Sentencing underway for Toronto serial killer Bruce McArthur

Serial killer Bruce McArthur sentenced to life in prison

Bruce McArthur, who was convicted of the murders of eight men from Toronto's Gay Village, will spend at least 25 years in prison for his crimes.

"Unfortunately they will live with this nightmare the rest of their lives", said McMahon, reading from his 17-page sentencing report.

67-year-old Bruce McArthur was sentenced in a Toronto courtroom today.

For some, McMahon's sentence provided little solace.

With each murder carrying a sentence of 25 years, McMahon did not sentence McArthur to serve the punishments, consecutively, meaning he is eligible for parole in 25 years, when he will be 91. He was sentenced to 11 concurrent life sentences, but applied for early parole after 15 years (the threshold at the time) and, when this was denied, applied at every future opportunity, causing the families of his victims reoccurring grief.

"And there is no closure. The family friends and the community have been victimized twice - once when they went missing ... then again when they learn the horrific truth", McMahon said.

"Sentencing the accused to parole ineligibility until he is 116 years of age is symbolic", he said. But earlier this week, Kanagaratnam's brother Krusnathasan spoke a few words of English, saying there's "no sleeping everyday" that it's a "very very bad situation for my family" and that his mother "keeps on crying".

"(McArthur) also exploited others in the belief that he was their friend ... they placed their trust in him which he manipulated and used to his advantage.

Justice McMahon called the crimes "pure evil".

McArthur pleaded guilty in court late last month, admitting to murdering eight men with ties to Toronto's Gay Village between 2010 and 2017. Bottom row (left to right) are Skandaraj Navaratnam, Andrew Kinsman, Kirushna Kanagaratnam and Majeed Kayhan. All went missing between 2010 and 2017.

The chief said officers had launched an investigation into the disappearances of McArthur's first three victims, but simply never had enough evidence to proceed further until 2017.

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"I am absolutely convinced that should this matter have proceeded to trial, because of the graphic nature of much of the evidence, it would have a awful impact on the family and friends, and the community". Some had not revealed they were gay.

"People wanted answers", Detective David Dickinson told reporters.

"When I sleep, I sleep with a sadness which fills my heart and always tears come to my eyes".

She sobbed while prosecutor Craig Harper read her statement aloud to the court. It described how she had become overwhelmed with grief, has had to leave her job and has serious difficulty "maintaining self-care and basic life functions". "I hear them crying constantly".

"My life has been truly fractured". The remains of an eighth victim were later discovered in a ravine behind the same property. By 2012, Kayhan, also an immigrant from Afghanistan, was gone, too.

"John" is a closeted gay man who is married and investigators say he will never be identified publicly.

He referenced the victim impact statement of Rev. Deana Dudley, of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, who had written that it's impossible to overstate the impact of the murders on the LGBT community.

But Friday was not just about sentencing.

And Dudley talks about why the recovery might be slow.

"If it was one of my loved ones (who was a victim) there wouldn't be any sentence that would make me happy", Saunders said.

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