The Detectives (2018) s03e05 Episode Script

Project Prism

It's late 2013.
We had spent the vast majority of the previous year investigating the disappearances of 3 brown-skinned men from the Gay Village in Toronto.
The Brunton angle was a very difficult investigation.
Said he killed this guy and he killed that guy and that he ate them.
Really delving into a very bizarre world of the cannibalism fetish.
Wait, so you think that Luka Magnotta is Nathan? Magnotta was in Toronto at the right time.
And he was referring to himself as a cannibal serial killer.
Exposing myself and a lot of the officers to some material that we'll never unsee.
But we couldn't say any of these men had been murdered, because we had no evidence that they had been murdered.
I found another person connected to two of our men.
He goes by Silverfoxx51.
Looking for connections between our 3 missing men had become the focus of Project Houston.
We need to know if these 3 guys are connected.
I've been reviewing the victims' computers and cell phones.
Any name appearing in more than one goes up here.
This way, we can speak with each of them, find out how they know the missing men and how they might be connected.
We had computers belonging to two of the victims.
And we had obtained usernames of associates on those computers when we were identifying them and reaching out to them.
It's a good start, but not enough.
Coffey's focusing on their digital life.
For all the rest of you, I need you to go out in the community and talk to people.
Add anyone to this list that knows more than one of them.
We launched a public awareness campaign.
It was the first time anybody had connected all 3 victims publicly.
Concern is growing in the Village tonight as police look for leads in the disappearance of 3 men.
(REPORTER): Police from 51 Division were canvassing today, hoping these posters will jog someone's memory in a strange case of 3 missing men whose only connection seems to be this neighbourhood.
We wanted those faces out there.
And we wanted anybody with any information whatsoever to contact us, no matter how small.
Someone must've seen something.
Police say this is a missing persons investigation.
It was the lead story on all the news.
Some people came forward, but we were still left with nobody had any idea what had happened to any of them.
Meanwhile, on our end, Debbie developed a theory.
I've got another angle.
During the Brunton investigation, we had discovered an associate of Brunton named Nathan.
Think you know who Nathan is? When Brunton met Nathan, he was stripping at Remington's.
Who's Nathan? Just a stripper I knew.
Sort of a messed up kid.
Montreal just arrested a guy who used to strip at Remington's.
The man accused of a gruesome murder in Montreal made his first appearance in a Canadian court today.
Luka Magnotta was returned to Canada in a military Luka Magnotta is infamous for hooking up with a gay Chinese male in Montreal and taking him back to his place and filming him as he killed him and dismembered him and had mailed body parts of his victim to various addresses around the country.
It's the latest twist in this horror story.
The hand and foot delivered to 2 Vancouver elementary schools yesterday belonged to 33-year-old Jun Lin.
Luka Magnotta was nabbed in Germany today after a worldwide police search that reached into 190 countries.
Wait, so you think that Luka Magnotta is Nathan? When Brunton met Nathan in 2003, Magnotta was living in Peterborough, just a short walk from Brunton's home.
Where was Magnotta when Skanda went missing in 2010? According to our records, he was right here in Toronto.
And look at this.
Magnotta said he was in a relationship with an older man that paid him to lure other men.
What if Brunton got Magnotta interested in cannibalism, and then Magnotta took it all the way? There were too many similarities and ties between Magnotta and Brunton.
It's all hitting a little too close to home with what we already knew about that bizarre world of the cannibalism fetish.
(PHONE RINGING) It needed to be investigated.
Magnotta used aliases online.
Here's one of his dating profiles.
"I live in Canada.
And I'm looking for a serious relationship with a Middle Eastern man.
I love Middle Eastern men.
Email me and send me your pics".
Faizi and Kayhan are Middle Eastern.
Posted June, 2010.
Right before the disappearances started.
I also found this video online, titled "Cannibal Serial Killer Luka Magnotta".
(ELECTRONIC MUSIC PLAYING IN VIDEO) Magnotta was in Toronto at the right time.
He was looking for Middle Eastern men.
And he was referring to himself as a cannibal serial killer.
