A Toronto homeowner who hired Bruce McArthur to do landscaping work over a period of 10 years says she will never forgive him for hiding the remains of his victims on her property.
“I’m not big on forgiveness and I’m not big on closure. Terrible things were done,” Karen Fraser told reporters outside the 361 University courthouse on Tuesday, following McArthur’s guilty plea on eight charges of first-degree murder.
“The way I’m trying to look at it, the man I knew actually didn’t exist. This is someone else entirely.”
Fraser said the man she knew, whom she labelled as “Bruce A,” was much different than the convicted serial killer, “Bruce B.”
“Bruce A was a man who seems to have made decisions about his life and was happy with it. He enjoyed his job. He enjoyed his clients, never got bored with the plants,” she said.
“He was very talented at it. He was very fond of his children. He was a great grandfather. He was the best friend, neighbour, relative that anyone could want. Bruce B? Who is that? I don’t know. Well, I’m told he’s not mentally ill, but to me he’s evil.”
Police discovered the remains of seven men in large planters at 53 Mallory Cres. in early 2018. The remains of an eighth were found in a ravine behind the property. Fraser said she met two of McArthur’s victims.
“The second man was very lost, obviously not adapting to Canada very quickly. Difficulty finding his way. The other man was very at ease with his new life and pleasant,” she said.
“Bruce McArthur brought them to my property. I never knew if he was bringing friends to see what he did for a living or because they were visiting, and that was true for some. And others did work for him and that’s why they were there.”
VIDEO: Toronto police provides update after accused serial killer Bruce McArthur pleads guilty to murders
The victims have been identified as Majeed Kayhan, Selim Esen, Skandaraj Navaratnam, Andrew Kinsman, Dean Lisowick, Soroush Mahmudi, Abdulbasir Faizi and Kirushna Kanagaratnam. Police said the men went missing between 2010 and 2017.
Fraser and her partner Ron Smith had to vacate their home of nearly 33 years for months in order for police to complete their investigation.
A tribute was held at the couple’s Leaside property last week to mark one year since the arrest of McArthur.
“Of course we feel violated. It’s our home. Talk about abuse of friendship,” Fraser said.
“Just thinking about the last moments of those men. It comes to me quite often. Particularly the two I met. I am haunted by that.”
Fraser said she will provide a victim impact statement during McArthur’s next court appearance next week.
“I’m trying not to be trivial. If I’m a victim, I’m at the bottom of the list,” she said.
“But it’s supposed to be my impact so I will talk about the things that bothered me even though they were small. It was my life. It was my partner’s life.”
VIDEO: Bruce McArthur pleads guilty to eight counts of first-degree murder