Makeshift memorial for victims of Bruce McArthur
Image: AP Images

Bruce McArthur, the Toronto landscaper who was charged last year with first-degree murder, plead guilty on Tuesday to eight counts of first degree murder.

The Washington Post reports that McArthur plead guilty to the deaths of Selim Esen, Andrew Kinsman, Majeed Kayhan, Dean Lisowick, Soroush Mahmudi, Skandaraj Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi, and Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam. McArthur met many of these men while frequenting gay nightclubs and bars in Toronto and the murders occurred over several years, with Navaratnam first disappearing in 2010.

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For years as men began to disappear, those in Toronto’s LGBTQ community began to question if the disappearances were connected and if a serial killer was targeting the city’s gay population. “Missing” posters for the men filled city streets, but Toronto police said there was no proof of a serial killer in 2017. Given most of McArthur’s victims were South Asian and Middle Eastern men, LGBTQ activists pointed out that it took the disappearance of a white victim, Andrew Kinsman, for police to take the string of killings seriously.

Each count of murder will carry an automatic life sentence for McArthur. At a sentencing hearing next week, the court will decide if he will serve the eight sentences concurrently or consecutively.