Toronto police say a “significant development” is expected in the case of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur on Tuesday.
In a release sent out on Monday, police said McArthur, who faces eight counts of first-degree murder, will make an appearance in a Toronto courtroom just after 9:30 a.m. Officials wouldn’t confirm what is expected to happen during the hearing.
McArthur, 67, is charged in the deaths of Selim Esen, Andrew Kinsman, Majeed Kayhan, Dean Lisowick, Soroush Mahmudi, Skandaraj Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi and Kirushna Kanagaratnam.
“This is unprecedented … In my experience, I would say what it’s telling me is that Bruce McArthur is going to be pleading to eight counts of murder,” former Toronto police homicide detective Mike Davis told Global News on Monday.
McArthur has been in custody since January 2018 after an extended investigation into the disappearances of numerous men in Toronto’s Village neighbourhood.
Late last year, McArthur waived his right to a preliminary hearing, opting to go straight to trial.
His trial is scheduled to begin January 2020 and is expected to last three to four months.
Davis said the unprecedented heads up from police could be due to the high profile nature of the McArthur case.
“This is something you’d want the world to know,” he said.
“This is so enormous and had such an enormous impact on the community. I think it’s overly fair to the community to let them know what’s happening.”
Police have said they recovered the remains of seven men in large planters at a residential property in midtown Toronto where McArthur worked while the remains of an eighth man was found in a nearby ravine.
Lead detective Insp. Hank Idsinga has said the McArthur investigation marked the largest forensic examination in the force’s history.
WATCH: Community pays respects to alleged McArthur victims 1 year later
Forensic officers scoured McArthur’s apartment for four months, moving centimetre by centimetre through the residence with the belief it was an alleged murder scene. They seized 1,800 exhibits and snapped more than 18,000 photographs of the scene.
Police also spent months combing the property where the remains were found and also sent cadaver dogs to more than 100 properties linked to McArthur.
The force’s cold case squad is currently investigating a series of homicides in the 1970s related to men with ties to the gay village, but Idsinga has said they’ve found nothing to link those to McArthur.
—With files from The Canadian Press and Catherine McDonald