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Vigil to be held for 8 victims of Bruce McArthur on Sunday

A vigil at a Toronto church gave people an opportunity to mourn and grieve the deaths of the eight men killed by Bruce McArthur. As Erica Vella reports, many people who attended the vigil say they feel a sense of healing coming to a space to be with others who are also hurt by the loss.

A vigil will be held on Sunday for family, friends and community members to grieve the lives of eight men killed by Bruce McArthur after his sentencing hearing wrapped on Friday.

The vigil will be held at the Metropolitan Community Church Toronto at 7 p.m., and it will be led by Rev. Deana Dudley and Rev. Jeff Rock.

“We are offering this Sunday evening at our vigil for a grieving community to be able to come together to mourn the friends and family that we’ve lost,” said Dudley.

“[It’s] to remember and honour the men who were killed as the wonderful individuals that they were and not simply as murder victims.”
A vigil will be held at MCC Toronto on Sunday for the victims of Bruce McArthur.
A vigil will be held at MCC Toronto on Sunday for the victims of Bruce McArthur. Erica Vella/Global News

On Friday, an Ontario judge sentenced serial killer Bruce McArthur to serve life in prison and ordered that McArthur not be eligible for parole for 25 years.

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READ MORE: Serial killer Bruce McArthur receives life sentence, no parole eligibility for 25 years

Justice John McMahon sentenced McArthur to life in prison for each of the eight counts. He said McArthur won’t have consecutive periods of parole ineligibility.

Last week, McArthur, a 67-year-old, self-employed gardener, pleaded guilty to eight counts of first-degree murder. Most of the killings, which happened between 2010 and 2017, were described as being “sexual in nature.”

In a statement, Karen Coles, the sister of Andrew Kinsman, told Global News, “We would like to say thank you to everyone on behalf of the Kinsman family. Thank you to Andrew’s friends, the media, the police and the Crown.

“The police worked tirelessly and under much criticism to catch the killer. [Bruce McArthur] was caught because Andrew left a note. Andrew’s death saved many more lives, he is a hero to our family.”

Rev. Dudley spoke in the courtroom, sharing a victim impact statement on behalf of the LGBTQ community.

“There is grief. There is anger. There is immense sadness about all of this,“ she said.

“People continued to be traumatized just by watching that process… It’s the case that just won’t go away.”

READ MORE: Neither Bruce McArthur or Alexandre Bissonnette were served consecutive sentences — here’s why

Reflections and prayers will be read and leaders from other faith groups will be participating during the vigil. Monetary donations will be given to the Alliance for South Asians AIDS Prevention.

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“We offer a safe space for people to come and talk about it and be with other people to know that we are a community,” Dudley said.

“This is never going away but I’m hoping this will be the beginning of the end and the beginning of healing.”

WATCH: Vigil to be held for 8 victims of Bruce McArthur on Sunday

Vigil to be held for 8 victims of Bruce McArthur on Sunday
Vigil to be held for 8 victims of Bruce McArthur on Sunday

– With Files from Nick Westoll.

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