Police just charged a man in connection with the deaths of two men missing from Toronto’s gay village

Bruce McArthur, 66, faces two counts of first-degree murder and police say there could be more victims

Toronto police have arrested and charged a man with the murders of Andrew Kinsman, 49, and Selim Esen, 44, who both frequented the Church-Wellesley Village.

Bruce McArthur, 66, a self-employed landscaper from Toronto’s Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood, was arrested on Jan 18, 2018. He has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the disappearances of Kinsman and Esen.

Police believe he may also be responsible for the deaths of other men, and are looking for connections between McArthur and men who have disappeared from the Village.

“We are aware of the other missing men from the Village, and we’re trying to identify whether they may have become victim to Mr McArthur as well,” Toronto police detective sergeant Hank Idsinga told reporters at a news conference at police headquarters on Jan 18.

“He’s killed at least two people that we know of, and we believe there are more victims,” Idsinga alleges.

Police say they began investigating McArthur as a suspect “several months” ago as part of “Project Prism,” which was launched in July 2017 to look into the disappearances of the missing men.

New evidence uncovered in the investigation on Jan 17, 2018, allowed officers to make the arrest, Idsinga says. However, police say they have not yet located Esen or Kinsman’s bodies.

Police believe McArthur, who they say used dating apps and frequented the Village, had a sexual relationship with Kinsman “for some time,” but aren’t sure whether he also had a relationship with Esen, Idsinga says. In December 2017, police suggested that some of the missing men may have used dating apps as well, and issued a warning to people using apps to take extra precautions.

Officers are now investigating at least five properties that they say are associated with McArthur — four in Toronto and one in Madoc, Ont.

Police chief Mark Saunders thanked members of the Church-Wellesley community for their help with the investigation and urged anyone with any further information connected to the case to contact Project Prism at 416-808-2021, or call Crime Stoppers.

Kinsman was last seen in Cabbagetown, a neighbourhood in Toronto’s downtown east area, on June 26, 2017. Esen was last seen near the Village on April 14, 2017.

At least three other men who frequented the Village went missing between 2010 and 2012. A police investigation at the time failed to find the men.


Legacy: January 18, 2018 6:05 amAn earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the year that new evidence was uncovered in the investigation. The correct year is 2018.

Legacy: January 19, 2018 10:54 amAn earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the year that Kinsman was last seen. It was in 2017.

Riley Sparks is a journalist based in Paris, and a former producer and story editor at Xtra.

Read More About:
Power, News, Toronto Missing Men, Crime, Toronto

Keep Reading

Job discrimination against trans and non-binary people is alive and well

OPINION: A study reveals that we have a long way to go to reach workplace equality for trans and non-binary people

The new generation of gay Conservative sellouts

OPINION: Melissa Lantsman’s and Eric Duncan’s refusals to call out their party’s transphobia is a betrayal of the LGBTQ2S+ community

Over 300 anti-LGBTQ2S+ bills have been introduced this year. This doesn’t mean we should panic

OPINION: While it’s important to watch out for threats, not all threats are created equally. Some of these bills will die a natural death

Xtra’s top LGBTQ2S+ stories of the year

The best and brightest—even most bewildering—stories from a back catalogue brimming with insight