Yeah, we have to talk to this guy.
- Go to Montreal? - Yeah.
- We ended up travelling to Montreal.
- And Debbie met with the lead investigator.
We think Magnotta may be involved in our missing-persons case.
And what makes you think that? We think our victims were cannibalized.
We zeroed in on a suspect out of Peterborough who had a cannibalism fetish.
He was friends with another cannibal, a stripper from the Village who worked at Remington's.
His name is Nathan.
Nathan? Where did you get Nathan? You're familiar with that? Yes, from Magnotta's text messages.
He calls himself Nathan, but no one knows that.
We never released it.
Nobody knew then what Montreal Police knew.
And that was the fact that Luka Magnotta also went by the alias of Nathan.
So as soon as Debbie brought that up, they thought we were onto something.
(SIGHING) The video was shot in his apartment.
There's a video.
It depicts the murder of Jun Lin by Luka Magnotta.
It's very graphic.
Stop the video, please.
And I'm even loathe to describe it here out of respect, A, for the victim, and out of respect for somebody who may be watching this.
But I'll keep that with me for a long time.
Here are the photos.
And that's where he dismembered him.
And, uh, there was some cannibalism.
Luka Magnotta is a real cannibal, as opposed to someone who engaged in it just on a fantasy basis.
It's extremely messed up.
It's extremely messed up.
(DEBBIE): Can we see his interrogation? It wouldn't be of any help.
He's really not talking.
Well, then let us take a crack at him.
I'm sorry, my hands are tied.
He's awaiting trial.
It's with the courts now.
And, anyways, what would you say, that he calls himself Nathan? No, he's going to jail for murder.
You don't want to derail that.
We couldn't speak to Magnotta.
He was awaiting trial on his murder charges.
And we didn't want to interfere with that process.
What about his computers, cell phones? Do you have those? Yeah, we can get them if it helps.
This potential link to Luka Magnotta is a terrifying thought.
The Magnotta files are reviewed by investigators.
We had computers that Montreal Police had gathered, storage devices that they had seized to see if there were any links whatsoever between Magnotta and not only Brunton, but any of these 3 missing men.
So, was Magnotta in contact with him? It's gonna take weeks to dig through it all.
We're done with Magnotta's files.
And? Nothing, no connection to our victims.
There was nothing on his hard drives or any of his storage devices anywhere that linked to any of the 3 missing men.
Disappointing, yes.
I thought: "Okay, this cannibalism angle is a dead end".
Since we had discounted Brunton and now Luka Magnotta, we couldn't say any of these men had been murdered, because we had no evidence that they had been murdered.
It returns to being a missing persons investigation.
I had to return back to my office at Homicide and start taking on homicide cases again.
But I left Project Houston in very capable hands to carry on.
It's hard to believe they're all missing.
We had many helpful people come forward.
Did they know each other? Maybe, they're all Black Eagle regulars.
So it's possible.
Investigators reached out to The 519 community organization to help make inroads where there's that apprehension about even going to the police in the first place.
A lot of people are afraid to come forward.
Look at them.
They came here for a better life.
Many of them come from places where they may not be accepted for who they are.
So, they keep things secret.
Most of their friends have talked to us, but for others, well, it's certainly been a challenge.
Of course.
We interviewed many associates of the missing men, including Silverfoxx.
I found another person connected to 2 of the men.
He goes by Silverfoxx51.
The individual associated to that username had to be identified and had to be interviewed.
When was the last time you saw him? It was a Sunday at the Black Eagle.
We had a group that would meet there.
And the next time I saw him was on a missing poster.
You know him? I mean, I've seen his missing poster around town, but other than that, no, absolutely not.
Why would he have Silverfoxx51 written down in his notebook? That's my online profile.
I mean, I use it for online dating.
Maybe from there? All right.
Don't you want to ask me about Majeed? You know him? - Sure, we had a relationship.
- When? A while back.
I met him, like 10 years ago.
And when did you see him last? I don't know.
It was on Church.
Uh, he was out.
I avoided him, though.
I had to work the next morning.
