An Analysis of the Bruce McArthur Case: the Criminal Mind

The Bruce McArthur case is a very complex and ongoing case that is growing more and more out of control. Bruce McArthur was a retired landscaper that was charged with seven counts of first degree murder, when he allegedly murdered 7 middle-aged homosexual men in Toronto. This might even pile up to more murder charges since police have announced they will be re-opening 15 past investigations dating all the way back to the 1970’s,when between 1975 and 1997 14 homosexual men were brutally murdered in toronto,in which half those cases haven't been solved yet. as they might be connected to Bruce Mcarthur.

Even though there may not be any evidence for any past crimes,the police estimate that if this is true, Macarthur would have been in his 20s when he began his serial killer life-style. The police are still putting together clues and tips,combing through properties and working to identify remains in the investigation.

The reason behind MacArthur's actions are still not really understood, analyzing the serial killer and asking ourselves questions an anthropologist would ask may help us determine the causes. One question an anthropologist may ask is “Was the perpetrator raised in a religion where homosexuality was looked down upon?” This question revolves around anthropology since anthropology is the study of large groups over long periods of time and religions are a large group that has evolved over a long period of time so it falls into this area most definitely.

He may have been raised by his guardian or parent who practised a religion against homosexaulity and therefore emphasized it greatly or took it seriously and it may have rubbed off on MacArthur. Another question would be “What role does culture play in brutality against homosexuals?”. This question fits in the discipline since there is an evolutionary advantage for behaviour. Some cultures emphasize certain behaviors in different ways. Culture could have a big affet as in most religions, homosexuality is frowned upon, sometimes more severely in certain foreign third world countries. Another question could be “Do all humans naturally have a more violent side that they can tap into anytime they desire or is it by impulse and trigger?” This question fits into the discipline since it is an overall question about humans in general, in all places and throughout time. This may help us understand if it could have been out of his control as he was provoked by the components of the average human’s brain chemistry or if it was more of a deep personal desire he wished to carry out. A research method to investigate from an anthropological perspective is to use qualitative methods such as interviews. Interviews involve asking someone about their experiences and feelings.

An example could specifically be a structured interview in which the same specific questions are asked every time. I would conduct a structured interview getting a fixed number of participants each from various religions to ask questions about what their religion beliefs are in the subject of homosexuality and where they personally stand in this subject. I would record their thoughts feelings and reactions. From a psychologists perspective, a question that might be asked is “ Was McArthur abused in his past childhood for not being accepted as a homosexual ?” This fits into this dipline because psychology is the study of small groups and individuals over short periods of time the question is being asked in regards to this individual’s behaviour that is being shaped by their prior experiences and upbringing. This would help determine what lead him to this violent point in his life. Another question could be, “Was he born with any mental illnesses?” This fits into this discipline since it has to do with his behavior as an individual, and his possible mental illnesses that made him lack comprehension of the terrible crimes he committed. On either possible question a psychologist might ask is “ Was he sober or impaired during the times he committed these acts?” This fits in with the discipline since it is something that has affected him solely and his actions of what he was doing to himself that led to the harm of others, either purposely or unintentionally as he was left satisfied by his actions.

A research method to investigate at a psychological perspective is by using quantitative measures such as surveys. A survey asks a large group of people to give limited choice answers to identical questions in order to test a hypothesis. I would conduct a survey asking openly middle-aged homosexual men to answer questions about the experience of their childhood was such as asking them how accepting was their families and friends or others when they revealed their sexuality to them answered through a limited choice of 5 possible answers per question ranging from “not at all” to “very much”.

A sociologist may look at this case, and ask questions such as “What is the percentage of men acting in violence in contrast to women acting in violence?” This fits into the discipline since sociology looks at understanding an event by comparing it to the groups, norms, and institutions of society. It helps us understand something by comparing statistics to what the average is of specific groups of people. Another question a sociologist might as is,“What is the percentage of serial killers that grow up in abusive households vs serial killers that are born with mental illnesses and psychotic tendencies?”. This fits in with sociology since it is comparing the average statistics of two large groups of people to see which one McArthur might belong to which could help explain the actions behind his motives. One other question a sociologist may ask is, “Are most hate crimes against homosexuals caused by the people in denial or close history with homsexuality?”. This fits in with this discipline since it tries to generalize objective results from a large standardized sample to the general population, this helps find a pattern of hate crimes against homosexuals from statistics to see reasons behind McArthur’s behaviour.

A research method to investigate from a sociological point of view is from the use of quantitative measures such as observations. Observations allow researchers to collect data by systematically observing how participants act in a given situation. I would conduct a structured observation by putting both men and women through the same experiences designed to bring on frustration to see how men act in these situations in comparison to how women act.

03 December 2019
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