A man who knew of one of Bruce McArthur’s alleged victims said he’s been “numb” since learning about his friend’s apparent fate.
Jeffery Tunney was in a College Park court on Wednesday, as McArthur, 66, appeared via video. McArthur is facing five first-degree murder charges related to the disappearances of men who are all believed to have had ties to the LGBTQ community.
One of those men, Dean Lisowick, lived with Tunney for a couple of months in an apartment near Church and Wellesley streets.
“He paid his rent on time. He was good. He kept the apartment clean,” Tunney said.
“Everybody’s been going around saying that he’s homeless. I know he was a drug addict, but I just don’t think he deserved this.”
Lisowick, who police have said had no fixed address, drifted back and forth between shelters and Tunney’s home in the heart of Toronto’s gay village, before settling with Tunney for around two and a half months beginning in 2015, Tunney said.
Lisowick moved out after the pair had a disagreement over his drug use, Tunney said. But in spring 2016, Lisowick showed up outside Tunney’s home.
“He said he was going to be back and then he never came back, and nobody knew what happened,” Tunney said.
Lisowick, who was either 43 or 44 at the time of his death, was never reported missing.
Tunney said he assumed Lisowick had simply found a better place to live.
Lisowick worked part time as a cleaner in the local bar Statlers and also earned money as a sex worker, Tunney said.
Tunney and a friend had tried, unsuccessfully, to warn Lisowick away from the sex trade, he added.
“I was a little worried for his safety because he seemed to be a naive guy that just goes anywhere,” Tunney said.
Tunney said Lisowick has a daughter who is probably around 12 or 13.
Police have so far identified only one set of remains — those of Andrew Kinsman, another man McArthur is accused of killing — and have said they continue to analyze the others.
Last month, McArthur was charged with 49-year-old Kinsman’s death, as well as the presumed death of 44-year-old Selim Esen. Both men went missing from Toronto’s gay village in 2017.
Police laid three more first-degree murder charges against McArthur about two weeks later, related to the disappearances of Lisowick, Majeed Kayhan, 58, and Soroush Mahmudi, 50.
“I want to find out what was done with Dean and I’ve been getting the runaround,” Tunney said. “Nobody will tell me what [McArthur] did to him.”