(INHALING DEEPLY) All right, well, thanks for coming in.
Of course.
And if there's anything else, please give me a call.
You're always hopeful that a witness is going to be able to provide you with some useful information.
But if he doesn't have anything that can help you out and you think he's being truthful, then you move on.
You're also going to have people who are going to slam the door in your face, people who are scared to talk to police because they weren't out as being gay.
My family doesn't know anything about this.
It would ruin things for me.
I've had people say: "I don't trust the police because of the history between the police and the gay community in Toronto".
We just need to know what you know about these guys.
Sure you do.
Sure you do.
There is legitimate reasons for these tensions.
(SIREN WAILING IN DISTANCE) Some of that mistrust was developed in the '70s, '80s and '90s where people are being treated differently by police simply because of their sexuality.
That's something that has to be worked on an awful lot from our end to rebuild that trust.
Project Houston came to a point in April of 2014 where the investigators had exhausted all of the leads that they had.
The investigation was still open, but there were no personnel assigned on a permanent basis.
Did I lay awake at night thinking about it? Absolutely, I did.
Unsolved cases, they don't ever leave you.
It's now 2017.
Debbie has retired from the police service and is now working for the Office of the Fire Marshal.
I'm back at headquarters, working in Homicide.
At the end of April, a man named Selim Esan was reported missing.
He wasn't reported missing for 15 days, so the surveillance footage was wiped.
We traced his phone records, talked to friends, but no one knows what happened to him.
Selim Esan was a gay male of Turkish descent.
Yes, there's some concern here.
And yes, he does fit the same profile as the other three.
51 just reported another man missing from Church and Wellesley.
They think it's suspicious.
And suddenly, this bombshell hits.
Another one? We had 2 men go missing from the Village in the span of 2 months.
It felt like it was happening all over again.
Get down there real quick.
Get on top of it.
Report everything back to me.
It's okay.
This one's gonna come together.
We're gonna figure this one out.
We're gonna solve this one.
Hey! So, what have you got? Uh, the missing man is Andrew Kinsman, 49 years old, 6'4", 220.
- When was he last seen? - Monday afternoon.
A tenant reported him missing when she noticed the garbage hadn't been taken out.
Kinsman didn't look like the other guys.
But no matter what colour he is, he's another gay male from the Village who has disappeared.
Okay, be sure to pull security footage.
Neighbours, street cams There should be plenty available.
It's been less than 72 hours.
Want to take a look inside? Yeah.
Kinsman was actually the superintendent of the building.
And he had responsibilities around the building.
Any sign of forced entry? No, no forced entry.
No signs of any struggle.
Coffey found this, though.
"3:00 p.
June 26, right around the last time Kinsman was seen.
- Any idea who it is? - We're looking into it.
Is there a chance that this guy just took off on his own? Doubtful.
Now we're worried he had somehow met with foul play at that point in time.
Andrew Kinsman's friends were clearly emotional earlier today at 51 Division when they spoke.
They say his disappearance is completely out of character for him.
He's one of the most predictable, responsible people in my whole life.
He would not leave all of us hanging like this.
He would let us know.
After Kinsman went missing, obviously, there's increased fear in the community.
You know, it's not safe.
It makes me wonder who's out there and what's really going on.
Lots of suspicions and speculation Police won't use the term "serial killer", but people in the Village were quick to use it.
People just don't disappear.
inciting a lot of panic.
Nobody trusts anyone anymore.
And they needed that to end.
We set up a new task force, Project Prism.
The goal of that project was to investigate the disappearances of Selim Esan and Andrew Kinsman and anything that links to the 3 individuals from Project Houston.
We're gonna start by focusing on Kinsman, 'cause he's the most recent.
We need to go through his computers, phone records, any surveillance tape we have.
We need to talk to anyone in Kinsman's circle: family, friends, uncles, aunts, lovers, ex-lovers.
You know, people are rightfully scared.
So, let's let's figure it out.
The first step is accounting for the last hours of when someone has been seen and identifying associates, identifying places that they frequent, trying to find people who might be able to help you.
