Canada body parts suspect 'fled abroad'

2012-06-01 09:11
Luka Rocco Magnotta, aged 29, who is wanted for homicide. (City of Montreal Police Service/ AP)

Luka Rocco Magnotta, aged 29, who is wanted for homicide. (City of Montreal Police Service/ AP)

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Ottawa - A Canadian porn actor suspected of mailing body parts to the headquarters of two major political parties after making a video of the killing might have fled to France, police said.

A Montreal police official said on Thursday they have information that Luka Rocco Magnotta might have left Canada for France but said his current whereabouts are not known.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorised to talk about the case publicly, gave no other details.

Montreal Police Commander Ian Lafreniere earlier said authorities believe Magnotta fled North America based on evidence they found at his apartment, and based on a blog Magnotta once wrote about how to disappear.

Magnotta, aged 29, has been added to Interpol's "wanted persons" list.

"We believe he may be in a foreign country," Lafreniere said. "He left a letter on a website mentioning how to disappear for good, and secondly, our investigation brought us some details that might let us think that he could be away from the country."

Video keeps reappearing

Lafreniere also said police have been trying to take down an online video that they believe shows Magnotta murdering a man he dated.

The video shows a man stabbing another man with an ice pick while the victim lies naked and tied up. The first man later reveals he has slashed the other man's throat. He also dismembers the corpse and performs sexual acts with it.

Lafreniere said they were able to take down the video on Wednesday night but that it keeps reappearing online.

"It's horrible. I can't believe people take advantage of watching this," he said.

Lafreniere said police believe the victim is a man reported missing several days ago and that the man's family lives overseas. He said police were having trouble contacting the family.

The case began on Tuesday when police found a man's torso in a suitcase behind Magnotta's apartment building and a severed foot was found in a package mailed to the Conservative Party headquarters in Ottawa.

Loves attention

A hand was found in a separate package at a postal facility, addressed to the Liberal Party of Canada.

Other body parts remain missing, and Lafreniere said police are investigating the possibility that they also may have been put in the mail.

Criminal profiler Pat Brown said the suspect clearly loves attention.

"He's not political, psychopaths rarely are, so he didn't send those parts for political reasons but to get a splash in the media. He wants to go in history as being the creepiest guy out there," Brown said.

Police said Magnotta is also known by the names Eric Clinton Newman and Vladimir Romanov. They described him as white and 1.78m tall with blue eyes and black hair. A police official said he was a porn actor.

His internet presence indicates he is a bisexual porn actor and model with a myriad of aliases.

Six steps to disappearing

Magnotta changed his name from Eric Clinton Kirkman in 2006, and online posts suggest he had a longtime fascination with identity change and escape.

In a post on the Digital Journal website dated 2009 that police confirmed, a six-step article under Magnotta's name describes how to disappear.

"When making the decision to disappear, it is very important to understand that this is not a process that can be successfully accomplished overnight," it reads. "For best results under normal circumstances, a minimum of four months is really necessary to successfully carry out the heroic actions necessary to leave your old life behind.

"This is certainly not an undertaking to be entered into lightly - be completely sure of yourself before you commit to this."

A Montana lawyer said he alerted authorities after seeing the video of the murder on a gore website days before it became part of the investigation, but he was only taken seriously after the murder was reported.

Crime scene cleaned up

The lawyer, Roger Renville, said he saw the video on Saturday morning and by late Saturday afternoon had called law enforcement, including local law enforcement, FBI, Toronto police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

"The last one was Toronto police department and nobody would take the report seriously," he said. "Late on Tuesday I called the Mounties, and given what was in the news that day they took it very seriously and when I told them the name of the suspect they said 'we're looking for this guy' and they took it very seriously and took all my information."

Magnotta, born in the Toronto area, was renting an apartment in a working-class Montreal neighbourhood.

Police in masks combed through the blood-streaked apartment on Wednesday. The crime scene had been cleaned up by Thursday.

Carpeting had been removed from Magnotta's narrow studio apartment though traces of blood were still visible on the walls and bare wood floor. The blood-soaked mattress was put out and picked up by garbage collectors from the same spot around the corner where the suitcase with the victim's headless and limbless torso had been discovered.

The four-floor, 57-unit building on Decarie Boulevard has apartments overlooking one of Montreal's busiest expressways on one side, including unit 208, the apartment rented by Magnotta. Some tenants indicated that drug use is a common source of problems in the building.


Mike Gauthier, who has lived in the building for three years, said Magnotta's apartment was emptied before he apparently vanished in recent days. There were no clothes and no books inside, he said.

Few tenants said they knew Magnotta, who had only lived in the building for around four months. They described him as an effeminate man who was quiet and aloof but pleasant at times. Eric Schorer, the building's manager, called him "very anti-social".

"He never really talked to anybody. He was always very cordial with me but very short, like, 'Hi Eric, have a good day'. That's it," Schorer said.

An online video shows a man who looks like Magnotta committing violent acts against kittens. The video contains at least one photo made available by Montreal police on Wednesday that identified the man as Magnotta.

For nearly two years, animal-rights activists have been looking for a man who tortured and killed cats and posted videos of it online.

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