Video shows Toronto police interviewing serial killer Bruce McArthur in 2016 and letting him go

WARNING: This story contains details that some readers may find graphic and disturbing.

A recently released video shows the first time Toronto police interviewed serial killer Bruce McArthur in 2016 over assault charges, years before he was convicted of murdering eight men.

The video, which had not yet been released to the public, was shown during a disciplinary hearing for Toronto police Sgt. Paul Gauthier, who was the officer who interrogated McArthur at the time and let him go. The video was sealed by the courts but was released to media outlets arguing for its release.

In the recent public video, McArthur Gauthier told that he met the victim who alleged assault on Tim Hortons at Bathurst Street and Finch Avenue West.

He said the two planned to have sex and that the victim suggested going to the back of his truck, though they ended up going to the back of McArthur’s van instead because there was more space.

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McArthur said he and the victim started kissing and that the victim wanted McArthur to squeeze his genitals “as hard as (he) could.”

“He got excited about it, so I thought, ‘OK, he likes it rough,’ so I put my hand to his neck,” McArthur told Gauthier in 2016.

“Just for a few seconds, because before that – he’s very strong – he just turned around completely and grabbed me by the throat.”

McArthur said the victim had him by the neck to the point where he “could not breathe” before McArthur lifted his hands in the air and the victim released his grip. McArthur then said the victim jumped out of the van.

“He said, ‘I do not want to see you again,'” he added. “I thought he got in his car to go because he started the car and it was driving. I could hear it driving because it was parked right next to me. The next thing I heard him say was 911.

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McArthur said he and the victim both got out of their vehicles and that the victim took McArthur’s license plate down. McArthur then got into his car and drove off.

He said he wanted to give police his side of the story, so he drove to Toronto police station on Eglinton Avenue.

In the video, McArthur Gauthier said he had known the victim for maybe two or three years and that he saw him every two to three months.

When Gauthier asked McArthur if sexual interactions had ever been violent before, he replied “no”. McArthur also told Gauthier that he was not injured from the incident and that he also did not believe the victim would have been injured.

McArthur said he had sex with the victim “several times” and that they previously “never had a problem” before the interview with Gauthier ended.

In 2019, the victim told Global News that he “knew” that McArthur would kill him.

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In the interview with Global News, the victim said McArthur was waiting for him in the parking lot of his apartment building when he returned home from work. He said he told McArthur that he was tired, hungry and needed to take a shower.

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“I said, ‘Let’s go upstairs,'” the victim told Global News in 2019. “He does not want to go upstairs. He wants to get out of the van. He wants to be in the van. He was very insistent on that.”

The victim said McArthur asked him to get in the car and lie down to have sex. After about a minute of kissing, the victim said McArthur asked him to put his left arm over his head before the victim was pinned by McArthur and unable to escape.

After about four minutes, the victim said he was able to break away from the underside of McArthur and get out of the van.

“When he released my neck, it was the sweetest fresh breath I’ve ever had,” the victim told Global News in 2019.

He said he got out of McArthur’s van and said he called police before McArthur drove off.

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Gauthier, the officer who questioned McArthur in 2016, was initially charged with insubordination and negligence in relation to his handling of a complaint from a man who claimed McArthur was trying to strangle him. The officer was later found not guilty.

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A hearing released in 2019 claimed that Gauthier did not record a video statement from the complainant or photograph his injuries within 72 hours, which is a requirement of the Toronto Police Service’s policy of investigating domestic violence.

Earlier in 2019, McArthur pleaded guilty to eight counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of men affiliated with Toronto’s Church-Wellesley neighborhood.

He was arrested in January 2018 and an internal investigation related to the case began shortly after.

– with files from Nick Westoll and The Canadian Press

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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