A packed house last night in the Gay Village as police and the community talked about the disappearances of 5 men from the area.
I wanted to see some movement on the case.
I'm glad that the police have put more police on the actual investigation.
The difference in 2017 was the proliferation of video cameras.
We had to go through the video footage that had been seized from different cameras all throughout Mr.
Kinsman's neighbourhood, trying to figure out what happened to him.
It's definitely not as simple as it sounds.
You have grainy footage from different cameras.
It's an incredibly time-consuming, menial task.
Hours and days of tiring and draining work sitting in front of a computer by multiple officers.
I think we found something.
Hey, Hank! We found footage of a red van stopping close to Kinsman's residence.
(HANK): That looks like Kinsman.
Did you get an angle on the driver? - No.
- How about the plate? No, but we were able to narrow the model down to a Dodge Caravan from the early 2000s.
Probably 2004.
My reaction is: "Okay, focus on that van".
Can you pull up all red 2003 to 2006 Caravans in the GTA? There are 6,181 red 2003 to 2006 Dodge Caravans in all of Ontario.
Kinsman has a note for the day he went missing where it says Bruce.
"3:00 p.
How many of those Dodge Caravans were registered to someone named Bruce? Five.
Any of those pop up in our records? - Only one.
- Pull it up.
Bruce McArthur.
I know that guy.
I interviewed him for Houston after you left.
- Can you find the interview? - Yeah, just one sec.
Does the name Silverfoxx51 mean anything to you? Sure, that's my online profile.
This is the guy that we did identify in 2013 as Silverfoxx.
We knew he was associated to 2 of the 3 missing persons from Project Houston.
- You know him? - He was a good friend.
Just a friend? We never had sex, if that's what you mean.
- Did he know Skanda? - That's possible.
I mean, they both hung out at the Black Eagle.
Did you check his criminal record? He had an assault charge from 12 years ago.
Drove once without insurance papers.
He was otherwise clean.
Yeah, there are a lot of guys with much worse records.
Hindsight's a wonderful thing.
But even with hindsight, I've seen people with criminal records with 70, 100, 150 convictions for offences such as assault or such as mischief.
That's not that unusual.
Looks like McArthur was arrested in 2016.
Three years after Project Houston, Bruce McArthur was arrested for choking somebody in the back of his van.
What happened? The victim escaped and dialled 911 and McArthur turned himself in that night.
But, all charges were dropped when he explained it as a misunderstanding.
The investigating officer concluded that there weren't grounds to charge him because he seemed, quote: "Genuine and credible in his recall of the incident".
It was determined that it was consensual.
And he was released with no charges.
And I thought to myself: "That doesn't sound quite right".
I didn't know where something had gone wrong, if something had gone wrong.
I think I have a video.
I thought he liked it rough.
So I reached out and grabbed him by the neck and started squeezing.
Boy, did I misread him, because then he started to freak out.
Next thing I know, he's calling you guys.
And we let this guy go? The Toronto Police Service screwed something up here.
Not an individual officer, the Toronto Police Service.
He fooled me.
No, he fooled all of us.
I need you to find McArthur's van and seize it.
Now that we know that that van belongs to Bruce McArthur, the next step is to forensically examine it and see if there's any evidence that can help us out.
We had McArthur's home address.
Yeah, I'm in McArthur's parking garage.
I found his car, but it's not a 2004 Caravan.
It's a much newer model.
It was suspicious to us that he had gotten rid of his 2004 Dodge Caravan 2 days after Project Prism was publicly announced.
The important thing then was: "We've got to find this 2004 Dodge Caravan".
We started looking for the van.
We put McArthur under full surveillance.
(ENGINE STARTING) Lots of fear, lots of worry, lots of angst that he's going to kill another victim.
And in the meantime, it was decided, we've got to go into his apartment He's on the move.
You're clear.
clone his computer and see what we can find in his apartment.
They're inside the place.
Are there any visitors who are going to be coming by? Are there neighbours watching? Everything and anything can potentially go wrong.
He's coming back.
He's in the parking garage.
