Apr 14, 2021
By Andy Johnson
Toronto Police Chief James Ramer is promising to act on all the shortcomings identified in a review of the Service’s handling of missing person’s in Toronto’s gay village and specifically the actions of serial killer Bruce McArthur.
Retired Ontario Court of Appeal Justice Gloria Epstein was asked to conduct the review in 2018 amid public criticism that police had not done enough in response to a number of missing person reports in the Village. The probe wasn’t initially supposed to include McArthur’s case because it was before the courts at the time. The scope was later widened after McArthur plead guilty to eight counts of first-degree murder.
In her report, Justice Epstein called McArthur’s killing spree “a seven year rein of terror” and concluded that police could have done better but some investigating officers had perceptions about the LGBTQ+2 that impeded their work.
Justice Epstein reviewed 80,000 pages of documents as part of her work and made a total of 151 recommendations on how to improve missing persons investigations in the future.