Luka Magnotta | Canadian Killer
Dismembering Lin Jun
Crime Spree: 05-25-2012
Incarcerated at Port-Cartier Prison, Quebec
Luka Magnotta was 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, Luka 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.
He was previously sought by animal rights groups for allegedly uploading videos of himself killing kittens.
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 OUT tv’s reality series COVERguy. Luka 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.
Karla Homolka and Luka
Luka Magnotta declared bankruptcy in March 2007, owing $17,000 in various debts. The bankruptcy was fully discharged in December 2007.
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.
The Murder of Lin Jun
Lin Jun, 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.
Packages From Luka Magnotta
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, police searched apartment 208, which Luka 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 Luka Magnotta, who had by then fled.
A Note from Luka Magnotta
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.
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.
Lin’s body was cremated on July 11 and his ashes were buried on July 26 at Notre-Dame-des-Neiges cemetery in Montreal.
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Manhunt For Luka Magnotta
An arrest warrant for Luka 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:
1.First degree murder;
2.Committing an indignity to a dead body;
3.Publishing obscene material;
4.Mailing obscene, indecent, immoral or scurrilous material; and
5.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 Luka Magnotta be provisionally arrested pending extradition back to Canada by any Interpol member state.
On The Run
Luka 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. Luka Magnotta then boarded a Eurolines bus at the Bagnolet coach station bound for Berlin, Germany.
On June 4, 2012, Luka 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.
Luka Magnotta was named Canadian Newsmaker of the Year by Canadian media, which caused controversy.
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 Icepick video online.
The Preliminary Hearing
On June 19, Luka Magnotta appeared in court via 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 but 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 odonatologist, a bloodstain analyst, data recovery specialists and an Internet investigations officer. The prosecution also displayed video evidence. Both Luka Magnotta and Lin Diran 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. Luka Magnotta elected to be tried by judge and jury. He lost.
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 Luka 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 Luka 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 Luka Magnotta.
On June 8, the Los Angeles Police Department announced they were in contact with Montreal police to determine if Luka 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 Luka Magnotta into contacting them. LCA offered a $7500 reward for information leading to his arrest while he was on the run.
A jury found Luka Magnotta guilty of multiple charges in 2014, including the first-degree murder of Jun Lin. Luka is now serving a life sentence in Quebec’s maximum-security Port-Cartier Institution, where he married another inmate in 2017 and remains silent on the horrific crimes he committed some 38 years ago.