2010–2017 Toronto serial homicides
Between 2010 and 2017, a series of men disappeared in
Police say that they found evidence in McArthur's apartment leading to homicide charges and that they found the dismembered remains of several men in
The criminal investigation of McArthur has been described as unprecedented, involving numerous possible crime scenes, identification of skeletal remains, judicial authorizations for data hosted on foreign servers and examination of cold cases dating back to the mid-1970s. It became the largest investigation conducted by the TPS and also called on the resources of the
Thomas Donald Bruce McArthur
October 8, 1951
Span of crimes
|January 18, 2018|
Thomas Donald Bruce McArthur was born on October 8, 1951, in
A young McArthur attended a
McArthur was bused to nearby
McArthur began working for
In the mid-1970s, McArthur's father was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He was sent to a nursing home and McArthur became disappointed when his mother took interest in another man. McArthur grew much closer to his father at this time. His mother died of cancer in 1978 and his father died in 1981.
In 1979, McArthur and his wife moved into a house on Ormond Drive in Oshawa; by 1981 they had a daughter, Melanie, and a son, Todd. In 1986, the McArthurs bought a home on Cartref Avenue in Oshawa. He became very active in his church, keeping himself busy to avoid examining his homosexual feelings.
McArthur left his job in the Eaton's buying department in 1978 and began working as a travelling salesman for McGregor Socks. He worked by himself, travelling from town to town, soliciting department stores to carry his merchandise. He worked territories including Northern Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and as he gained more territories he employed "counters" to stock, prepare, and reorder merchandise. McArthur later worked as a merchandising representative for Stanfield's, an underwear and sportswear company, servicing GTA retailers like Hudson's Bay and Sears.
McArthur began having sexual affairs with men in the early 1990s. More than a year later he
McArthur separated from his wife in 1997 and moved to Toronto, as there was no gay community in Oshawa at that time. He frequented the bars of
McArthur had met a
McArthur, who turned himself in after the attack, said he did not remember the attack or why he might have done it. He pleaded guilty to charges of assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm, and on April 11, 2003, received a conditional sentence of 729 days (two years less a day). A further charge of carrying a concealed weapon was withdrawn at the time. The Crown prosecutor had earlier believed jail time was warranted but agreed to a conditional sentence after psychiatric and presentencing reports suggested McArthur was a low risk to reoffend. The victim, said by the Crown attorney to have been traumatized by the incident, did not provide a victim-impact statement for the sentencing, and there were concerns that McArthur's unexplained behaviour may have been due to the combination of McArthur's anti-seizure medication with amyl nitrite[a] or "
McArthur avoided prison, spending the first year of his sentence under house arrest, followed by a six-month curfew and three years of probation. During the sentence, he was
A criminal defence lawyer found the list of conditions uncommon and suggested that the judge was concerned that McArthur was a danger to all male prostitutes. A retired homicide detective noted that parole conditions were unenforceable, were not published or made public knowledge and that parole violators were caught only if they come to the attention of police.
In 2014, McArthur was granted a
In 2002, while the assault case was still before the courts, McArthur registered with Recon, a gay fetish dating website for men into
McArthur's 2003 banishment from Church and Wellesley remained well-known and he had developed a reputation for BDSM and rough sex. In 2011, Robert James had been spending time with McArthur, who told him about an incident in a coffeehouse: when he had been asked to leave, McArthur's temper burst and he knocked all the glass jars off the counter. James decided to heed advice to stay away from McArthur, explaining that he had heard disturbing stories about him. According to James, McArthur turned red and screamed about "f---ing f---ots [
A. J. Khan remembered McArthur as a friendly regular at his restaurant, Church Bistro 555. Towards the end of 2013, Khan inquired when McArthur came in alone instead of with his usual companion. McArthur said his boyfriend was on vacation, and when Khan noted he had seen the man the previous day, McArthur angrily left and never returned.
McArthur had become a self-employed
McArthur's separation from his wife was initially heated, though they later reconciled. His son Todd was reported to have difficulty accepting his father as homosexual. In 2014, Todd McArthur was sentenced to 14 months in jail for making multiple obscene phone calls. He was released on bail, ordered to stay with his father at his Toronto apartment and assist with McArthur's landscaping business. A former friend of Todd's visited one night and discovered the wall of McArthur's bathroom was decorated with photos of naked men with erections. He said that most of the men appeared to be "East Indian" and that Todd said that they were men whom his father knew. McArthur did not hide the fact, laughing over it at breakfast.