|Luka Rocco Magnotta|
|Born||Eric Clinton Kirk Newman
July 24, 1982
Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
|Other names||Vladimir Romanov
Mattia Del Santo
Luka Rocco Magnotta (born Eric Clinton Kirk Newman; July 24, 1982) is a Canadian pornographic actor and model accused of killing and dismembering Lin Jun, a Chinese international student, then mailing his severed limbs to political parties and elementary schools. After a video allegedly depicting the murder was posted online, Magnotta fled the country, becoming the subject of an Interpol Red Notice and prompting an international manhunt. He was apprehended at an Internet café in Berlin while reading news about himself.
Eric Clinton Kirk Newman was born on July 24, 1982 in Scarborough, Ontario. He attended I. E. Weldon Secondary School in Lindsay. He legally changed his name to Luka Rocco Magnotta on August 12, 2006.
In 2003, he began to appear in gay pornographic videos, occasionally working as a stripper and a male escort. He appeared as a pin-up model in a 2005 issue of Toronto's fab magazine using the pseudonym "Jimmy". In 2007, he was an unsuccessful competitor in OUTtv's reality series COVERguy. Magnotta had multiple cosmetic surgeries and auditioned for Slice network show Plastic Makes Perfect in February 2008.
In 2005, he was convicted of one count of impersonation and three counts of fraud (against Sears Canada, The Brick, and 2001 Audio Video) after impersonating a woman to apply for a credit card and purchasing over $10,000 worth of goods. He pleaded guilty and received a nine-month conditional sentence with 12 months of probation.
Rumors emerged in 2007 claiming Magnotta was in a relationship with Karla Homolka, a high-profile Canadian murderer, though he denied this in an interview with the Toronto Sun. During the murder investigation, Montreal police initially announced the pair had dated but subsequently retracted the statement and acknowledged that they had no evidence to corroborate the claim.
Many profiles on various internet social media and discussion forums were created over several years to plant false or unverified claims about Magnotta. Magnotta himself repeatedly dismissed such accounts as hoaxes and part of a campaign of cyber stalking against him. According to police, Magnotta set up at least 70 Facebook pages and 20 websites under different names.
Murder of Lin Jun
Lin Jun (Chinese: 林俊; pinyin: Lín Jùn) (30 December 1978 – May 2012) also known as Justin Lin, was an international student from Wuhan and an undergraduate in the engineering and computer science faculty at Concordia University. He worked part-time as a convenience store clerk in Pointe-Saint-Charles. Lin had been studying in Montreal since July 2011. Lin moved into a Griffintown-area apartment with a roommate on May 1. He was last seen on May 24, 2012 and his friends reported getting a text message from his phone at 9 PM. His boss became suspicious when he didn't show up for his shift the next day. Three of his friends went into his apartment on May 27. He was reported missing to police on May 29.
On May 25, 2012, an 11-minute video titled 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick was uploaded to Bestgore.com depicting a naked male tied to a bed frame being repeatedly stabbed with an ice pick and a kitchen knife, then dismembered, followed by acts of necrophilia. The perpetrator uses a knife and fork to cut off some of the flesh and gets a dog to chew on the body. During the video, the 1987 New Order song "True Faith" plays in the background, and a poster for the 1942 film Casablanca is visible on the wall. Canadian authorities were able to obtain a "more extensive" version of the video and confirmed that cannibalism may have been performed. Materials promoting the video appeared online at least 10 days before the murder took place.
On May 26, an attorney from Montana attempted to report the video to Toronto Police, his local Sheriff, and the FBI, but the report was dismissed by officials. Bestgore viewers also attempted to report the video. Police later confirmed it as authentic and identified the victim, an Asian male, as the same one whose body parts were sent to Ottawa.
At 11 AM on May 29, 2012, a package containing a left foot was delivered to the national headquarters of the Conservative Party of Canada. The package was stained with blood and had a foul smell. It was marked with a red heart symbol. Another package containing a left hand was intercepted in a Canada Post processing facility, addressed to the Liberal Party. A janitor discovered a decomposing torso inside a suitcase, left in a garbage pile in the alley behind an apartment building in the Snowdon area of Montreal. He first saw the suitcase on the 25th, but it was not picked up due to the large amount of garbage that day.