Get out now! Maybe he knows we're onto him.
Maybe he's onto us.
That's all running through your head.
(ALARM BEEPING) (ENGINE STARTING) We managed to clone 45% of Bruce McArthur's computer.
He's coming back.
Get out now! We gotta go.
We had analysts start going through all of that material, looking for links between Bruce McArthur and Andrew Kinsman.
In that 45%, there are a million artefacts and over 100,000 images.
While all this is going on, we found Bruce McArthur's van at a wrecking yard.
I can't really promise what condition the vehicle is in.
Hey, that's better than nothing.
- There she is.
- The plate's missing.
You're lucky it's here at all.
You know, a regular scrapyard would have destroyed it by now.
VIN is a match.
I'm seizing this vehicle.
The van was examined by forensics specialists.
They found human blood as well as semen, which were submitted for DNA testing.
Yeah, okay.
Thanks for letting me know.
One area of the blood staining in the van matched to Andrew Kinsman.
Very sad.
Very sad.
This suggests to us that Andrew Kinsman has been killed.
And we have some evidence which indicates to us that Bruce McArthur is a suspect in the murder of Andrew Kinsman.
Is McArthur the guy who's done all of this? And has he killed these other guys? Okay.
I will.
Call you right back.
That looks like Kinsman.
In a folder named "Andy" on McArthur's computer.
He tried deleting it.
He looks deceased.
It's dated June 26, the day he went missing.
And there's more: Pictures of 4 other men, just like it, all in fur coats.
Three of them I don't recognize.
Who's the fourth? Selim Esan.
After he killed his victims, he would pose them and he would take photographs of them.
It's McArthur's bedroom.
We now had evidence that he had killed Mr.
Esan and Mr.
And we're finding photos of more men who we don't know who these men are.
Now this all comes crashing down as absolute reality.
And I was angry that this had gone on, that this had happened in our city.
- Let's take him down.
- Not yet.
We don't know where the bodies are.
He's a landscaper.
They could be buried.
Let's get search warrants for properties he worked on.
It'll take days.
It's dozens of properties.
We gave ourselves 72 hours to get the teams into place, get the warrants all signed and be ready to go.
What if he tries something between now and then? If he tries anything, if he tries to destroy evidence or he's alone with a man, we take him down right away.
We have to get him off the street, but we have to do it properly.
We had 24-hour surveillance of Mr.
McArthur in place, unless he goes somewhere alone with another male, in which case, the plan is completely off, and he is to be arrested right there and then.
He's headed back to his apartment.
He does exactly what we had hoped he wouldn't do.
It was unbelievable.
He picks up a male, and he takes him back to his apartment.
It's good to see you again.
You too.
Does anyone know you're with me? Let's go.
And I said to the team: "Take him out right now.
He's responsible for killing 2 people.
And we're not going to take any risks with him whatsoever".
Okay, let's bring him in.
They have to go up 18 floors to McArthur's apartment, hoping that they're not too late.
(SOBBING) Can I help you? Bruce McArthur, you're under arrest for first-degree murder.
Hello? (MUFFLED SCREAMING) Hey! It's okay.
It's okay.
You're gonna be okay.
(SOBBING) It's okay.
It's all right.
Get me out of here! (SOBBING) It's okay.
It's okay.
I have no doubt that Dickinson saved that man's life.
We are at 51 Division with McArthur.
Emotions are running high.
And adrenaline is running high.
He thinks he's getting away with this.
He thinks he's outsmarted everybody, and he's going to continue doing what he's been doing.
(INHALING DEEPLY) Am I gonna be here much longer? I really don't want to miss my prior engagement.
He certainly did not react as you would expect anybody to react.
Very nonchalant.
Of course I know Andrew.
I haven't seen him in a long time, though.
How long? A week? A month? A year? I don't think he knew how much we knew at that point in time.
- Bruce, how long? - Over a year.
How about him? Bruce? Actually, he looks like a guy I met a few months ago.
- What's his name? - I don't remember.
- We went back to my place.
- Then what? I had some very good evidence with the photographs that were found on Mr.
