TORONTO — Bruce McArthur, a landscaper and former mall Santa who killed and dismembered eight men between 2010 and 2017, was sentenced Friday to life in prison, according to CNN network partner CTV News.
McArthur, 67, won’t be able to apply for parole for 25 years. He pleaded guilty on January 29 to eight counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of Andrew Kinsman, Selim Esen, Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi, Dean Lisowick, Skandaraj Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi and Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam.
Justice John McMahon said McArthur’s guilty plea and his age at the time he could apply for parole were mitigating factors in the sentence.
“The accused has saved the family, friends and community at large from enduring a graphic public trial that would have been a nightmare for everyone,” McMahon said, according to CTV.
After the sentencing, Nicole Borthwick, who knew some of the victims, said outside court that the judge was too lenient.
“It’s not enough for the families or for the lives lost,” she told reporters.
“And it’s so not enough for the community. The community has gone through so much pain already. 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.”
McArthur was first arrested in January 2018, when he was charged with the murder of two men who had gone missing in 2017.
Since then, police have investigated locations around Toronto where McArthur worked as a landscaper. The investigation led to the additional murder charges.
When Toronto police first picked up McArthur, they found a man tied to his bed. A search of the suspect’s hard drive for evidence revealed eight folders labeled with the names of different men. Each folder contained photos of the men — some alive, some dead and some with their naked bodies posed in fur coats or with unlit cigars.
A ninth folder was labeled with the name of the man tied to the bed.
The details were made public this week by Crown attorney Michael Cantlon as part of the sentencing of McArthur, who lured the men to his home, strangled them and dismembered them, according to CTV News. He buried their remains in garden planters and in a ravine, Cantlon said.
Many of the victims, although not all, were from the Gay Village, a neighborhood in Toronto known for its predominantly gay population. McArthur had some sort of relationship — some of which were sexual — with each of his victims, Toronto Police spokeswoman Meaghan Gray said last year.
Most of the victims were immigrants of South Asian or Middle Eastern descent, Cantlon told the court.