After searching the scene, police recovered human remains, bloody clothes, papers identifying the suspect, as well as "sharp and blunt objects" from the back alley. Footage from surveillance cameras inside the building showed a suspect bringing numerous garbage bags outside, and the images matched a suspect captured on video at the post office in Côte-des-Neiges.
At 23:33 EDT (03:33 UTC), police searched apartment 208, which Luka Rocco Magnotta was renting. He moved in four months prior, and his rent was paid up to June 1. The apartment had been mostly emptied before he left. Blood was found on different items including the mattress, the refrigerator, the table, and the bathtub. "If you don't like the reflection. Don't look in the mirror. I don't care." was written in red ink on the inside of a closet.
On May 30, 2012, it was confirmed that the body parts belonged to the same individual, later identified as Lin Jun. The suspect in the case was quickly identified as Magnotta, who had by then fled.
A note was found with the package sent to the Conservative Party, stating that a total of six body parts have been distributed and that the perpetrator would kill again. Notes were also included in the other three packages, but police declined to disclose their contents, citing concerns about possible copycats.
On June 5, 2012, a package containing a right foot was delivered to St. George's School and another package containing a right hand to False Creek Elementary School in Vancouver. Both schools opened as normal the following morning. It was confirmed that both packages were sent from Montreal.
On June 13, the four limbs and the torso were matched to Lin Jun using DNA samples from his family. On July 1, his head was recovered at the edge of a small lake in Montreal's Angrignon Park after police received an anonymous tip.
An arrest warrant for him was issued by the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM), later upgraded to a Canada-wide warrant by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), accusing him of the following crimes:
- First degree murder;
- Committing an indignity to a dead body;
- Publishing obscene material;
- Mailing obscene, indecent, immoral or scurrilous material; and
- Criminally harassing Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and several (unnamed) members of Parliament.
On May 31, 2012, Interpol issued a Red Notice for Magnotta at the request of Canadian authorities, and for several days before and after his arrest his name and photo were displayed prominently at the top of the homepage of the Interpol website. The Red Notice requested that Magnotta be provisionally arrested pending extradition back to Canada by any Interpol member state.
Magnotta flew from Montreal to Paris on May 26, using a false passport under the name Kirk Trammel. His cell phone signal was traced to a hotel in Bagnolet, but he had left by the time police arrived. Pornographic magazines and an air-sickness bag were found in the hotel room. He had contacts in Paris from a previous visit in 2010, and police were following a large-framed man who had been in contact with Magnotta. Another man he stayed with for two nights did not realize who he was until he had left. Magnotta then boarded a Eurolines bus at the Bagnolet coach station bound for Berlin, Germany.
On June 4, 2012, Magnotta was apprehended by Berlin Police at an Internet café in the Neukölln district while reading news stories about himself. He tried giving fake names before admitting who he was. His identity was confirmed through fingerprint evidence. Magnotta appeared in a Berlin court on June 5, 2012. According to German officials, he had not opposed his extradition. There was sufficient evidence to keep him in custody until extradition, and he agreed to a simplified process.
On June 18, 2012, Magnotta was delivered to Canadian authorities in Berlin and flown aboard a Royal Canadian Air Force CC-150 Polaris to Mirabel International Airport, north of Montreal. A military transport was necessary due to safety concerns with using a commercial flight and potential legal difficulties if the plane was diverted to another country. He was placed into solitary confinement at the Rivière-des-Prairies detention centre.
Reactions in China were highly critical, with some believing the murder was racially motivated. Some Chinese questioned public safety in Canada, as the killing was the second high-profile murder of a Chinese student there in slightly over a year. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird called Chinese ambassador Zhang Junsai to convey his condolences.
On June 4, 2012, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he was pleased that the suspect was arrested and congratulated the police forces on their good work in apprehending him. Interim Liberal Party leader Bob Rae said that Canadians should mourn the victim rather than "in any way, shape or form" celebrate Magnotta's notoriety.