McArthur's computer.
But without a body, it's going to be an uphill battle in court.
What happened at your place, Bruce? Bruce? Where'd you meet? How about him? Bruce? Any time we tried to gear the subject towards the murders, Mr.
McArthur would not communicate anymore.
I really don't want to miss my appointment.
So, the interview, at the end of it, really was quite fruitless.
We came to that point and still didn't have any answers.
Very frustrating.
(REPORTER): From missing persons to murder victims.
Police aren't revealing much more as to what happened to Andrew Kinsman or Selim Esan, just that their killer is allegedly a 66-year-old landscaper named Bruce McArthur, who, as of today, has been charged with 2 counts of first-degree murder.
I'm telling you, he's killed at least 2 people that we know of.
And we believe there are more victims.
And tonight, police are still digging for evidence, searching through that apartment building connected to the suspect.
McArthur's apartment was a crime scene.
So I undertook a very thorough forensic examination of that apartment.
Essentially, in that situation, your mind is a whirlwind.
The utmost priority is to find anything that tied any of the other missing men that we were investigating.
A metal bar had been used to commit the murders.
He would put the rope around the victim's neck, wrap it around the metal bar and use it as a winch to tighten the rope around the neck.
I've never seen a murder weapon like that.
We found a journal belonging to Selim Esan and a bracelet that had belonged to Skanda Navaratnam.
Are they trophies, mementos props? I don't know.
It's extremely messed up.
But to find that definitive link between Skanda and McArthur, that was a huge moment.
But we hadn't recovered any of the victims' remains.
So there's still that nagging feeling.
If we don't find these victims, we're not going to be able to prove these murders.
Police won't discuss how the 2 men died.
They haven't even found their bodies.
Detectives have been searching locations connected to McArthur.
We have contacted owners of these properties and have conducted searches at the majority of them.
We searched an address on Mallory Crescent.
McArthur spent an awful lot of time and stored his landscaping equipment in the garage.
(DOGS BARKING) And the cadaver dogs made some indications around the base of some planters.
Police aren't mincing words.
This, they say, is an unprecedented case and a chilling one.
When they removed 2 large planters where McArthur stored his landscaping tools.
We took the planters to the Ontario Forensic Pathology Services.
The first thing we could see was a human skull.
Whatever sick gratification McArthur has to do what he did, having the remains being disposed of in such a callous way, it hits home.
And it hits home really, really hard.
We have now identified the remains of individuals from these planters.
Number one being Andrew Kinsman.
Number two being Soroush Mahmudi.
Soroush was reported missing by family out in Scarborough.
He was never linked to the Gay Village at all.
And number three being Skanda Navaratnam.
That was probably my most emotional moment during the entire investigation.
Skanda was what started it all.
To finally be able to say, "Now we know what happened to Skanda, and we've got the guy who did it" it was a tough thing to deal with on that day.
The next set of remains in the planters that we were able to positively identify, Selim Esan Basir Faizi.
Dean Lisowick was never reported as missing.
Terrible story.
Living on the streets, in the shelter systems and coming to an end like that.
And Kumar Kanagaratnam was a refugee from Sri Lanka who came to Canada.
As it turned out, his refugee claim was rejected, and he disappeared.
And his family never reported him missing.
How can you not feel for these men and the very sad ending that they came upon? As Toronto Police forge ahead with their months-long probe of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur, they have found another disturbing clue.
Police dogs led the team of forensic experts here, a ravine behind the home where McArthur stored his landscaping tools.
Police confirm they've found remains in one of two piles of compost.
When we finally identified Majeed Kayhan, obviously, that was a huge moment.
Majeed had been one of the original 3 missing persons from Project Houston.
Members of the gay community stood together tonight, lighting candles, saying prayers, holding vigil.
I don't think it's something that will ever leave me or family or friends of the victims.
It's still tough to look at pictures.
I've got this montage of pictures of all 8 of the victims.
The more you learn about them and their stories, the harder it is, even though you never even knew them, to really come to terms with what happened to them in the end.

Previous EpisodeNext Episode