‘I did not believe it would come to this,’ Andrew Kinsman’s sister tells court

Death helped lock up serial killer Bruce McArthur; victim-impact statements read at sentencing hearing

Andrew Kinsman, 49. Courtesy of Toronto Police Service

Andrew Kinsman cooked his friends dinner when their lives were hectic. He fought cancer not once, but twice, and won both rounds. He lingered on rooftops for hours having conversations with friends, even when he said he only had 10 minutes to spare.

These are some of the stories loved ones shared in courtroom 6-1 as  serial killer Bruce McArthur’s sentencing hearing took place Monday in Toronto’s Superior Court of Justice.

Protest signs placed outside courthouse

People place protest signs requesting stricter background checks for license entertainers outside Toronto’s Superior Court. This took place during the Bruce McArthur sentencing hearing. (Corne Van Hoepen/Toronto Observer)

The day also brought revelations about the police investigation that led to McArthur’s arrest on Jan. 18, 2018, and, last week, his guilty plea in the deaths of Kinsman and seven other men.

According to an agreed statement of facts read into the record by Crown lawyer Michael Cantlon, video surveillance recorded Kinsman getting into a red Dodge Caravan at 3:07 p.m. on June 26, 2017.

Tenants of the building that Kinsman supervised received an email from him around the same time, asking for a reply. They responded at 3:38 p.m. but didn’t hear back from him.  It was the last time anyone heard from Kinsman, who was then 49.

Photo of Bruce McArthurs red van

This image of Bruce McArthur’s red Dodge Caravan was shown in court during serial killer Bruce McArthur’s sentencing hearing this week. (Handout)

Following Kinsman’s death, police had an investigative breakthrough, Cantlon told the court. A camera mounted on the side of a building near his home showed Kinsman getting into a red Dodge Caravan that day. Police later found an entry on his phone’s calendar for the same day. All it said was “Bruce.”

Once Toronto police Det. David Dickinson began cross-referencing the model of van in in the Greater Toronto area that matched the one in the video, only five entries remained. One of them was owned by someone named Bruce.

The statement of facts revealed that on Dec. 7, 2017, police covertly entered McArthur’s apartment, and copied the contents of a computer and several other digital devices. Hundreds of photographs of the victims were uncovered, some taken while the victims were still alive, and many post-mortem.

McArthur also photographed the bodies of several of his victims dressed in a fur coat, holding cigars between their lips.

At the end of the statement of facts, Cantlon’s voice began to waver as he struggled to regain control of his emotions while he read the eight names of the victims that were brutally murdered by McArthur.

One after the other, Kinsman’s friends and family then read their victim-impact statements. While speaking, almost every one stared directly at McArthur, who was sitting hunched over in the prisoner’s box staring at his hands.

an illustration of Andrew Kinsman

An illustration of Andrew Kinsman that was uploaded to his Facebook page on Oct.  8, 2013. (photo courtesy of Facebook)

In the afternoon, Kinsman’s sister Patricia told the court she found out on Facebook that her brother had gone missing. She searched with her family for six months, all the while paying his  bills in hopes that her brother was still alive. “I did not believe it would come to this,” she said.

Court also heard from Greg Dunn, who was friends with Kinsman for 30 years. The pair loved to hike and camp together.

“Andrew and I were asked often if we were brothers or partners,” he told the packed courtroom. “When Andrew was in the hospital for gallbladder surgery, I said he was my brother so I could visit.”

The case continues Tuesday with more victim-impact statements. Justice John McMahon will then decide McArthur’s sentence.

 

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Copy editor: Mary Vallis
Posted: Feb 5 2019 9:34 am
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