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France

'Canadian Psycho' Magnotta arrested in Berlin

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-06-04

Luka Rocco Magnotta, the Canadian former porn actor suspected of murdering a man and mailing body parts to political parties, was arrested in Berlin on Monday after fleeing Canada last week and traveling through France, German police confirmed.

An international manhunt for a Canadian porn actor accused of committing one of the most disturbing murders in recent history – including taping a killing, posting the video on the Internet and mailing body parts to political parties – ended Monday with the suspect’s arrest in Berlin.

Officials said Luka Rocco Magnotta, a 29-year-old self-described model and bisexual porn actor, was arrested Monday afternoon at an Internet cafe in the German capital after a witness recognised him and alerted police.

The arrest ended a week-long Interpol search that spanned Canada, France and Germany.

It all began May 29, when the torso of Jun Lin, a Chinese national studying computer science at Montreal’s Concordia University, was found in a suitcase in the city’s Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood.

Hours later, one of the victim's feet was delivered to the headquarters of the Conservative Party of Canada. Another package, containing a hand and addressed to Canada's Liberal Party, was discovered at a postal facility.

Canadian police officials conducting a search of Magnotta’s abandoned Côte-des-Neiges apartment found traces of the gruesome killing.

‘1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick’

Lin was killed with an ice pick and kitchen knife before being decapitated and dismembered. The killer also performed sexual acts with the corpse, all of which were filmed in an 11-minute video, posted online with the title “1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick”. The gruesome images were set to the backdrop of the title track of the film “American Psycho”, thus earning Magnotta the nickname “Canadian Psycho” in the press.

As the video and the packages were being discovered, Magnotta attempted to disappear from the country. According to Canadian police, he most likely left Canada May 25, arriving in Paris the next day.

The hunt then moved to an international bus station in the eastern Parisian suburb of Bagnolet on Monday, near a hotel where the suspect was sighted Saturday, June 2.

Acting on the tipoff, police searched Magnotta’s hotel room where they found porn magazines and airsickness bags bearing the logo of the airline on which he had come to France.

Trying to gatecrash a Parisian party

Before landing in the impoverished Parisian suburb of Bagnolet, Magnotta was spotted in the 17th arrondissement of the French capital, where he spent two nights in a small hotel, according to witnesses.

The manager of the bar “Le Petit Batignolles” told reporters that he served Magnotta a Coke on Thursday.

The next day, he apparently tried to gatecrash a party in the same neighbourhood. In an interview with the French radio station RMC, a resident said she was “sure” she encountered the porn actor Friday night. “He knocked at my door, he wanted to wind up the evening at a party at my place,” she said.

On Saturday evening, a witness told French daily Le Parisien she saw Magnotta on a suburban railway platform at the Gare du Nord station in Paris.

According to Le Figaro, he was also sighted in the northwestern Clichy-la-Garenne suburb of Paris and in the Bastille area of Paris’ 11th arrondissement.

Handsome and narcissistic, with multiple identities

Born in July 1982 in Peterborough, Ontario, Magnotta had always wanted to be famous, according to relatives interviewed by the Canadian press.

Described as handsome and narcissistic, Magnotta, who naturally has black hair and blue eyes, has also changed his name and used several aliases. Keeping his legal birth name Eric Clinton Newman until 2006, he also identified himself as Kirk Newman and Vladimir Romanov, according to Canadian police.

Along with his many aliases, Magnotta also appeared to adopt multiple personalities: apprentice bisexual model, prostitute, necrophile, porn star and white supremacist.

A young man obsessed with his looks, Magnotta competed for a reality TV show in Canada and was training every morning to turn into the perfect modeling size of a "ravishing beauty", as he disclosed in a video posted on a Canadian news site.

He also had previous run-ins with the law. Accused of fraud and a credit card scam in 2005, Magnotta was given a nine-month suspended sentence and 12-month probation, according to legal documents cited by French weekly Paris Match.

‘How to completely disappear’ in six steps

Before gaining international notoriety, Magnotta had a minor, disturbing reputation on the Web.

News stories reveal that he blogged about necrophilia and posted a video online showing him suffocating kittens.

In a June 2009 blog titled, “How to Completely Disappear and Never Be Found,” posted in the Digital Journal, Magnotta detailed six steps necessary to “leave your old life behind” starting with cutting “personal ties with everyone who knows you”.

In the end, Magnotta never did manage to start up a new life. Perhaps he didn’t have the time to follow his six step plan. His new life is very likely to be in a prison cell.

 

Date created : 2012-06-04

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