Torontonians are breathing a sigh of relief as Bruce McArthur heads to court this Monday to finally be sentenced for his crimes against the city’s gay community. McArthur began targeting men in the Church-Wellesley area back in 2010 and remained at large until early 2018 when police detained him outside of his Thorncliffe apartment.
Despite a city-wide curiosity about the case, many Torontonians have flooded to Twitter to warn their fellow residents from tuning into the hearing which will feature the “graphic details” of how McArthur committed each murder.
Following McArthur's arrest, Toronto police made several gruesome discoveries; photographs of victims supposedly kept as trophies, the remains of seven men in large planters at a residential property near midtown Toronto where McArthur had worked as a landscaper, the city was shaken. Now, after pleading guilty to all eight counts of first-degree murder, McArthur faces a life sentence without parole for 25 years.
The Crown reportedly warned those in the courtroom that the details of McArthur's crimes were disturbing and might be difficult to listen to.
This would also be a good time to send out a WARNING to all following this thread today. There will be graphic, disturbing information shared here. Tweets will include horrible details of how Bruce McArthur killed eight men. You may want to mute my tweets or unfollow.— Adrian Ghobrial (@CityAdrian) February 4, 2019
However, when the news of McArthur's crimes first broke, not all Torontonians were caught off guard. A cry for help had long echoed through the city’s gay community, who denounced police efforts believing that the disappearances would’ve been taken more seriously if the missing had not been gay men.
Nicki Ward, director of the Church-Wellesley Neighbourhood Association, expressed her frustration over the Washington Post back in February of last year, “Why weren't we listened to earlier? Perhaps some lives could have been saved if that was the case.”
The real investigation into McArthur was thought to have begun when Andrew Linsman went missing. Linsman had close ties to the gay village and his disappearance sparked a movement which is believed to have led to the creation of a new police task force “Project Prism”. The investigative-force issued out warnings on popular gay dating apps and were quick to zero in on McArthur as a prime suspect.
The news of McArthur’s sentencing feels like a dark chapter coming to close for Toronto’s gay community, though it is unlikely that what transpired will ever be forgotten by those within it.