Catching A Serial Killer: Bruce McArthur – behind the scenes investigative report
Bruce McArthur was many things; friend, grandfather, mall Santa, landscaper, and a ruthless serial killer who buried body parts in the yards of his posh clientele. This is the true story of the race to catch Toronto’s most prolific serial killer.
Catching a Serial Killer: Bruce McArthur unravels the twists and turns of the shocking investigation into the man that put Toronto’s LGBTQ community on alert. Through exclusive interviews with Bruce McArthur’s close personal friends, the homicide investigators that cracked the case, as well as expert analyses by leading criminologists and forensic psychologists this compelling ninety-minute special uncovers how Bruce McArthur was able to navigate the blind spots of society to terrorize the very community that had fostered him in his darkest times.
Although this was a horrific dark time for Toronto, and specifically the gay community, this documentary does shed some light on the varying circumstances surrounding how police deal with situations. Sometimes things are dealt with swiftly, while other times there are unfortunate flaws that lead to devastating results.
What this documentary does first and foremost is provide a personal profile of the victims, as opposed to focusing solely on the murderer. Interviews with friends and acquaintances from the LGBTQ community share their stories of these unfortunate individuals who succumbed to this monsters madness. The other aspect of this film shows the failings of the Toronto Police Services to link the disappearances together, until community members had to take it upon themselves to take action. There were two failed investigations, a couple of mishandled police interactions that were directly held with the killer, and a continued lack of concrete evidence to arrest him despite all signs pointing to him being the killer.
There are many who claim that racism played a role in this botched investigation, stating it wasn’t taken serious until a white man went missing. The film tries to sway away from this argument by stating that this individual was the first victim who had a regular routine and presence within the gay community, held down a steady job, and had a permanent residence. Previous victims were considered more transient or hid their sexuality, making it more difficult to follow up. Either way, there are many lessons to be learned here.
There are some parts of the film that try to explain why someone would act out in the way this killer did, but it would be very hard for anyone to have any empathy. Overall, it’s an informative investigative piece that hopefully provides some closure to this very sad time in Toronto history.
The timing of this documentary also follows an extensive three-year investigation and report into the police mishandling of these crimes, and how the killings were allowed to continue while missing persons were not being thoroughly followed up. As a result of this report, advocates are calling for a major shift in policing culture to restore trust.
Canadian Premiere Date: Friday, April 30 at 9 p.m. ET on Super Channel Fuse and available via Super Channel On Demand the next day (Super Channel is available via most Canadian cable providers as well as available live and On Demand via Amazon Video Channels and the Apple TV app. Visit Super Channel subscribe for more information).
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.