EXCLUSIVE: Karen Fraser had no idea what was going on when the police arrived at her home and said she had five minutes to leave.
“Half of me was pulling back and watching in horror,” she told Fox News. “The other half was trying to think clearly. They did not have a search warrant and I was fully aware of it. I really didn’t have to pay attention to it if I didn’t want to. “
“But when the officer said a serious crime had been committed and Bruce McArthur had been arrested, then I knew it was serious,” she continued. “The officer was clearly upset, so something big was happening. It was the first of many decisions to trust the system. So we cooperated and left. “
In 2018, McArthur was charged with sexually assaulting, killing and dismembering men he had met in Toronto’s Gay Village neighborhood.
MURDER OF MICHAEL JORDAN’S FATHER EXAMINED IN NEW DOC, RAISING QUESTIONS ABOUT CHOCKING INQUIRY
His case is the subject of a new real crime documentary titled “Catching a Serial Killer: Bruce McArthur,” which is part of Oxygen’s “Serial Killer Week.” It features interviews with investigators, as well as with Fraser.
At the time of the arrest, the 69-year-old was storing his landscaping equipment at Fraser’s in exchange for mowing his lawn and maintaining the yard. Fraser was horrified to learn that the quiet, gentle-mannered family man, landscaper and mall was responsible for such heinous crimes.
“Someone is innocent until proven guilty,” she explained. “Just because the police believed he was guilty, didn’t convict him. I defended him for a while. That’s when the detective said to me one evening, ‘Karen, don’t waste your sympathy for this man. We ‘I’ve never had as much evidence against someone as we have against him. Don’t waste your good feelings on this man. And that was it. “
JOHN WAYNE GACY LOVED “THE POWER OF DEATH,” RETIRED DETECTIVE REVEALS IN DOC: “HE MAKES HIM FEEL LIKE GOD”
Fraser met McArthur over a decade ago through his sister, with whom she befriended. At the time, McArthur had just started a landscaping business and needed a place to keep his equipment. Fraser, who has a double garage, decided to make an arrangement with him in exchange for fresh cut grass.
“I thought I got the best deal of my life,” she admitted. “He was very efficient and loved his job. He was very good at it. He was very pleasant and spoke fondly of his children. He was also an excellent grandfather. He was just a nice man who seemed very happy with the choices he was making. in life. “
At one point, Fraser said there were rumors that gay men were disappearing from the village. She even saw flyers posted from missing men. However, she never suspected McArthur of being involved.
JOHN WALSH’S SON CALLAHAN EXPLAINS HOW THE MURDER OF HIS BROTHER ADAM DETERMINED HIM TO CATCH THE “BAD GUYS”
“I’ve never seen him lose his temper with anyone,” she said. “He was caring, generous and cheerful. “
She remembers meeting Skandaraj Navaratnam, a 40-year-old man who moved from Sri Lanka to Canada in the 1990s as a refugee.
“Bruce has always had people helping him,” she says. “So I didn’t think much about it. But I remember Skandaraj was very charming. He immediately caught your attention. Fabulous smile. He was well dressed and was still laughing. I never saw him again. “
Navaratnam disappeared in September 2010, the BBC reported.
JODI ARIAS APPEARED “FRIENDLY” AFTER THE BRUTAL MURDER OF TRAVIS ALEXANDER, REMORSE EXPRESSED FOR HIS DEATH: DOC
Fraser also remembers meeting Majeed Kayhan. According to the BBC, the 58-year-old man was an immigrant from Afghanistan who had a wife and children, but also frequented the village and ran an apartment in the neighborhood.
“I felt really sorry for him,” she said. “He was trying to work but he was poorly dressed. My impression was that he had never touched a shovel before in his life. He clearly didn’t want to do it. I remember Bruce was just mad at him. About three weeks later, I emailed Bruce and asked if he had kept his job. I never received a response. “
Kayhan’s son reported missing in the fall of 2012, the BBC noted.
Fraser would later learn that the men were two of the eight victims Fraser killed. The remains of seven men were found in large planters at her home. The remains of the eighth man were found in a ravine behind the same property.
VIRGINIA’s horrific murders in COLONIAL PARKS CAN STILL BE SOLVED DECADES LATER WITH NEW LEADS, DOC REVEALS
“Majeed was found about five feet from where I saw him leaning on the shovel,” Fraser said.
Fraser noted the discovery of the body parts that haunted her.
“On a hot day, if we saw the flowers drop a bit, my partner and I would water them,” she said. “So we watered the planters where the victims were buried. I can’t give you words to describe how horrible it was. And cruel. It’s just all the negative words you can find. Sometimes your mind is just overwhelmed by it. all. “
“But]we lived about a six-minute drive from Bruce’s apartment,” she continued. “We were practical. He had other guests nearby, but our property is at the edge of the valley. It’s very quiet and he could do whatever he wanted. And most of the time, no one noticed it. So that was a perfect setup for him. I guess he was very careful and meticulous. “
PETER NYGARD ACCUSER EXPLAINS WHY SHE SPEAKS IN SHOCK NEW DOCUMENT: “I HAVE NEVER BEEN QUIET ABOUT THIS”
In 2019, McArthur pleaded guilty to eight counts of first degree murder. Prosecutor Michael Cantlon said the cases ranging from 2010 to 2017 involved sexual assault or forcible confinement. Several of the victims were apparently strangled.
Most of the victims were of Middle Eastern or South Asian origin and lived on the margins of Canadian society. Their disappearances initially attracted little attention.
Members of the LGBTQ community have long voiced concerns about a serial killer and lobbied for answers in light of the disappearances. A first police task force in 2012 did not lead to an arrest.
JONBENET RAMSEY’S HALF-BROTHER STILL WANTS TO FIND HIS KILLER: “THIS CASE CAN BE RESOLVED”
It wasn’t until the 2017 disappearance of Andrew Kinsman, a 49-year-old LGBTQ activist and former bartender, that immediately gained attention. He had a lot of friends and they soon noticed he was missing. The police too.
Kinsman was last seen on surveillance video entering McArthur’s van. His DNA was later found inside, as was the ligature that was said to have been used to strangle him.
McArthur has since been charged with the deaths of Kinsman, Kayhan, Navaratnam, as well as Dean Lisowick, Soroush Mahmudi, Abdulbasir Faizi Kirushna Kanagaratnam and Selim Esen.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Fraser hopes the documentary will alert viewers to be aware of their surroundings and the people they meet.
“We have to be aware of each other,” she said. “It was a terrible thing for so many people. One of the police officers told me that he had never seen a case that came out this far, becoming a ripple effect that hurt so many people. “
The Associated Press contributed to this report.