The former mall Santa who recently pleaded guilty to eight murders in Toronto may have been just minutes away from killing a ninth victim when police arrived to his home.
According to CTV News, Bruce McArthur had been on a killing spree for several years before an investigation into the disappearance of Andrew Kinsman in June 2017 uncovered evidence that led authorities to McArthur, a landscaper who had previously worked as a mall Santa Claus.
In January 2018, after tracking the suspect, police arrived to McArthur’s home to find a man identified as “John” tied to his bed. The chilling details of McArthur’s arrest and what investigators were found at his home were revealed at the confessed killer’s sentencing hearing on Monday in Toronto, where McArthur lived, worked, and killed for nearly eight years before he was finally apprehended.
Before the arrival of police that day, John had arrived to McArthur’s home, and was reportedly asked to undress before McArthur handcuffed him to his bed. He then placed a plastic bag over John’s head, and refused to take it off despite the young man’s request. John was eventually able to take off the bag himself, at which point McArthur reportedly tried to cover his mouth with tape.
Bruce McArthur has pleaded guilty to 8 counts of first-degree murder. Victim impact statements read at his sentencing hearing have revealed more details about his victims. A judge decides McArthur's sentence Friday. These are his victims, and the voices of those who mourn them. pic.twitter.com/DhkjWml5FX
— CBC News (@CBCNews) February 6, 2019
The report indicates that John was unharmed by the time police arrived and arrested McArthur. A search of the suspect’s home and his computer hard drive indicated that McArthur had been planning to kill John in the same manner he had his previous victims: McArthur had folders of eight of his previous victims on his hard drive, containing photos of his victims, sometimes unconscious, sometimes wearing a fur hat or coat, with a cigar in their mouth.
And some of the photos reportedly showed the victims with the instrument McArthur used to strangle them around their neck. The police search of the hard drive found a ninth folder that was labeled with the name of the man handcuffed to McArthur’s bed the day of his arrest.
Last week, McArthur pleaded guilty to the murders of Selim Esen, Andrew Kinsman, Majeed Kayhan, Dean Lisowick, Soroush Mahmudi, Skandaraj Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi and Kirushna Kanagaratnam. McArthur is believed to have targeted victims in Toronto’s Gay Village, and buried their bodies in planters on residential properties he had access to through his landscaping business.
McArthur’s sentencing hearing will continue through the week, and a judge is expected to deliver a sentence on Friday.