Digital forensics experts are assisting with the investigation of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur to unlock a trove of electronic data that may provide clues about how his victims died.
This electronic information, typically gathered from smartphones and computers, can unlock a suspect’s behaviour by providing a bountiful source for leads.
McArthur is charged with the first-degree murder of five men — Andrew Kinsman, Selim Esen, Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi and Dean Lisowick.
The 66-year-old Toronto landscaper was arrested at his home in Thorncliffe Park on Jan. 18.
Most cellphone providers log the phone numbers of incoming and outgoing calls and texts, the time and date they were made, the duration of calls, and the approximate location of the phone when the activity took place, says Daniel Tobok, chief executive officer of Cypfer Inc., a Toronto-based cyber security company.
What’s actually recorded is the location of the “cell site” that a phone connected with in order to place or receive a call or text. For example, these can be cellular towers or antennas mounted on buildings.
Since the range of each cell site is limited to a certain distance and a phone will often connect to the nearest one, police and prosecutors use this information to build a case about someone’s whereabouts.