Harrowing docuseries on gay Santa Claus killer comes to streaming

Bruce McArthur, gay serial killer in Toronto
Images: Supplied

A true crime docuseries new to streaming examines how serial killer Bruce McArthur, who murdered at least eight gay Canadian men in acts of “pure evil,” escaped capture for years.

From 2010 to 2017, eight men went missing from Toronto’s Gay Village, many Middle Eastern immigrants.

67-year-old Bruce McArthur was a Toronto landscaper, a shopping centre Santa and a serial killer on a seven-year spree.

McArthur eventually pleaded guilty to murdering the eight men and hiding his victims’ bodies in plant pots at his gardening jobs.

But members of the local queer community accused Toronto Police of not taking the men’s disappearances seriously for years.

Many of the missing men weren’t out to their families. Some of their relatives refused to believe they were gay.

Friends also hesitated to report them missing, fearing police treatment and possible deportation if the men were found.

Locals’ suspicions of a serial killer in the village were dismissed.

McArthur’s final victim, Andrew Kinsman, vanished just one day after Toronto’s annual Pride parade.

Bruce McArthur would eventually plead guilty to murdering Kinsman, as well as Selim Esen, Soroush Mahmaudi, Dean Lisowick, Majeed Kayhan, Skanda Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi and Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam.

Toronto gay serial killer Bruce McArthur's victims
Images: Toronto Police/BBC

Police finally arrested the killer in January 2018. Twelve months later, McArthur pleaded guilty to eight separate counts of first-degree murder.

The judge called his crimes “pure evil” and sentenced him to life in prison.

Santa Claus: The Serial Killer recounts horrific crimes of Bruce McArthur

The six-part documentary series Santa Claus: The Serial Killer, now streaming in Australia on Binge, is from gay British journalist Mobeen Azhar.

Mobeen filmed the series in Toronto, examining why McArthur went unnoticed for so long and meeting with police, survivors and families of McArthur’s victims.

“I set off to Toronto to try to understand how and why so many men lost their lives,” he said.

“But what quickly became clear was that this was not just a story about a serial killer but about policing, the immigrant experience and how our communities take care of each other.”

Santa Claus: The Serial Killer is streaming in Australia on Binge.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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