Striking similarities between two fatal stabbings in Toronto, Canada have led police to question whether or not the homicides are linked. The head of Toronto Police Service’s homicide unit, Inspector Hank Idsinga, was the lead investigator on the infamous Bruce McArthur case and is currently heading the investigation into these recent murders.
Between 2010 and 2017, McArthur killed men who were linked to Toronto’s gay community. However, despite significant public outcry and suspicion that a serial killer was on the loose, Toronto police assured the public that the murders we not linked. After the dismembered remains of at least three people were discovered on a property McArthur used for tool storage, McArthur pleaded guilty to eight counts of first-degree murder.
Now, Idsinga has made a point to inform the public of a possible connection between the recent killings, which occurred five days and five kilometers apart from each other. The first murder took place on Monday, September 7, near the Highway 27 Bridge (south of Humber College Boulevard) in Etobicoke. A jogger found Rampreet (Peter) Singh’s lifeless body around 7 a.m. He was in his 30s and had been living under the bridge.
On Saturday, September 12, Mohamed-Aslim Zafis, 58, was sitting outside a Mosque near Rexdale Boulevard and Kipling Avenue. Zafis, a volunteer caretake, was controlling access to the Mosque to comply with COVID-19 health regulations. A man approached Zafis and fatally stabbed him before walking away. Surveillance footage near the Mosque revealed that Zafis’ suspected killer might be about five foot six and 130 pounds. Information on Singh’s killer has yet to be released.
Zafis is Toronto’s 52nd homicide victim of 2020 (Singh was the 48th). Due to the close proximity of the deaths, the police are not ruling out the possibility that they could perpetrated by the same person. “I don’t want to raise any fear or any panic, I just want people to be aware that this is something that we’re looking at, the possibility that these are connected,” Idsigna told the public in a news conference on Monday. “We need people to be aware of their surroundings.”