Two days later, Lin Jun's family arrived at Trudeau Airport in Montreal. The Chinese Students and Scholars Association of Concordia University established a fund to defray expenses incurred by Lin's family while in Canada and an award was created in his honor. A candlelight vigil was held in Montreal.
On July 16, 2013, Edmonton police charged BestGore.com owner Mark Marek with "corrupting morals", a rarely used obscenity charge, for posting the 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick video online. He was bailed out on July 18, rearrested for breaching his release conditions (no Internet or cell phones) on July 26 and bailed out again on August 1. He is due back in court for September 12.
On June 19, Magnotta appeared in court by video link to plead not guilty to all charges through his lawyer. On June 21, Magnotta appeared in person at a high-security Montreal courtroom to request a trial by jury.
A preliminary hearing began on March 11, 2013. The evidence presented is subject to a publication ban. Magnotta's defence team requested the media and the public be barred entirely from the hearing; this was declined the next day. Lin Jun's father, Lin Diran, travelled from China to attend the hearing. On March 13, one of Magnotta's lawyers resigned, due to a possible conflict of interest. Expert witnesses testified, including a forensic pathologist, a forensic toxicologist, a forensic odontologist, a bloodstain analyst, data recovery specialists and an Internet investigations officer. The prosecution also displayed video evidence. Both Magnotta and Lin physically collapsed at separate times during the proceedings.
On April 12, 2013, Luka Magnotta was indicted on charges of first degree murder, offering indignities to a human body, distributing obscene materials, using the postal service to distribute obscene materials and criminal harassment.
Following committal for trial, the preliminary inquiry judge set a tentative trial for the fall of 2014 on April 29, 2013. Magnotta elected to be tried by judge and jury.
Investigation into other possible crimes
Magnotta is alleged to be the person behind a series of videos of animal cruelty involving cats which were posted to YouTube beginning in 2010, including one titled "1 boy 2 kittens" which showed a man deliberately suffocating two kittens with a vacuum cleaner. In January 2011, professional model and animal rights activist Sia Barbi joined a private Facebook group who had identified Magnotta as the person in these videos; subsequently animal rights activist groups offered a $5,000 reward for bringing him to justice. In February 2011, Toronto police began investigating Magnotta in connection with the videos after receiving a complaint from the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals The OSPCA also contacted the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in England, the FBI, and police in Montreal due to the suspect's extensive travels.
Alex West, a journalist for British tabloid newspaper The Sun, met Magnotta while he was living in London in 2011, following claims that he had made "Python Christmas", an online video showing a kitten being eaten alive by a Burmese Python. The Sun contacted Scotland Yard, which denied that the python video incident had occurred within its jurisdiction, stating that the video had been "posted from somewhere in North America." Following his meeting with Magnotta, Alex West said he received a threatening email, which he believed was sent by Magnotta.
On June 8, the Los Angeles Police Department announced they were in contact with Montreal police to determine if Magnotta was involved in the unsolved murder and decapitation of Hervey Medellin, known as the "Hollywood Sign Murder" but later announced that they did not believe he was involved in the crime. The animal rights group Last Chance for Animals claimed responsibility for posting YouTube videos linking him to the Hollywood Sign Murder in an attempt to lure Magnotta into contacting them. LCA offered a $7500 reward for information leading to his arrest while he was on the run.
The case also drew comparisons across North America to Mark Twitchell, a convicted murderer inspired by Dexter, who used social media in his crimes and to self-promote his work. Author Steve Lillebuen, who wrote a book on the case, described a new trend in crime where social media allows killers to become "online broadcasters" and have direct, instant access to a global audience they may crave.
- "Luka Magnotta & his troubled history". CBC. November 2012.
- Parker, Alan (June 18, 2012). "Are you Luka Rocco Magnotta’s Facebook friend?". Maclean's.
- "Police hunt former fab boy in connection with Montreal murder". Xtra!. May 30, 2012.
