To those who knew him, suspected killer Luka Rocco Magnotta -- who allegedly dismembered a man and ate parts of his body before sending other parts to political party offices in Canada -- was a nice guy and a friendly neighbor. To others, he was a man who bragged about a desire to kill.
CAUTION: GRAPHIC CONTENT MAY DISTURB SOME READERS.
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Police in Montreal, believe the 29-year-old, low-budget porn actor carried out a brutal murder on or about May 25, which he allegedly recorded and uploaded to the Internet. The victim has been identified as 33-year-old Lin Jun, a Chinese student at Montreal's Concordia University reported missing on May 24.
Magnotta was captured in Berlin, Germany, on Monday, after authorities in Canada issued a countrywide arrest warrant for Magnotta and he was added to Interpol's list of wanted persons. Magnotta, who is being held pending an international extradition, faces charges of first-degree murder, committing an indignity on 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, police said.
While details of the arrest are still unfolding, authorities are learning much about the man they said is responsible for the killing.
According to police and Interpol, Magnotta is from Scarborough, Ontario. Born Eric Clinton Newman on July 24, 1982 to Anna Yourkin and Donald Newman, he legally changed his name to Luka Rocco Magnotta in 2006. He also has been known to use the aliases Vladimir Romanov and Mattia Del Santo.
An article attributed to Magnotta at writing.com claims he endured sexual abuse when he was younger and suffered from mental illness. The validity of the statements remains unclear.
Magnotta's immediate family lives in Peterborough, Ontario. His mother has declined requests for an interview. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a close relative told The Ottawa Citizen that the family has not had any recent contact with Magnotta.
"He hurt us when he was younger and we haven't been in contact with him in a while. We heard about all of this on the news, and then the police called and asked us to let them know if he calls us," the relative said.
An unidentified neighbor of the family told The Toronto Star that Magnotta last visited the family a year ago and set a fire inside a second-floor closet, causing $60,000 in damage. Authorities have yet to confirm Magnotta was responsible for the blaze.
"I started when I was 20 years old. It was in Los Angeles, and I was doing webcam shows. I was approached by an agent, and he explained the business to me," he said, according to the website.
The article states Magnotta has performed in more than 12 movies and has appeared in dozens of magazines, under different stage names.
LUKA MAGNOTTA PHOTOS: (Article Continues Below)
"I want to set the record straight," he said. "I not only have never dated Karla, I have never even met her."
Magnotta said he received death threats from people and was in therapy. "I have lost modeling jobs and have been receiving death threats," he said. "People are so stupid because I don't even know Karla Homolka."
On Thursday, the reporter who interviewed Magnotta, Joe Warmington, recalled the 2007 interview in an article for The Toronto Sun.
"He might have been the creepiest person I have ever interviewed," Warmington wrote. "I can't think of anybody weirder. I mean this guy was really out there. Coherent but not connecting."
The reporter added, "When I met him he wasn't unlikable but definitely transfixed [in] his own world -- speaking in a dull monotone voice, his eyes at times [glazed] over."
Magnotta was in the spotlight again two years ago when he was targeted by animal-rights activists, who allege he filmed himself torturing and killing cats and posted the videos online. In one of the videos, a live kitten was fed to a python. In another, a kitten was suffocated inside a plastic bag by using a vacuum cleaner to suck out the air.
When The Sun questioned Magnotta about the animal murders, he allegedly responded with an email sent in December that read, in part: "In the near future you will be hearing from me again. This time, however, the victims won't be small animals.
"I will however, send you a copy of the new video I'm going to be making. You see, killing is different than smoking ... with smoking you can actually quit. Once you kill and taste blood it's impossible to stop."
According to Scott A. Bonn, who researches serial killers and is an assistant professor of sociology at Drew University, the killing of animals is frequently a precursor to serial homicide.
"Approximately 40 percent of captured serial killers admit to torturing or killing animals prior to their first human killing," Bonn said.
The Sun notified authorities of the email Magnotta allegedly sent them about his next video, but the investigation reportedly fizzled.
Three months later, in March of this year, a blog post allegedly written by Magnotta and titled "Necrophilia Serial Killer Luka Magnotta" appeared online. In it, he allegedly wrote:
"It's not cool to the world being a necrophiliac. It's bloody lonely. But I don't really care, I have never cared what people thought of me, most people are judgmental idiots. I'm unable to talk to anybody about it and there's always the knowledge that 99% of people would be repulsed by me if they found out about my feelings. Some people would even want to harm me."
