Infamous Toronto serial killer Bruce McArthur was cleared of a decades-old murder Thursday afternoon after police investigators reported that the cold case victim had no DNA links to McArthur. Dennis Joseph Colby, 47, was found dead in his apartment on Cosburn Avenue on September 12th, 1995. His official cause of death was slated as “extreme trauma to head”.
Following McArthur arrest in 2018, police thought that the cold case, which had been reopened back in 2016 after officers sent DNA evidence into the Centre of Forensic Science, could be linked to the killer and opened a new investigation into the crime.
Police ultimately found no link between McArthur and Colby. However, the team of investigators were able to find a DNA match and find a suspect, breathing new life into a homicide investigation which first ran cold over 20 years ago.
Police were able to find out that the murder-suspect in Colby case had been living with him around the time of his murder and that the suspect “strongly resembled” a police sketch that had been released during the initial investigation.
However, the case will never be brought to justice as investigators reveal that the suspect died back in 2015. Investigators have no plans to release the name of the accused as no charges were ever laid.
McArthur had been involved in a similar incident on October 31st of 2001. McArthur had gone to a male prostitute’s house to see their Halloween costume. McArthur struck the man from behind numerous times with a led pipe. The victim survived but suffered severe head trauma from the attack. It is unclear if police thought this specific event could’ve linked McArthur to the crime.
McArthur strangled the men he killed; the 2001 incident is the only event where he bashed his victim’s head instead of choking them. It also stands as the only other time an intended victim of McArthur survived an encounter with the killer.