Santa Claus The Serial Killer

Genre: Crime & Investigation, Spring 22

Duration: 3 x 60’

Year of Production: 2022

Production Company: Forest

Commissioned By: BBC Three, UK

Definition: HD

A city taken to task over a notorious case

In 2018, a shocking discovery was made in the garden of a quaint house in Toronto, Canada. 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? Bruce McArthur, a gardener and shopping mall Santa Claus. He 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.

Now, Mobeen Azhar, a British, RTS Award-winning journalist, visits Toronto to investigate why McArthur’s killing spree went unchecked for seven years and to uncover the real story behind this notorious murder case. It’s a very personal quest for Azhar, and as he reveals new information about policing, the immigrant experience and how communities take care of each other, he discovers that this story is not only about a violent serial killer but also involves themes of race, culture, faith, and sexuality.