Andrew Kinsman, 49, disappeared from the area of Parliament and Winchester Streets , just outside the Toronto Gay Village, on June 26, 2017. He disappeared just 10 weeks after Selim Esen, triggering fear of a serial killer operating in the Village.
During a press conference, friend Ted Healey said “I’ve never known Andrew to just pick up and disappear like this… He wouldn’t not tell his housemates and his neighbours that he was leaving. He had a cat. He loved that cat [Oom] very much. He had responsibilities around the house that he lived in.”
Kinsman was well-known in the local community for his advocacy work, as a staff member of Toronto HIV/AIDS Network, and as a long-time volunteer at People With AIDS (PWA).
The 519 Church St. Community Centre held a town hall meeting for concerned citizens on August 1 to discuss these and other missing people from the community. At that meeting, Toronto Police Supt. Tony Riviere, the unit commander for 51 Division, said there’s no evidence at this point to “substantiate any criminality” or “to tell us [Kinsman and Selim Esen] are not living.” There was some talk that the disappearances of Esen and Kinsman were linked to men reported missing in 2010 to 2012, but police did not officially connect the two disappearances.
The police set up Project Prism, an 8-person task force to investigate the disappearances of Esen and Kisman. At the time, there was no evidence of a serial killer, no evidence the murders were linked and in fact no evidence of murder at all.
Kinsman’s family and extensive circle of friends held rallies, conducted ground searches and even interviewed people in the area, in an effort to assist police. They set up a website and ensured his “missing posters” were spread across the Village.
On January 18, 2018, police announced they had made an arrest in Kinsman’s murder. Bruce McArthur, 66, of Toronto, was arrested on Thursday morning after uncovering new evidence on Wednesday. Police had been investigating McArthur for about two months, but only found enough evidence for an arrest on Wednesday.
McArthur is a self-employed landscaper for Artistic Design who had previously had a sexual relationship with Kinsman. Investigators searched four properties in Toronto and one in Madoc, Ont., about 220 kilometres away, that were connected to McArthur. McArthur lived in Madoc
He has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder (Kinsman and Esen). Police have evidence there are other bodies. In 2012, police set up Project Houston, to investigate three missing men. “They’re all linked by geography (Church and Wellesley area); to a certain extent they’re all linked by lifestyle,” said Toronto police Det. Sgt. Michael Richmond, adding Navaratnam, Faizi and Kayhan are all also of “Southeast Asian origin.”
Project Houston failed to determine what happened to Navaratnam, Faizi and Kayhan at that time.
Kinsman’s body has not been found as of January 18, 2018. However, the police investigation is ongoing.
As of March 2018, McArthur, 66, has been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of eight men.
Police have conducted extensive forensic searches and found the dismembered, skeletal remains of three unidentified people in planters at 53 Mallory Crescent, where an older couple allowed McArthur to keep some of his landscaping equipment. Police are using fingerprints, dental records and DNA analysis to identify the remains.
Police report that McArthur is not cooperating with the investigation, and that it may take months or even years to complete, as they will be investigating missing persons reports over a period of decades. McArthur is currently on suicide watch.
Various organizations have criticized the police for their handling of the case, suggesting that had the first three men identified in Project Houston been white, the alleged killer may have been caught earlier. Police Chief Mark Saunders said in an interview that if people who knew McArthur had come forward during Project Houston with the information they came forward with during Project Prism and after McArthur’s arrest, the alleged killer may have been caught earlier.
February 2019 Update: Bruce McArthur pleaded guilty to 8 counts of murder, for:
- Andrew Kinsman
- Selim Esen
- Dean Lisowick
- Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam
- Soroush Mahmudi
- Majeed “Hamid” Kayhan
- Abdulbasir Faizi
- Skandaraj “Skanda” Navaratnam
He was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years. Please see our post on What is a “Life Sentence” in Canada for an explanation on the complexity of murder sentences in Canada.
Murder Village Map
Name: Andrew Kinsman
Date of Death: June 26, 2017 (estimate)
Manner of Death: unknown at this time
Location: unknown at this time
Suspect Name: Bruce McArthur
Conviction & Sentence: Life in prison, with no chance of parole for 25 years