- "Luka Rocco Magnotta". Internet Adult Film Database. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
- Tom Wells; Alex West (June 1, 2012). "Cannibal on run after warning The Sun: I can't stop killing". London Sun. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
- Petti Fong; Andrew Chung; Hilda Hoy (June 5, 2012). "Foot and hand sent to Vancouver schools". Toronto Star.
- Talbot, Michael (December 26, 2012). "CityNews Rewind 2012: The worldwide manhunt for Toronto’s Luka Magnotta". CityNews.
- Mark Kelley (November 30, 2012). "Hunting Magnotta". The Fifth Estate. Season 38. Episode 12. CBC. http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/2012-2013/2012/11/hunting-magnotta.html.
- "Who is Luka Rocco Magnotta?". CBC. The Canadian Press. June 1, 2012. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
- Cannibal Suspect Luka Magnotta in 2007 Interview. MSN Canada. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
- Luka Magnotta auditions for a reality show. Toronto Star. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
- Luka on TV?. Toronto Sun. Retrieved June 1, 2012.
- "Details emerge about Luka Magnotta". Xtra!. May 30, 2012.
- "‘My name is Luka and I’m a cosmetic surgery addict’: audition tape". Global News. June 7, 2012.
- Renata D'Aliesio (July 27, 2012). "A glimpse inside Magnotta’s mind". The Globe and Mail.
- McGregor, Glen (June 4, 2012). "Luka Magnotta's bankruptcy filing reveals a life lacking in glamour". Vancouver Sun. Postmedia News. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
- "Magnotta in spotlight, but who is Eric Newman?". CTV. The Canadian Press. June 20, 2012.
- Parker, Alan (June 1, 2012). "Magnotta and Homolka: Anatomy of a rumour". Maclean's.
- Joe Warmington (September 14, 2007). "Joe Warmington's 2007 interview with body part mailings suspect". Toronto Sun. QMI.
- Warmington, Joe (May 31, 2012). "Magnotta mystery goes way back". Toronto Sun (Toronto ON). Retrieved May 31, 2012.
- "Body-parts victim a Chinese student in Montreal". CBC. 1 June 2012.
- Andrew Chung (June 2, 2012). "Friends of murder victim Justin Lin in denial". Toronto Star.
- "Victim in body-parts case remembered by Montreal friends". CBC News. The Canadian Press. June 2, 2012.
- Andy Blatchford; Sidhartha Banerjee (June 1, 2012). "Victim Jun Lin hadn’t missed a shift until disappearance: boss". CityNews. The Canadian Press.
- "Justin Lin, 33, identified as victim in grisly slaying". CTV Montreal. June 1, 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
- Christie Blatchford (May 30, 2012). "The web can enable freedom in dictatorships, but it can also embolden psychopaths". Postmedia News.
- Wendy Gillis (May 31, 2012). "Online reaction to video reveals a disturbing appetite for gore". Toronto Star.
- Winston Ross (June 4, 2012). "Canada’s 'Cannibal Killer:' Early Reports Warned About Luka Magnotta". The Daily Beast.
- Andrew Chung (May 30, 2012). "Luka Rocco Magnotta sought as body parts case turns into horror show". Toronto Star.
- Bruemmer, Rene; Fisher, Matthew (June 5, 2012). "Magnotta accused of eating part of slain student – body parts still missing". Montreal Gazette. Postmedia News.
- Glen McGregor (June 1, 2012). "References to snuff video made online 10 days before suspected date of slaying". Ottawa Citizen.
- "As Luka Rocco Magnotta’s alleged victim blogged about his cat, promos appeared for ’1 Lunatic, 1 Ice Pick’". National Post. June 7, 2012.
- "Toronto police deny ignoring body parts case tip". CBC News. May 31, 2012.
- Tonda MacCharles (May 31, 2012). "Toronto police admit they "could have done more" when U.S. lawyer flagged disturbing video". Toronto Star.
- "Best Gore website investigated over Magnotta video". CBC. June 5, 2012.
- Ingrid Peritz; Steven Chase; Daniel Leblanc (May 30, 2012). "Police find grisly scene in apartment of dismemberment suspect". The Globe and Mail.
