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Toronto Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur may have been harbouring ‘underlying resentments’: report

Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur didn’t acknowledge his sexual orientation until his 40s and may have been harbouring “underlying resentments,” according to a psychological report after his one previous criminal conviction.

However, the report, which was conducted in 2003 after Mr. McArthur pleaded guilty to assaulting another Toronto gay man with a metal pipe, concluded that his risk for violence was “very minimal.”

Another assessment, a presentencing report, also reached a positive conclusion. “The subject upholds a pro-social attitude and is willing to undertake correctional intervention,” it said.

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The two documents were released on Wednesday following a media court application.

Based on the two reports, Mr. McArthur received a conditional sentence for the 2001 assault.

The 66-year-old was arrested again last January and charged with the first-degree murders of eight men with ties to Toronto’s Gay Village.

When he was sentenced for the 2001 assault, he had apologized for the unprovoked attack.

“We are not alleging a worst-case scenario where Mr. McArthur was roaming the streets as a violent predator,” Crown attorney Michael Leshner told the court in 2003.

The assault took place on Oct. 31, 2001, when Mr. McArthur was in the apartment of a male sex trade worker.

Mr. McArthur suddenly struck the victim several times with a metal pipe. He later went to police, saying he didn’t know why he attacked the man.

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The two reports say he had trouble accepting his sexual orientation when he was growing up on a farm in Ontario’s Kawartha Lakes region.

“He felt he could never please his father. Looking back, the subject questions whether this was due to his father sensing his homosexuality or lack of masculinity,” the presentencing report said.

It said he chose to ignore his attraction to other men and married a long-time friend with whom he had two children.

He separated from his wife in 1997, after he accepted his sexual orientation.

He consulted a psychiatrist and was prescribed Prozac, an anti-depressant. He also took an anti-seizure drug, Dilantin, because he had epilepsy. He told the psychologist that he passed out while in the victim’s home. When he regained consciousness, the other man was bleeding and holding his head.

The psychologist, Marie-France Dionne, found him articulate and coherent.

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“There is no trace of psychosis, no trace of hallucinations or delusions, no trace of mood disorder and no trace of any personality disorder or antisocial behavior,” she wrote.

She said, however, that he may harbour “underlying resentments.”

Using a common assessment tool, the HCR-20 rating, Ms. Dionne said that “we are confident to conclude that the risk for violence is minimal.”

Neither reports mention why Mr. McArthur was carrying a metal pipe.

“He apparently was concerned with issues of safety and security as a result of the subculture involving street hustlers,” Mr. Leshner said in court.

The reports also don’t mention that while the assault case was still before the courts, in December, 2002, Mr. McArthur registered with Recon, an online dating app that bills itself as being for “gay men into leather, rubber, BDSM and kink.”

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He described himself on Recon as seeking “submissive men of all ages.” He told potential partners that he was looking to “see how much you can take” and “push till you can’t take any more.”

The two reports noted that he remained on good terms with his wife and children and wanted to attend his daughter’s wedding.

“I’m sure you will get some help and carry on and enjoy your life and enjoy getting arrangements for your daughter’s wedding,” the judge said after sentencing Mr. McArthur in 2003.

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