Canadian Serial Killer Sentenced to Life in Prison

Serial killer Bruce McArthur sentenced to life in prison

He was Canada's gay serial killer, a man who left the local LGBTQ community shaken and fearful for their lives, having viciously murdered eight men - most of whom were men of South Asian or Middle Eastern descent - between the years of 2010-2017.

Reporters Adrian Ghobrial and Momin Qureshi are covering the sentencing. It's a sentence that's getting mixed reactions from those close to the victims. The Church-Wellesley community had long feared there was a serial killer in their midst and the police denied it.

"I am absolutely convinced that should this matter have proceeded to trial, because of the graphic nature of much of the evidence, it would have a bad impact on the family and friends, and the community".

No doubt McArthur will live out the rest of his days in prison anyway.

Because numerous facts presented at the hearing were so lurid, prosecutors cautioned people against remaining in court to hear them. The killer will be eligible for parole at the age of 91.

Parole eligibility was the only question for McMahon to settle as first-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence. "There is a fine line between retribution, which is an appropriate sentencing principle, and vengeance".

McMahon said that in coming to his decision he took into account the safety of the public, McArthur's advanced age, as well as deterring others from committing similar crimes.

"The ability to decapitate and dismember his victims, and to do it repeatedly, is pure evil", McMahon said.

Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders addressed the sentence during a conference at police headquarters.

Which is why it's disheartening and, frankly, disgusting that Bruce McArthur will be eligible for parole in only 25 years when a judge could have ensured he never faced the possibility.

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"It's not a mandatory minimum (sentence), it's not something that is dictated to the courts, the judge still has the discretion to level the parole-ineligibility period at the time of sentencing", Bezan said. "In this case, life will mean life at the end".

In committing the eight murders, the judge said, McArthur victimized the dead men's families twice over: first when their loved one vanished and again when they finally learned the "horrific truth". He also noted that McArthur had not expressed remorse or turned himself into police.

Police said that from August 2017, when McArthur was first named as person of interest, to the months after when he was put under surveillance, they worked to ensure he would not kill again.

The court document said police uncovered a duffle bag containing duct tape, a surgical glove, rope, zip ties, a bungee cord, and syringes - evidence pointing to some of the victims being tied up, confined and sexually assaulted prior to their deaths.

McMahon said: "All or most of the victims were vulnerable individuals who were lured to their death".

The Kanagaratnams were among the dozens of friends and family who sat silently in court Friday as McMahon read from his sentencing report. "I find this exploitation of their vulnerability to be extremely aggravating".

A ninth sub file on McArthur's found USB storage device had been titled "John" - the name of the man found handcuffed to the bed, naked, with duct tape over his mouth.

Saunders echoed Idsinga's statement but said no length of sentence would be enough for some. "Although there can be no closure from a harm of this magnitude, we hope that these eight convictions for first-degree murder will assist our community in beginning a new chapter of healing".

Toronto Mayor John Tory called the murders "heinous".

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