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Published: Wednesday, March 07, 2018 @ 3:33 PM
TORONTO — Toronto police investigators on Monday released a gruesome image of a dead man they believe was a victim of accused serial killer Bruce McArthur, calling the release a last-resort effort to identify the man.
They also revealed that they have discovered dismembered remains of a seventh victim in the case. The body parts, like those of six other men, were found hidden in large potted plants confiscated from a home where McArthur, 66, stored his landscaping equipment.
Detective Sgt. Hank Idsinga, the lead investigator on the McArthur case, said during a news conference Monday that he did not want to release the image, which he acknowledged that some viewers would find disturbing.
“The release of evidence by the Toronto Police Service has to strike a balance between the public interest and the fair court process due to Mr. McArthur,” Idsinga said. “We solve many crimes through the release of evidence to the media.”
Idsinga said that thus far, the police agency’s investigative techniques have been unsuccessful in identifying the dead man. He urged those who saw or shared the image to be considerate toward those who might know the victim.
“I would ask the media to be mindful that by broadcasting this picture, a family member or friend, not realizing that their loved one is deceased, may come to that realization from the moment they come to view the picture,” Idsinga said.
The photo, unveiled to silence from reporters, shows a bearded, dark-skinned man in a gray T-shirt, his eyes and mouth partially open. He appears to fit the physical profile of several of McArthur’s suspected victims.
Idsinga refused to say how investigators came to possess the photo, which was digitally cleaned up to make it presentable to the public. The Toronto Star reported, however, that sources said detectives uncovered “reams of evidence” in the case, including images linked to McArthur.
Mark Valois, a former Toronto homicide detective, told the Star that the photo, if obtained from McArthur, could potentially be a “trophy” kept by the suspected serial killer to relive the crime.
“It wouldn’t surprise me,” Valois told the newspaper. “There very well could be photographs of some victims.”
The Star also reported that photos like the one released Monday could help explain how investigators have been able to name six alleged McArthur victims, even though not all the remains found in the case have been positively identified.
Of the six men McArthur, who was arrested Jan. 18, is charged with killing, only remains of Andrew Kinsman, 49, Soroush Mahmudi, 50, and Skandaraj Navaratnam, 40, have been positively identified. Kinsman, a former boyfriend of McArthur’s, was identified through fingerprints.
Mahmudi and Navaratnam, who also reportedly dated McArthur before his 2010 disappearance, were identified through dental records.
McArthur is also charged with killing Majeed Kayhan, 58, Selim Esen, 44, and Dean Lisowick, 47, though it is not yet known if they are among the victims discovered dismembered and buried in planters.
Police confiscated planters from more than 30 properties where McArthur had done landscaping work, though remains have only been found in the planters kept at the Mallory Crescent home where he stored his equipment. The homeowners allowed McArthur to keep his equipment on their property in exchange for the upkeep of their own lawn.
Idsinga told CTV News last month that McArthur’s Thorncliffe Park apartment is also considered a crime scene. Investigators believe some of the victims were killed there.
A man was found alive and tied to McArthur’s bed in that apartment at the time of his Jan. 18 arrest, police said. Officers who had McArthur under surveillance in the disappearances of multiple men saw the man go into his apartment with McArthur and, believing him to be in danger, forced their way inside.
The man was not harmed.
Navaratnam and Kayhan were two of three men who went missing from Toronto’s Church-Wellesley Village area, a predominantly gay downtown neighborhood that is also known as Gay Village. A third man, Abdulbasir Faizi, has not been named a victim of the suspected serial killer, though his abandoned car was found a short distance from McArthur’s home.
Idsinga reiterated during the news conference that the charges involving specific victims do not necessarily correspond to the remains found. He declined to give details of the evidence that led to each murder charge.
The seventh set of remains has not been connected to the man in the photo, Idsinga said. He pointed out that the remains found thus far were in varying states of decomposition.
“Doctors from Ontario Forensic Pathology Services have been doing some very difficult and time-consuming work in attempting to reconstruct these remains and identify them,” Idsinga said. “(The doctors) have been working tirelessly for weeks to put this very crucial part of the case together.”
Tests are ongoing in attempts to identify the rest of the remains, he said.
Reporters asked how unusual it was for detectives to release a photo of a victim’s body during an investigation.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 4:48 AM
Updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 4:48 AM
AUSTIN, Texas — A suspect in the deadly package bombings in Austin, Texas, is dead, law enforcement sources told the Austin American-Statesman.
