British journalist Mobeen Azhar travels to Toronto, Canada, to explore the case of a serial killer which has thrown themes of race, faith, culture and sexuality into sharp focus.
It was nearly three years ago, when a shocking discovery was made in the back garden of a quaint house in suburban Toronto. Hidden within plant pots were the body parts of seven men. An eighth man was found buried close by.
The person responsible for these murders? The unsuspecting gardener: Bruce McArthur.
McArthur, who was also a shopping mall Santa Claus, confessed to eight counts of murder in and around the Gay Village district of Toronto. His guilty plea, which saw him given eight concurrent life sentences, meant that he avoided a lengthy trial leaving many questions unanswered.
During his seven year killing spree, people in Toronto's gay village wondered if a serial killer was on the loose. When McArthur was finally arrested in 2018 many asked why it took so long? Raising important questions about how marginalised people are treated by authorities, and by those within their own communities, this is a story that has relevance way beyond Canada.
Mobeen Azhar, who won an RTS Award for his previous series, Hometown: A Killing, heads to Toronto to spend time with local communities to find out more in a very personal quest to uncover the real story behind this notorious murder case.
Mobeen says: "I set off to Toronto to try to understand how and why so many men lost their lives but what quickly became clear was that this was not just a story about a serial killer but about policing, the immigrant experience and how our communities take care of each other. "
Santa Claus the Serial Killer (w/t), a 6x30' series, is produced by Forest for BBC Three and iPlayer.