Just days ago, on Jan. 29th, Bruce McArthur plead guilty to the murder of eight gay mean over the course of eight years. The crimes took place in Toronto, Canada's Gay Village, a neighborhood designed to be a safe space for LGBT citizens. Many of its inhabitants rest much easier, knowing their streets are safe again.
He was initially arrested in January of 2018 for the murder of two gay men, and an investigation revealed him to be associated with six other murders. Each charge is of murder in the first degree and carries an automatic life sentence with it, meaning McArthur won't be eligible for release until he is 91. His sentencing process begins on February 4th, in which friends and family of the deceased will get to make "impact statements" and tell how the deaths have affected them.
Citizens of the Gay Village had been fearing of a serial killer targeting gay men long before the Toronto police took the situation seriously. Many feel the police's lack of involvement caused the murders to go on for longer than they could have. Including a Toronto judge who charged Detective Paul Gauthier with neglect of duty and insubordination; in relation to a sexual assault arrest of McArthur in 2016.
McArthur had met with another man he found with an online dating app to engage in consensual sex. McArthur started choking his victim, but fortunately the man was able to escape. However, McArthur immediately drove to the nearest police station and told Detective Paul Gauthier that they would be receiving a false sexual assault claim. The call came, and Bruce McArthur was arrested, interviewed, then released without charge in the same night.
The murders have been described as "sexual in nature" and evidence reveals the victims were tied up in the time before their death. Many of the victims' remains were found in planters at McArthur's job at 53 Mallor Crescent, where he worked as a gardener. Other victims had been buried in a nearby ravine.
The grizzly horror of this story continues, as police reported finding a bag containing zip ties, syringes, rope, surgical gloves, and duct tape in McArthur's room after his capture. They believe many of the victims' deaths occurred during a struggle.
The victims of the crime are all men in their 40s and 50s, and many of them are of Middle Eastern dissent. The Gay Village neighborhood of Toronto is in mourning for the loss of beloved members of the community. They breathe a sigh of relief that their streets are safe than they were, but fear is growing about the police's negligence during the early claims of the crime. Some fear the LGBT community is vulnerable to police negligence and that they will receive little protection now that this case has been closed.