had been brought in by police for questioning sometime between 2014 and 2017 in connection with an unrelated incident and let go.
The homicide detective in charge of the case, Det. Sgt. Hank Idsinga, confirmed Wednesday morning that police had launched an internal probe after discovering some "concerning" information about officers who may have violated the force's policies and our procedures.
Mayor John Tory, who has been largely supportive police in the matter thus far, released a statement of his own on Wednesday afternoon regarding how police have handled the case.
Let's generously imagine that Chief Saunders privately regrets TPS's failure to protect LGBTQ people. Let's add that the McArthur case is tough & unprecedented & that more tips might have helped. All irrelevant. His victim-blaming is an open admission of professional failure.— Jim Bartley (@bartleybabica) February 27, 2018
"I continue to be deeply disturbed by the revelations of the Bruce McArthur case, and the murders and disappearances of Toronto residents and members of our LGBTQ community," he said in the statement.
"I know that the public has many questions related to this case, and I have questions, too. That is why I support open and transparent reviews of how our police service handles missing person cases generally and how these specific investigations were conducted."
Tory goes on to say that he will be taking steps to advance an independent external review into Toronto Police Service's "practices with respect to missing person's investigations."
Tory's Police Chief blames the LGBT community for not catching McArthur, Tory shrugs his shoulders.— Ev Delen (@evdelen) March 7, 2018
As usual Tory is taking action LONG after the horses have already left the barn.#topoli https://t.co/Ey8YuxWgSl
The remains of seven different people have now been recovered from planters at a property where the 66-year-old landscaper worked, and new pieces of evidence – like the post-mortem photo of a potential victim released by police on Monday – continue to surface regularly
To date, McArthur has been charged with murder in the deaths of Selim Esen, Soroush Mahmudi, Dean Lisowick, Andrew Kinsman, Majeed Kayhan and Skandaraj Navaratnam.
Police say they believe there are more victims, but have "no idea" how high the body count could be or how far back the killings go.
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