A Canadian landscaper has pleaded guilty to the premeditated murders of eight men including 2 Sri Lankans with links to Toronto’s gay community and the mutilation of their bodies, most of them chopped up and hidden in planters, the Straits Times reported.
The plea entered by Bruce McArthur, 67, was a surprise – he had been scheduled to stand trial next year.
He now faces the likelihood of life in prison.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled to start on Feb 4.
The case shocked all of Canada, and especially the gay community. It sparked a massive investigation in Toronto, the country’s largest city, at dozens of properties where McArthur had worked.
“Bruce McArthur has pled guilty,” Homicide Detective David Dickinson told reporters outside the courtroom. “It’s the right outcome.”
“Unfortunately, we can never bring these men back. But I’m hoping we can start bringing closure to the families and the communities,” he said, describing the “long and traumatic process” to bring McArthur to justice.
McArthur was arrested in January 2018.
Body parts of seven of the victims were found hidden inside large planters that McArthur stored at a client’s home in midtown Toronto.
The remains of an eighth victim were later discovered in a ravine behind the property.
The victims in the case were McArthur’s former lover, two Afghan immigrants, two refugees from Sri Lanka and another from Iran, a Turkish national, and a homeless sex worker.
All went missing from 2010 to 2017.
Karen Fraser – the owner of the home where McArthur stored his planters, and who had casually met two of the victims – said she is “haunted” by the case.
“Terrible things were done,” she said.
“To me, he’s evil.”