Sentencing submissions will begin at Ontario Superior Court Monday in the case of serial killer Bruce McArthur, less than a week after he pleaded guilty to eight counts of first-degree murder.
Lawyers for McArthur and Crown prosecutors will begin deliberations before Justice John McMahon to determine when McArthur, 67, will be eligible for parole.
First-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years, guaranteeing McArthur will be in jail until he is at least 91 years old. But it’s possible his sentence for each count of first-degree murder will be served consecutively, assuring the killer would die in jail.
Monday’s proceeding is expected to hear a more detailed account of the killings and the Toronto police investigation. A brief summary of the facts read out in court last week revealed that the majority of the eight killings, spanning 2010 to 2017, were sexual in nature. All happened in Toronto, though the location of each murder has not been revealed.
The sentencing hearing will also include victim impact statements from at least two dozen people. Last week, the family of McArthur victim Selim Esen told the Star that they are asking for the maximum sentence, calling McArthur a “monster.”
Court heard last week that in some of the deaths, police found evidence a ligature had been used and that victims had been confined with ropes. McArthur also kept some items belonging to his victims, including a bracelet worn by his first victim, Skandaraj (Skanda) Navaratnam, jewelry from his sixth victim, Dean Lisowick, and the notebook kept by Esen, his seventh victim.
A brief summary of police evidence was also heard in court, showing investigators found DNA of some of McArthur’s victims in his van and on a murder weapon, which was not specified in court.
McArthur’s final victim Andrew Kinsman, killed in June 2017, left a clue police later found in his calendar: a note on the date he went missing that read, “Bruce.” Video surveillance later showed Kinsman getting into McArthur’s van that day.
McArthur dismembered the bodies of his victims “to avoid detection,” Crown prosecutor Michael Cantlon told the court last week. He then disposed of body parts at the Leaside home where he had worked as a gardener and stored his landscaping supplies.
Police also found a duffel bag belonging to McArthur that contained duct tape, a surgical glove, zip ties, a black bungee cord, rope and syringes, court heard.
The sentencing hearing is expected to run through Wednesday.
Wendy Gillis is a Toronto-based reporter covering crime and policing. Reach her by email at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter: @wendygillis