Robert James, an associate of Bruce McArthur, the Canadian landscaper accused of murdering at least six men in Toronto’s Gay Village, has revealed details about McArthur’s temper, reputation and homophobia that paint a portrait of an angry man who felt alienated from the gay community and his own son.
James told the Toronto Sun that he met McArthur in the Gay Village’s restaurants and bars.
“I thought he was a friendly guy,” James said. “He was a bear, but when people saw me talking to him they later told me he was a little off and they told me to be careful.”
According to James, McArthur “had a terrible temper” and said he was once kicked out of the Second Cup coffeehouse. James said that McArthur told him, “I was doing something I wasn’t supposed to and I was asked to leave.” Afterwards, James said, McArthur became enraged and used his arm to sweep a bunch of glasses from the counter onto the floor.
James also said that McArthur liked attending bear events at the Black Eagle, a popular leather bar. McArthur reportedly had a reputation for liking bondage, sadism and rough sex.
“Bruce liked to play the master role, he told me so,” James said, adding, “Everything he was into was freaky.”
A man who had previously gone on a quasi-date with McArthur claimed that McArthur tried to force him into giving oral sex by forcibly grabbing his neck. McArthur was also charged in 2001 with beating a male sex worker with a metal pipe.
James claimed that McArthur once asked him out, and when James refused, “He started freaking out. ‘Why don’t you like me?’ he said and turned red and became more and more upset. I told him I didn’t want coffee and had heard disturbing stories about him.”
James continued. “He said, ‘I’m tired of these fucking faggots telling stories about me! Why do they hate me so much?’ It was clear he had anger issues. Then he screamed at me: ‘You’re just like the rest of them, you think I’m crazy.'”
McArthur also had an embittered relationship with his son Todd who didn’t accept McArthur’s homosexuality.