Professor Jooyoung Lee was recently featured as a commentator in the new true-crime documentary “Catching A Serial Killer: Bruce McArthur”. Bruce McArthur is known as one of Toronto’s most infamous serial killers who preyed on gay men. Professor Lee explains that McArthur didn’t fit into the stereotypical image of a serial killer. Using his lifestyle as a facade, he presented himself as an unsuspicious, “average Canadian guy”. This helped him get away with his crimes for a decade. He also observes that there is often less attention paid to crimes against victims from marginalized communities. Professor Lee hopes that the main takeaway from McArthur’s case is that “not everybody is protected equally by the law”.
Professor Jooyoung Lee is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto and a faculty member in the Centre for the Study of the United States. His research deals with gun violence and its impact on young Black men in different contexts. In his latest work, he examines how murder transforms families and communities, how we can use videos to enhance research on interaction, and youth experiences with guns in Toronto.
The true-crime documentary “Catching A Serial Killer: Bruce McArthur” debuted on the Oxygen Network and Superchannel on April 30th. You can watch it here. We’ve also included an excerpt of the article below. You can read the full article here.
Understanding that not all criminals have the same red flags is something Lee teaches in his classes. He says, “The average serial killer in the movies is portrayed as this monster, somebody who gives the impression that they are evil and sinister. You can tell from the moment you see them on the screen that they’re the villain. But that’s a caricature that Hollywood relies on. In reality, a lot of serial killers are just like McArthur. They’re the person that nobody suspects, who blends in, who has an idyllic prototypical life, who has a family, who participates in community groups or their local church. McArthur was a person who wore a mask and had figured out that presenting himself as the average Canadian guy was a way for him to get away with what he was doing.”