- Graeme Hamilton (May 30, 2012). "Nationwide manhunt underway for Luka Rocco Magnotta as police search for missing body parts". National Post.
- Stephanie Levitz (May 30, 2012). "Tory mastermind behind Stephen Harper made grisly discovery of human foot". National Post. The Canadian Press.
- Randy Boswell (June 2, 2012). "Tory staffers receive trauma counselling over encounter with severed foot". Postmedia News.
- Montreal police sum up Magnotta investigation. Montreal: CBC. June 5, 2012.
- Blatchford, Andy (May 31, 2012). "Inside body parts suspect Luka Rocco Magnotta’s apartment". The Toronto Star. Retrieved June 1, 2012.
- "Note with severed foot warned of more killings". CTV. May 30, 2012.
- "Magnotta probe widens to include Vancouver remains". CBC news. The Canadian Press. June 6, 2012.
- "Human remains delivered to 2 Canada schools". Associated Press. June 5, 2012.
- Naoibh O’Connor (June 6, 2012). "Vancouver school receives crisis team in wake of mailed body part". Vancouver Courier.
- "Body parts mailed to Vancouver schools belong to Jun Lin". National Post. June 14, 2012.
- "Head found in Montreal park belongs to Jun Lin: police". CTV news. July 4, 2012.
- "Jun Lin's mother has 'sympathy' for alleged killer". CBC. July 26, 2012.
- Kamila Hinkson (July 26, 2012). "About 50 people pay respects to Lin Jun at funeral service". The Montreal Gazette.
- Snejana Farberov (July 27, 2012). "Father of Canadian cannibal victim breaks down at son's funeral...as mother says she is prepared to FORGIVE son's killer". The Daily Mail.
- "Luka Rocco Magnotta". Wanted by the RCMP. Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Archived from the original on June 5, 2012.
- "Murder suspect Magnotta accused of harassing PM". CBC. June 2, 2012.
- "INTERPOL issues Red Notice for suspected Canadian killer". Interpol. May 31, 2012.
- "'Canadian Psycho' murder suspect arrested in Berlin". Agence France-Presse. June 5, 2012.
- Magnotta arrest coverage. CBC. June 4, 2012.
- "Luka Rocco Magnotta arrested in Germany". CBC News. June 4, 2012.
- "Suspect in grisly Canada murder faces German court". Reuters. June 5, 2012.
- "Jun Lin family's Montreal arrival 'heartbreaking'". CBC. June 6, 2012.
- "Magnotta back in Canada, expected in court Tuesday". CTV. June 18, 2012.
- Eric Thibault (June 12, 2012). "Montreal jail reserves isolated holding cell for Magnotta". Toronto Sun. QMI.
- Radia, Andy (June 3, 2012). "Body parts murder of Lin Jun provokes Chinese gov’t to warn its citizens in Canada". Yahoo! Canada. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
- Steve Rennie (June 1, 2012). "John Baird Offers Condolences to Chinese After Cops ID Victim In Body-Parts Death". The Huffington Post.
- "Victim’s family meets Montreal police". Toronto Star. June 6, 2012.
- "Stricken with grief, family of dismembered man Jun Lin says: 'We come to take you home'". Vancouver Sun. June 6, 2012.
- A tragedy creates unity. Toronto Sun. June 9, 2012.
- James Bradshaw (June 8, 2012). "Concordia sets up fund to aid Lin’s family". The Globe and Mail.
- "Concordia creates Jun Lin Award". CBC News. June 8, 2012.
- "Candlelight vigil held for Lin Jun in Montreal". The Globe and Mail. The Canadian Press. June 15, 2012.
- Vigil held for Lin Jun downtown. CTV News. June 15, 2012.
- How Luka Magnotta was named 2012 Canadian Newsmaker. The Canadian Press. December 24, 2012.
- Blatchford, Andy (December 22, 2012). "Magnotta surfaces again: this time as Canadian Press News Story of the Year". The Canadian Press. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- Gore site owner charged over video in Magnotta case CBC News, July 17, 2013. Retrieved July 18, 2013.
