Canadian serial killer Bruce McArthur used landscape planters as a graveyard to bury human remains: doc
Karen Fraser had no idea what was going on when police arrived at her home and said she had five minutes to leave.
“Half of me was backing away and staring in horror,” she told Fox News. “The other half was trying to think clearly. They didn’t have a search warrant and I was fully aware of it. I really didn’t have to pay any attention to them if I didn’t want to.”
“But when the officer said a serious crime had been committed and Bruce McArthur had been arrested, I then knew it was serious,” she continued. “The officer was clearly upset so something big was happening. That was the first of many decisions, to have faith in the system. So we cooperated and left.”
n 2018, McArthur was accused of sexually assaulting, killing and dismembering men he met in Toronto’s Gay Village district.
His case is the subject of a new true-crime documentary titled “Catching a Serial Killer: Bruce McArthur,” part of Oxygen channel’s “Serial Killer Week.” It features interviews with investigators, as well as Fraser.
At the time of the arrest, the 69-year-old was storing his landscaping equipment at Fraser’s home in exchange for mowing her lawn and taking care of the yard. Fraser was horrified to learn that the quiet, mild-mannered family man, landscaper and mall Santa was responsible for such heinous crimes.
“Someone is innocent until proven guilty,” she explained. “Just because the police believed he was guilty, didn’t make him guilty. I defended him for a while. That’s when the detective just said to me one night, ‘Karen, don’t waste your sympathy on that man. We’ve never had as much evidence against someone as we have against him. Don’t waste your good feelings on that man.’ And that was it.”
Fraser met McArthur over a decade ago through his sister, whom she befriended. At the time, McArthur had just launched a landscaping company and needed a place to keep his equipment. Fraser, who has a double garage, decided to make an arrangement with him in exchange for freshly cut grass.
“I thought I had made the best deal ever,” she admitted. “He was very efficient and liked his job. He was very talented at it. He was very pleasant and spoke about his children fondly. He was also an excellent grandfather. He was just a nice man who seemed very happy with the choices he made in life.”
At one point, Fraser said there were rumors of gay men disappearing from the Village. She even saw flyers posted up of missing men. However, she never suspected McArthur could possibly be involved.
“I never once saw him lose his temper with anyone,” she said. “He was considerate, generous and cheerful.”
She recalled meeting Skandaraj Navaratnam, a 40-year-old who moved to Canada from Sri Lanka in the ‘90s as a refugee.
“Bruce always had people helping him,” she said. “So I didn’t think much of it. But I remember Skandaraj being very charming. He attracted your attention right away. Fabulous smile. He was well dressed and always laughing. I never saw him again.”
Navaratnam disappeared in September 2010, the BBC reported.
Fraser also remembered encountering Majeed Kayhan. According to the BBC, the 58-year-old was an Afghan immigrant who had a wife and children, but also frequented the Village and kept an apartment in the area.
“I felt really sorry for him,” she said. “He was trying to work but he was poorly dressed. My impression was that he never touched a shovel before in his life. He clearly didn’t want to do it. I remember Bruce was just annoyed with him. About three weeks later, I emailed Bruce and asked if he kept his job. I never got a response.”
Kayhan’s son reported him missing in the fall of 2012, the BBC noted.
Fraser would later learn that the men were two of eight victims McArthur killed. The remains of seven men were found in large planters at her home. The remains of the eighth man were found in a ravine behind the same property.