Canadian serial killer Bruce McArthur was in the middle of another possible murder when he was arrested by police last January, a court has heard.
Gruesome details of the 67-year-old’s killings have been revealed in court on the first day of his sentencing.
McArthur pleaded guilty to eight counts of first-degree murder last week.
Monday’s evidence was so disturbing that a prosecutor took the unusual step of warning the packed court that it could affect their mental health.
WARNING: This story includes some graphic details some readers may find upsetting
“Ask yourself if you need to be here,” Michael Cantlon said.
Pictures from McArthur’s computer revealed that he posed many of his dead victims naked apart from a fur coat or hats, the court heard.
At least one had his eyes taped open and others had unlit cigars hanging from their lips.
McArthur shaved some of his victims’ heads and beards after killing them, and kept bags of hair in Ziploc bags at a shed near a Toronto cemetery.
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The big break on the case came when McArthur killed Andrew Kinsman last summer.
Kinsman had an entry in his diary marked “Bruce” on 26 June 2017, the day he disappeared.
Video surveillance footage showed him getting into a car that was traced back to McArthur in autumn of that year.
Over the next several months, police kept McArthur under surveillance and covertly searched his apartment with a warrant.
His arrest was precipitated by concern that he had taken another potential victim back to his apartment.
That individual – a married man identified only as “John” in court – fit the profile of many previous McArthur victims.
He had arrived to Canada five years ago from the Middle East, and his family did not know he was gay, Mr Cantlon told the court.
Texts between John and McArthur reveal the two had met on a gay dating app and had discussed keeping their affair secret.
Last January, John went back to McArthur’s apartment.
McArthur told him “he wanted to try something different” and pulled out a pair of handcuffs.
He chained John to his four-poster steel bed frame, and put a black bag over his head.
There were no holes in the bag to see or breath.
When John tried to remove the bag, McArthur tried to tape his mouth shut.
At that moment police knocked on the door.
During their investigation, police uncovered a USB device containing nine folders, with several of the eight victims’ names.
The final folder was named “John”.
It contained photos of John that were downloaded the same day McArthur murdered Kinsman.
The Crown concluded its evidence, which contained previously unknown details from the police investigation on Monday afternoon.
The next two days will be focused on victim impact statements, before his sentencing on Wednesday.
First-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence, with no parole for 25 years.
The judge said the only thing he must decide is whether to sentence him to consecutive life sentences, or whether McArthur can serve eight life sentences concurrently.
Either way he will not leave prison before he is 91.