The Santa Claus Killer

North of border, a grisly story of mass murder is unfolding.  In Toronto, police and shaken residents are dealing with an apparent serial killer who roamed in their midst, an apparently pleasant gardener, landscaper, and flower arranger by day and a violent, allegedly homicidal sadist by night.

15267796_10154189330693528_3900810531768579684_n-e1516319633635The accused, Bruce McArthur, has been charged with the murders of five men.  Police are investigating properties where McArthur evidently buried the dismembered remains of his victims in the planters, lawns, and gardens he tended for unsuspecting clients — a story line that is similar to the plot of Stephen King’s short story The Lawnmower Man.  Police believe that McArthur roamed the gay district in Toronto, looking for submissive men who would help him act out violent sexual fantasies — fantasies that apparently sometimes ended in grisly death.  There is growing concern, too, that the investigation will uncover many more victims.

And by the way, McArthur also once served as the Santa Claus at a Toronto-area mall.  I wonder if the parents who learn of that creepy fact will ever put their kids on the lap of a mall Santa again?

As seems to so often be the case, his neighbors and his clients describe McArthur as a jovial, helpful person who liked to bake and design flower arrangements.  They didn’t suspect his apparent double life or dark side.  It really makes you wonder how many murderous people are out there in the world, acting out their disturbed impulses — and also makes you feel lucky that you haven’t encountered them at the wrong time on a darkened street.

 

Customized

Kish and I learned a valuable lesson today.  If you are traveling to Canada and can’t get a direct flight — which is the standard reality if you are flying from Columbus — make sure your transfer is in the U.S.

IMG_20140618_135754Why?  Because if you have to go through Customs as part of the transfer, forget it.  We’re on our way to Montreal through Toronto, and we encountered (1) a walk of at least three miles from plane to Customs and then to security, (2) a misdirection by airport officials that sent us to an even longer security line, (3) a security team even less motivated tO move people through with lightning speed than the TSA, and (4) a hyper-efficient flight crew that gave away our seats and closed the doors even though we arrived at the gate 10 minutes before departure time.

Fortunately,  there are frequent flights from Toronto to Montreal, and we’re on a 3 o’clock flight.  So, for now, we’re cooling our heels in the Great White North.  Hey look!  They’ve got Canadian t-shirts!