Bruce McArthur (Pic: Facebook)
Bruce McArthur, the Canadian serial killer who preyed on gay men, has been given eight life sentences by a Toronto Court, but questions remain.
The 67-year-old landscaper last week pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of eight men between 2010 and 2017.
The sentences will run concurrently and McArthur will be eligible for parole after 25 years, when he will be 91-years-old.
On Friday, Justice John McMahon called the crimes “pure evil” and said he had “no doubt Bruce McArthur would have continued killing” if he had not been caught.
The authorities first became suspicious that McArthur was involved in the spate of disappearances in September 2017. In January 2018, officers saw him taking a Middle-Eastern immigrant into his apartment. They burst into the residence and found the man, identified only as John, bound to a bed.
“I have no hesitation in concluding that if it were not for the police intervention on Jan. 18, 2018, John would have been the ninth victim of Mr. McArthur,” said Justice McMahon.
Toronto Police Homicide Inspector Hank Idsinga told journalists that he was satisfied with the outcome. “It’s still a life sentence the only difference is parole eligibility and as Justice McMahon says he can’t imagine a parole board ever letting Mr. McArthur out even if by some fluke he lives to the age of 91,” Idsinga said.
He added: “We never expect to see Mr. McArthur in public again.”
Lead Detective David Dickinson said while the court case had come to an end the police had not closed their investigation. “We will continue to look at any connections Bruce McArthur has to missing persons, cold cases, we will continue to look if there are any other links,” he said.
McArthur admitted to the murders of Selim Esen, Andrew Kinsman, Soroush Mahmaudi, Dean Lisowick, Majeed Kayhan, Skanda Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi and Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam.
Almost all of them were of South Asian and Middle Eastern origin. They ranged from a homeless sex worker to a closeted family man.
Most of the killings were sexual in nature, involved ligature and confinement and some of the victims’ bodies were staged after they were killed. McArthur also dismembered his victims and buried their remains in plant pots.
The victims (L-R): Selim Esen, Andrew Kinsman, Majeed Kayhan, Dean Lisowick, Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi, Skandaraj Navaratnam, Soroush Mahmudi
Nicole Borthwick, who knew some of those murdered, told reporters that the judge had been too lenient in his sentencing.
“The community has gone through so much pain already,” she said, reported CNN. “Going through this again is only resurfacing all that pain and a lot of sadness, and there is no closure. There is no grace. This community is broken, and it’s going to be broken for a long, long time.”
Police have been criticised for over the years rejecting the idea that a serial killer targeting gay men was on the prowl in Toronto. They have also been accused of racism for not being more active in the investigation because many of the victims were from Afghanistan, Turkey, Sri Lanka and Iran.