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Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 3:47 AM
LOS ANGELES — Former Playboy model Karen McDougal is suing to break a 2016 contract that reportedly requires her to keep silent about an affair with Donald Trump years before he became president.
In the complaint — which was obtained by The New York Times — McDougal’s lawyers allege that she had a “10-month relationship with Mr. Trump” in 2006. They say McDougal decided to pursue a lawsuit because “she has become aware of the broad effort to silence and intimidate her and others.”
The former Playmate is suing in the Los Angeles Superior court, and she’s charging American Media Inc. with paying her $150,000 for her story, then killing it. American Media Inc. owns the National Enquirer, which has been friendly to Trump during his candidacy and tenure in the White House.
McDougal also claims that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was involved in the deal and that she was misled in the proceedings.
She is the second woman to accuse the president’s personal lawyer of paying her to keep silent about an extramarital relationship with Trump. McDougal says she was paid $150,000 for her silence — earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal outlined payments Cohen made to porn star Stormy Daniels. Both women claim that their affairs with Trump occurred in 2006, after he married Melania Trump.
Daniels is currently being sued by Cohen, who claims that she violated the confidentiality agreement she signed in 2016. Daniels' story doesn’t look like it’s ending anytime soon, as she’s lined up for an interview with “60 Minutes.”
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 2:03 AM
SNOQUALMIE NATIONAL FOREST, Wash. — A Mill Creek, Washington, man is facing charges after a treehouse was found in the Snoqualmie National Forest with child pornography hanging on the walls inside.
KIRO-TV first reported on the discovery off the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River in February. The unauthorized treehouse was reported by an employee of the Department of Natural Resources, according to court documents. A DNR worker took a couple of the photographs off the wall to show law enforcement and called the King County Sheriff's Office.
The DNR employee took a detective to the treehouse, which was described in court documents as "an elaborate tree house that resembled a fairy or gingerbread house." The treehouse was about 8 feet off the ground with a porch surrounding it.
Investigators say that inside the treehouse they found photographs of naked young girls framed on the walls. There was also a bed, food, supplies, a book and an electronic keyboard.
They found an envelope with more pornographic images.
The King County Sheriff's Office handed the case over to the FBI to investigate. The FBI sent KIRO-TV new photos of the house on Monday.
The FBI searched the cabin in April 2017 and collected items to test for fingerprints and DNA to find out who built the cabin.
They took construction photos, smoking material, bedding, glasses, photos of girls, bags of batteries and glass from the photograph frames.
They sent the items to the FBI laboratory in Quantico.
Federal investigators said they also talked to a Search and Rescue volunteer who said he had seen an SUV near the cabin on multiple occasions, and he had the license plate information. Investigators tracked down the owner of the vehicle and watched him.
Investigators said they took a swab from the handle of his motorcycle and later got a paper drinking cup he discarded. Those items were also sent to the lab in Quantico.
According to court documents, the items tested at Quantico positively identified the 56-year-old Mill Creek man. Court records show Daniel Wood, of Mill Creek, has been charged with two counts of child pornography possession.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 1:31 AM
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania lawmaker has introduced legislation that could have parents footing the bill if their child bullies another kid at school.
It started out as a rule in Sharpsburg.
WPXI checked with the police officer who enforces the law and he said it is working as a deterrent.
He also said it's raised awareness of how serious bullying is, and the potential consequences.
After Brentwood and Sharpsburg passed local anti-bullying ordinances that fine parents of bullies, a state lawmaker is proposing more encompassing legislation.
State Rep. Frank Burns' bill gives parents three strikes. He's from Cambria County.
The first time a child bullies someone, the school is required to inform his or her parents how it handled the situation. If it happens a second time, parents would have to take a class on bullying and attend a bullying resolution conference.
The third time, parents would receive a court citation and pay up to a $500 fine.
Punishing parents for the actions of their kids —> Pa lawmaker proposes fining parents $500 for child's bullying. http://on.wpxi.com/2p8XrPLPosted by WPXI Courtney Brennan on Tuesday, March 13, 2018
In a statement issued last week, the Democrat said bullying can lead to physical assaults and suicide.
He said holding students, parents and officials accountable "is the only way to put an end to this scourge."
The proposal also includes an anonymous bullying reporting system requiring the state education department to track bullying incidents and file monthly reports.
Sharpsburg police have yet to file any citations against parents.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report.