On Wednesday, a judge of the Ontario Court of Justice authorized the release of further “information to obtain” (ITO) documents used in the Toronto police investigation of serial killer Bruce McArthur.
The new ITO, a 220-page document dated Jan. 26, 2018, is an affidavit filed by a Toronto police detective in order to obtain a search warrant for 53 Mallory Cres., the address where partial remains of all eight of McArthur’s victims were eventually located, and an assistance order to enlist the help of two forensic anthropologists from Ontario Forensic Pathology Services.
The documents contain new, previously unreported details about how police went about their investigation and sheds new light on McArthur’s previous interactions with investigators.
Here are five key details from Wednesday’s release:
McArthur’s 2016 arrest
After a man — his name is redacted — told police McArthur had tried to strangle him during a sexual encounter on June 20, 2016, the serial killer told investigators in an interview he thought the man “wanted it rough.” The two men had met in a parking lot near Bathurst St. and Finch Ave. W. and began making out in McArthur’s van when, according to the man, “all of a sudden McArthur started freaking out.” McArthur grabbed the man’s throat, but the victim was able to push him off, escape the van and call police, the ITO says.
McArthur soon turned himself in to police and was arrested and interviewed. The investigating officer, Det. Paul Gauthier, “indicated McArthur appeared genuine and credible in his recall of the incident,” and determined there were no grounds to lay charges, the ITO says.
Gauthier is facing professional misconduct charges over the incident.
An officer remembered interviewing McArthur in 2013
A member of the investigation team recognized McArthur from Project Houston, the Toronto police investigation launched in late 2012 to probe the disappearances of three of the serial killer’s victims: Skanda Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi and Majeed Kayhan.
The ITO notes that Det. Const. Joshua McKenzie recalled interviewing McArthur during Project Houston. McKenzie came to that realization in Sept. 2017, shortly after investigators connected McArthur’s van to the disappearance of victim Andrew Kinsman.
“DC McKenzie located a copy of the interview summary and confirmed it was the same Bruce McArthur,” the ITO documents say.
McArthur twice bought new vehicles after key dates
Police conducted that Project Houston interview with McArthur on Nov. 11, 2013. Eighteen days after that interview, McArthur purchased and registered a 2001 silver Dodge Caravan, the ITO notes. He did not have a vehicle registered to him during the time period the men from Project Houston disappeared, between Sept. 2010 and Oct. 2012, the document says.
Years later, the ITO goes on to say, “McArthur also purchased a new vehicle 16 days after (an Aug. 1, 2017) town hall meeting that brought a great deal of media attention to the disappearances of Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen and the newly formed Project Prism.”
Police tracked McArthur’s movement
Investigators obtained a log showing the use of key fobs for McArthur’s apartment building in hopes of tracking his movement on June 26, 2017, the day Andrew Kinsman went missing. McArthur’s fob activity from that day indicates that it was used eight times to both exit and enter the parking garage entrance of McArthur’s building over the course of about 12 hours.
The last two uses of the fob were at 11:32 p.m. when it was used to enter the garage, and then 11:40 p.m. when it was used to access the elevators from the garage. The ITO notes that “there is potential that entries and exits were missed.”
The scale of the investigation
The ITO shows that at least 80 police officers from across various departments, including homicide, dog services, intelligence services, and the sex crime unit, were involved in the investigation.
Kenyon Wallace is a Toronto-based investigative reporter. Follow him on Twitter: @KenyonWallace or reach him via email: [email protected]
Wendy Gillis is a Toronto-based reporter covering crime and policing. Reach her by email at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter: @wendygillis