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Bruce MacArthur's Victims: A Look at the Eight Dead



All but one of the eight victims of Bruce MacArthur were marginal, vulnerable men. Six of them were refugees or immigrants. They had limited financial resources. They did not have family support, or their relatives were newcomers with poor knowledge of English. Four of them had problems with alcohol or drugs. Three did not come out as gay.

On Tuesday, Mr. MacArthur pleaded guilty to eight murders that rocked Toronto’s gay community. The court heard only a few details about the killings as a result of a brief, agreed statement of facts. Here is a deeper look at men and what is known about their disappearances.

Skandaraj Navaratnam

The first of the victims disappeared, he was the second of four sons of a businessman. Sociable and quick-witted, Mr. Navaratnam was a hotel animator in his native Sri Lanka, organizing entertainment for guests.

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A member of the island’s Tamil minority, he came to Toronto as a refugee and found work as a home nurse and casual worker. He was also hired to work for Mr. MacArthur on beautification and sometimes worked in the property of Mallory Crescent, where his remains were eventually found. Friends said that Mr. Navaratnam had a relationship with Mr. MacArthur, but he broke up because he found that the old man was too in control of the situation.

The last time the 40-year-old Mr. Navaratnam was seen publicly on September 5, 2010, leaving the gay bar Zipperz with an unknown man.

Abdulbasir Faizi

Mr. Faizi and his wife Karim were born in Herat, Afghanistan, and moved to Canada, where their two girls were born.

He worked as a machinist assistant at a printing house near his home in Brampton, a suburb west of Toronto. The couple bought two other houses as an investment, but was later forced to declare bankruptcy, stating that they were victims of mortgage fraud.

On December 29, 2010, Mr. Faizi called his wife at 7:20 pm, saying that he was at work and that he was late for home because he was meeting with a friend. The 42-year-old did not return, and his phone was disconnected that evening. After his family reported that he went missing in the regional police station Pyla, investigators found from his bank records that he had visited the bathhouse and Black Eagle, a bar in the village, which was also under the patronage of Mr. MacArthur.

His 2002 Nissan Sentra was discovered in January on Moore Avenue, a five minute drive from the Mallory Crescent hotel.

Prior to the arrest of Mr. MacArthur, his wife and relatives believed that Mr. Faizi had abandoned his family.

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Majid Kayhan

Like Mr. Faizi, Mr. Kayhan came to Canada from Afghanistan. The son of a Muslim cleric, he and his bride were married in Kabul and had two children.

Cajhans moved to Canada in 1989, first settling in Guelph and then in Etobico. They divorced in 2002. Leaving his wife with teenage children in a suburban townhouse, Mr. Kayhan moved to downtown Toronto, living with an older man and more openly perceiving his sexuality.

He worked as a carpet seller and was known as a regular seller in Village bars, such as Zipperz. Friends say he also fought PTSD and drank a lot. Mr. Kayhan maintained contact with his relatives, who last saw him on October 14, 2012 at the wedding. His son reported his loss at the end of the month.

The disappearances of Mr. Navaratnam, Mr. Faizi and Mr. Kayhan were unsuccessfully investigated by the police task force of the Houston project.

Mr. Kayhan was familiar with Mr. MacArthur. A mutual friend told The Globe that he spoke in 2013 with investigators from Project Houston and that he suggested they interrogate Mr. MacArthur.

Sorush Mahmoudi

49-year-old Mr. Mahmoudi disappeared a year after the dissolution of Project Houston.

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Born in Iran, Mr. Mahmoudi fled from his home country to Turkey, landed in Montreal, and then moved to London, Ontario.

One night in 1997, he met a transgender woman, Sarah Cohen, in a village bar. He became her regular partner, living together, first in the basement of Ms. Cohen's parents, but soon in their own apartment in Barry, Ontario. Her family helped Mr. Mahmoudi find work at a local auto parts plant.

