Toronto Church Holds Vigil for 5 Victims of Serial Killer

Community members and dignitaries light candles during a vigil hosted by the Metropolitan Community Church in Toronto on Sunday. People came together to mourn the deaths of several men in the LGBTQ community at the hands of an alleged serial killer. (Christopher Katsarov/Canadian Press)

A Toronto church with an international reputation for promoting human rights hosted a vigil for the victims of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur on Sunday night.

Attendees at the Metropolitan Community Church lit five candles for Majeed Kayhan, Andrew Kinsman, Selim Esen, Dean Lisowick and Soroush Mahmudi to remember them as members of the community, not just victims.

Kayhan, 58, was remembered for his love of Bollywood movies and dancing.

Kinsman, 49, was a known community figure who volunteered at an AIDS support group. He was remembered for always being willing to offer a helping hand to anyone.

Esen, 44, had immigrated from Turkey in search of a more accepting country.

Lisowick, who was either 43 or 44 when he died, was described as a gentle soul who’d be the first to come to the rescue in times of need.

Fifty-year-old Mahmudi’s circumstances were less known, but he left behind a wife and two children.

Rev. Sandra Morris also lit a sixth candle to remind those in attendance that police believe there are “maybe more victims before this nightmare ends,” she said.

The packed ceremony in Toronto’s east end was also joined by Mayor John Tory, city councillors and members of the Toronto police.

“I’m going to meet with the leadership of the community and make sure that they understand … we’re grieving with them and secondly that we understand there’s a feeling of frustration and fear in the community and, thirdly, and perhaps equally important over time, that we begin to heal,” Tory told CBC Toronto.

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