Canadian serial killer Bruce McArthur was sentenced last week to life in prison after targeting men in Toronto’s gay community. Local police say McArthur killed eight individuals, most of them gay immigrants, over the course of years.
A judge revealed in court last week that police likely saved a ninth potential victim, referred to in court only as “John,” who was found handcuffed with a black bag over his head in McArthur’s home, as reported by the Toronto Sun.
“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 John McMahon.
Police had McArthur under surveillance starting in September 2017. Authorities say they were able to identify McArthur as a subject following the death of prominent LGBTQ activist Andrew Kinsman, who had marked a meeting with “Bruce” on his personal calendar before his disappearance.
Notably, the police department has come under fire from Toronto’s gay and LGBTQ community for not putting enough resources into finding a killer before the death of Kinsman, a white man. Most of McArthur’s earlier victims had been people of color.
The complete list of confirmed victims includes: Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi, Maheen Kayhan, Skandaraj Navaratnam, Selim Esen, Saroush Mahmudi, Dean Lisowick, and Kisman.
Police say McArthur, a gay man, lured victims home under the pretext of sex, then tortured and murdered them. The landscaper disposed of remains for some of his victims in planters installed around the Toronto community.
Some court observers have questioned whether McArthur’s life sentences are an adequate punishment because he will be allowed to serve them concurrently. That means he will be eligible for parole in 25 years, should the 67-year-old killer live that long.