Santa Claus: The Serial Killer

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Sociopolitical Documentary hosted by Mobeen Azhar, published by BBC in 2022 - English narration

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Image: Santa-Claus-The-Serial-Killer-Cover.jpg

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A shopping mall Santa targeted and terrorised Toronto's gay village - murdering eight men in a seven-year killing spree. Why wasn't he stopped sooner? Mobeen Azhar investigates.

[edit] Chapter 1: Missing from the Village

It was the summer of 2017, just one day after Toronto's annual Pride parade, and a dark shadow fell over the city's gay area. As the street parties faded away, one man had vanished. His name was Andrew Kinsman.

Mobeen looks into what happened and finds that Andrew was a popular guy in the area who was known to keep a regular schedule. Andrew's friends organised search parties, but it gradually became clear his face was not the only one on missing person posters across the village. There was another man.

Mobeen meets the detective who led the police's hunt for answers. They initially struggled for leads, but finally they had an unlikely breakthrough. A clue left by Andrew himself. When the suspect gets exposed, it sends shockwaves through the tight-knit community.

[edit] Chapter 2: Bodies in the Garden

On a wintery morning in 2018, police made a chilling discovery. Nestled in the garden of a quaint house in deep suburbia were answers to the mysterious cases of men that had gone missing in the city.

Mobeen heads to what became an unprecedented crime scene and is granted access to this crucial location by the homeowners. They are still dealing with the aftermath of police knocking on their door looking for bodies.

The case of this prolific serial killer never went to full trial, and Mobeen, like a lot of people in the city, has unanswered questions. Why did Bruce McArthur, a shopping mall Santa Claus, choose a couple's garden as his burial site? After he's confronted by the traumatic end to the victims' lives, Mobeen takes his investigation back to the start. What made McArthur single out these men? Two sources linked to the village suggest the killer might have been targeting strangers. Mobeen tracks down friends of the first-known victim, Skandaraj Navaratnam, who was murdered back in 2010.

[edit] Chapter 3: Secrets

A married father of two from a neighbourhood on the outskirts of Toronto leaves for work one day and never returns. The mystery deepens when his car is found on the other side of the city in a quiet neighbourhood. There are no answers and two years later, another man disappears. Both missing men were originally from Afghanistan and like the first victim, Skanda, they were also brown-skinned.

Mobeen investigates what led serial killer and shopping mall Santa Claus Bruce McArthur to target these men, tracking down an out-of-town retired cop who provides a disturbing insight into the missing person investigation related to one of these men years earlier.

[edit] Chapter 4: A History of Violence

Mobeen meets the cop who led the original investigation into the first three missing men, but it's a revelation about a separate assault involving the serial killer that takes his hunt for answers in a different direction.

Mobeen talks to a man who says he accused the killer, Bruce McArthur, a shopping mall Santa Claus, of assault years before his arrest for eight murders, and he has the video evidence to prove it. And, as Mobeen continues to dig further into McArthur's past, it's a chilling revelation that raises questions about the killer's ability to manipulate the authorities.

[edit] Chapter 5: Digging Deeper

Two victims appear to break the mould of Bruce McArthur's killing spree. Mobeen looks at what made McArthur target a happily married man who lived outside the city. It was a week after Soroush Mahmudi went missing that his disappearance was reported to police. Like the men before, he was brown-skinned, but this time, police stated there was no indication that he had links to the gay village.

Mobeen digs deeper to see what made McArthur, a shopping mall Santa Claus, change his MO. And it's not the only strange turn in the case. A few months after Soroush disappeared, McArthur targeted his first-known white victim.

[edit] Chapter 6: Who Is John?

Mobeen nears the end of his investigation into the story behind eight men murdered by serial killer and shopping mall Santa Claus Bruce McArthur, he explores whether there could be more victims.

One man who spent an evening with McArthur says police found an eerie photo of him on the killer's computer. McArthur logged his victims by individual folders, but there were more folders than men found in the suburban garden.

Mobeen speaks to the sister of a man who remains missing. It was years before that her brother vanished, leaving nothing but a note. Initially, she saw no links between her brother and McArthur. That was until she heard specific details about the serial killer's life.

In his search for answers about this missing man, Mobeen goes back to the house where the bodies were buried. The homeowners have dug out something to show him: an old audio recording of Bruce McArthur speaking, years before. What he says leaves Mobeen feeling cold.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: x265 CABAC Main@L4
  • Video Bitrate: CRF 23 (~1135Kbps)
  • Video Resolution: 1920x1080
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Frame Rate: 25 FPS
  • Audio Codec: AAC-LC
  • Audio Bitrate: 128Kbps CVBR 48KHz (195Kbps peak)
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Run-Time: 6 x 29 min
  • Number Of Parts: 1 (6 chapters)
  • Part Size: 1.53 GB
  • Source: HDTV (1080i/h264 3400Kbps VBR 4.88GB)
  • Encoded by: JungleBoy

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