CBC News reports:
Ontario’s attorney general is reviewing a request from Toronto Mayor John Tory for a public inquiry into how police handle missing persons files, including the cases of men who have disappeared from the city’s Gay Village. Attorney General Yasir Naqvi responded to Tory’s call in a brief email statement Thursday morning.
In it, he expressed his condolences to the friends and families of alleged victims of accused serial killer Bruce McArthur, who is charged in the deaths of six men, most of whom disappeared from the Gay Village or nearby areas. Naqvi also expressed condolences to the city’s residents and Toronto’s LGBT community, calling the six deaths “deeply troubling.
“We recognize that there are many unanswered questions,” Naqvi went on. “We are reviewing the request to call a public inquiry and will be maintaining an open dialogue with the city of Toronto on next steps following the conclusion of any criminal proceedings.”
Also from CBC News:
Reports that McArthur may have been interviewed years before his arrest have fueled suspicions of police inaction in Toronto’s LGBT community. “This is not surprising,” said prominent local activist Nicki Ward.
“It was well known that McArthur was dating one of the victims,” she said. “It would be amazing if [police] had not interviewed such a person of interest.” Ward went on to call an earlier McArthur interview “the best-kept secret” in Toronto’s tight-knit LGBT community.
While Toronto police began investigating the disappearances in 2012, the force has been criticized for dismissing the community’s concerns about a possible serial killer. Detectives have since used that term to describe the 66-year-old self-employed landscaper, who was arrested in January and now faces six charges of first-degree murder.