In another article, Magnotta allegedly authored a step-by-step guide on how to disappear and start a new life in another country.
It was roughly four months ago that Magnotta moved into Apartment 208 on Décarie Boulevard in Montreal's Snowdon neighborhood. The superintendent, Eric Schoer, told The National Post that Magnotta was paying $490 per month for the apartment.
"He seemed like a really nice guy, really," Schoer said. "It's like you see on TV all the time ... It's almost a cliche or a joke."
Speaking with the same newspaper, neighbor Derek MacKinnon, an actor who played the role of a killer in the 1980 horror film "Terror Train," said he had spoken with Magnotta in the past and that he had recently been invited to hang out with him.
"He said, 'You've never been to my apartment, why don't you come up?' And I didn't, thank God," MacKinnon said.
READ LUKA MAGNOTTA'S ARREST WARRANT: (Article Continues Below)
Lin Jun's homicide was the 11th to occur in Montreal this year, according to Montreal police. The investigation began to unfold Tuesday morning, when his torso was found in a suitcase near Magnotta's apartment.
Later that morning, authorities were called to the headquarters of the Conservative Party of Canada to investigate a suspicious package. Inside, they found Jun's severed foot and a note, indicating the sender planned to kill again, police said. A second body part -- Jun's severed hand -- was found that night inside a package at the Ottawa Postal Terminal. The package had been addressed to the Liberal Party of Canada.
Other body parts belonging to Jun were found at the apartment building, Montreal Police Cmdr. Ian Lafreniere told The New York Times. However, police have yet to recover all of the victim's body.
As the investigation continues, it has emerged that Magnotta had allegedly filmed Jun's murder and posted it online. The film, titled, "1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick," is more than 10 minutes long. It shows a naked male being attacked with an icepick and a knife. The victim is brutally stabbed multiple times, decapitated and dismembered. During the film, the killer masturbates with a severed arm, appears to devour a piece of flesh he sawed from the victim's buttocks and has sex with the headless torso.
The video was posted to bestgore.com on May 25. The website described the video as the "most horrific shock video to have been released to date."
The Huffington Post acquired a copy of the video Friday, however, it is far too graphic to post.
A motive in the killing remains unclear.
Forensic consultant Park Dietz told HuffPost that most killers who dismember a body do so for practical reasons -- to prevent identification or to make the body easier to conceal or dispose of. Some might even do so as a means of symbolism or to shock those who discover or learn of the dismemberment. There are, however, some who dismember a corpse for psychopathological reasons.
"Where dismemberment reflects perversion, sexually significant parts of the body are a focus, but this is not limited to genitals or breasts and may include feet, legs, or whatever part of the body is sexually significant to the killer," Dietz said.
Dietz is president of Park Dietz & Associates, which has given court testimony or consultation on numerous serial killer cases, including those involving Jeffrey Dahmer, the Green River murders and the D.C. snipers.
"One of the body parts Jeffrey Dahmer kept from some victims was their biceps, which had sexual significance to him. Men who dismember for sexually perverse reasons are usually classified as sexual sadists or necrophiliacs, and the older literature sometimes called them necrosadists or lust murderers," Dietz said.
Drew University professor Bonn shares a similar view.
"Based on what has been reported, it sounds like Magnotta is a sexual sadist and a psychopathic mission killer," Bonn said. "His mission is to create widespread terror and to shock the world. He targets men of power in the government with his messages of hate and retaliation. He is like an anarchist or terrorist ... He seeks attention and acclaim for his crimes."
Nina Arsenault, who claims she was romantically involved with Magnotta in the past, told Toronto's City News that he was a "pathological liar" who used methamphetamine and would "do anything to be famous."
"He would joke about killing animals. He would joke about killing people," Arsenault said. "He said, 'I'm afraid when you look in my eyes ... that you'll see that there's nothing inside of me.' To me he was a fucked-up kid."
On a Facebook page that appears to be Magnotta's, he wrote, "There is [sic] such things as monsters, demons and ghosts. They live inside of us, and sometimes they win."
Much about the case remains unresolved, but one thing is certain -- Magnotta quickly went from being a relatively-unknown porn actor to an internationally known accused killer.
If you know Luka Magnotta personally, please email this author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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