- "Gore website owner Mark Marek granted bail again", by Emily Mertz, Global News
- "Canada 'cannibal' suspect pleads not guilty". Al Jazeera. June 20, 2012.
- Brian Daly (June 21, 2012). "Magnotta chooses jury trial". Toronto Sun. QMI.
- "UPDATE 1-Canadian judge rejects total media ban in dismemberment case". Reuters. March 12, 2013.
- Michael Nguyen (March 11, 2013). "Victim's dad prepares to see accused butcher Magnotta". Toronto Sun. QMI.
- "Member of Luka Magnotta's legal team withdraws amid conflict of interest issue". The Montreal Gazette. The Canadian Press. March 13, 2013.
- Sue Montgomery (March 18, 2013). "Luka Magnotta hearing breezes through six more witnesses". The Montreal Gazette.
- Brian Daly (March 15, 2013). "Janitor at Luka Magnotta's building takes stand at preliminary hearing". Toronto Sun. QMI.
- Sue Montgomery (March 20, 2013). "Three Montreal police officers testify at Magnotta hearing". Postmedia Network.
- "Luka Magnotta collapses in prisoner's box". Ottawa Citizen. Postmedia News. March 19, 2013.
- Christie Blatchford (March 14, 2013). "Preliminary hearing goes heavy on emotional twists and turns". The Montreal Gazette.
- Luka Magnotta to stand trial on 1st-degree murder – Montreal – CBC News
- Stephen Maher (May 31, 2012). "Animal rights activists started chasing Magnotta years before mutilation murder". Postmedia News.
- Smith, Joan K. (11/02/2012). "Move Over, Romney and Obama: The Barbi Twins' 'Green Tea Diploradical Party' Speaks for the Real 99 Percent". Huffington Post. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
- Andy Blatchford (June 24, 2012). "Police were tracking Magnotta just weeks before Lin Jun’s death, landlord says". The Globe and Mail. The Canadian Press.
- West, Alex (June 1, 2012). "Magnotta’s disturbed, disturbing, disgusting, looking in his eyes left me shaken". The Sun.
- "We warned cops about Magnotta months ago: British reporters". QMI. June 1, 2012.
- Goldman, Russell (8 June 2012). "Did Accused Canadian Cannibal Luka Magnotta Strike in Hollywood?". ABC News. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- "LAPD Investigating Connection Between Luka Magnotta And Hollywood Sign Killing". New York Observer. June 8, 2012.
- "Police probing possible Magnotta link to L.A. homicide (with video)". The Montreal Gazette. June 7, 2012.
- Richard Esposito and Russell Goldman (June 8, 2012). "Canadian 'Cannibal' and 'Hollywood Sign' Murder Not Connected, LA Cops Conclude". ABC News. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
- Last Chance for Animals (June 5, 2012). "LCA Takes Cutting Edge in Investigation of Accused Murderer and Animal Abuser Luka Magnotta" (Press release). Marketwire.
- "Animal Activists Claim Responsibility For Videos Linking Luka Magnotta To Hollywood Sign Killing". New York Observer. June 6, 2012.
- "Los Angeles animal rights group that set online trap for Canadian 'cannibal killer' refutes published report". Fox News. June 7, 2012.
- Last Chance for Animals (June 1, 2012). "$7500 Reward by LCA for Information Leading to the Arrest and Conviction of Luka Rocco Magnotta" (Press release). Marketwire.
- McIntyre, Mike. "Media monsters". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
- Lillebuen, Steve. "The sick fascination with a death video". CNN.com. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
- Lillebuen, Steve. "Murderers have become online broadcasters. And their audience is us". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
- Luka Rocco Magnotta at the Internet Adult Film Database
- Official Website of Luka Magnotta
- Open Statement from Jun Lin’s Family (Archive)
- In Memory of Jun Lin (Concordia University) (Archive)
- Luka Magnotta – Book Release – Biography – True Crime. ISBN 9781105848834
- Dans la peau de Luka Magnotta : histoire d'un Web-killer. Karl Zéro. ISBN 9782213672274