In 2001, when they broke up, he beat her on the head with a glass jar of a blender. He pleaded guilty to assault.

Two years after the attack, Mr. Mahmoudi married a refugee claimant from the Sri Lankan Muslim minority, Farine Marzouk.

They moved to Scarborough to live with her son, Mrs. Marzouk, from her first husband. Mr. Mahmoudi worked on construction works, and also was engaged in landscape design. His wife suggests that this is how he met Mr. MacArthur.

On August 15, 2015, he left the tower of his apartment and never returned.

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Toronto police did not know that he had a connection with the Village, and did not associate his disappearance with the documents of the other missing gays until his body was found.

Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam

Mr. Kanagaratnam, a 37-year-old Tamil refugee applicant, was born in Naintivu, a small island at the northern tip of Sri Lanka.

Although he had relatives in the Tamil diaspora living in Britain and France, his immediate relatives lived in the northern Sri Lankan city of Jaffna, where he attended a private school at St. John’s College.

In 2007, one of his brothers died in a civil war. Mr. Kanagaratnam arrived in Canada in August 2010 along with hundreds of other Tamils ​​aboard MV Sun Sea, a shaky ship that took three months to sail from Thailand to British Columbia.

He lived in Scarborough and had no direct family in Canada. His disappearance in the fall of 2015 was not reported to the police.

When they stopped receiving news from him, Mr. Kanagaratnam’s family suggested that he was hiding to avoid deportation after his refugee claim was rejected.

They made Tamil appeals on Facebook to friends in Canada. By the time the police believe, he was already dead.

To establish his identity, the police took an extraordinary step by releasing a photograph taken after his death.

Dean Lisovik

The 47-year-old was known in the Village as a transitional process with the addition of a crack, which was named Street Laser.

Mr. Lisovik came from a family of Winnipeg workers, whose members moved to the Toronto area in search of work at the plant.

When he was eight years old, he was removed from the care of his single father and placed in a foster family near Lake Simcoe.

By the 1990s, he was a sex worker in the village. For several years he lived with his great-aunt, but in 2000 he pleaded guilty to assaulting her.

After that, he moved to his father in Orillia, where Larry Lisovik worked at the fireplace factory. A relative said that Larry was trying to get Dean to work. Once, however, Dean threatened his father with a knife.

Larry took Dean to Barry, and they never saw each other again.

He was not reported missing, but the police believe that he died around April 2016.

His remains remained unclaimed from the coroner's office, so Haran Vijayatan, the social organizer, took it upon himself to bury Mr. Lisovik.

Selim Esen

Esen, 43, a graduate in sociology and philosophy at Ankara University, worked in Australia before returning to his native Turkey.

He worked in a cafe owned by a gay couple in Istanbul, and then moved to Canada with his boyfriend.

They broke up, and Mr. Esen fought drug addiction. However, by 2017, he had just completed a mutual counseling course that would help him work with other people struggling with addiction.

He was last seen in public in downtown Toronto in April 2017. At that time, according to his friend Richard Harrop, Mr. Esen just started renting an apartment and hoped to put his life in order before heading to Turkey to visit his family. ,

Andrew Kinsman

A 49-year-old boy grew up in Oshawa, Ontario, received a bachelor of arts degree from McMaster University and lived in Hamilton before settling in Toronto.

He has been involved in community groups for a long time and was an employee and volunteer on the Toronto HIV / AIDS Network and the Toronto Foundation for People with AIDS.

He also survived the cancer, which struck his friends with his perseverance in cycling between his home in Cabbagetown and Sandbrook Hospital 10 kilometers away.

He was also the head of the cabbage building. His disappearance in June 2017 quickly led his friends and family to organize his searches and public appeals. By July, the Toronto police set up a special Project Prism task force to find out what had happened to Mr. Kinsman and Mr. Esen. Within a month, they identified Mr. MacArthur as a person of interest.


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