For the last 10 months, I’ve followed the Luka Magnotta case quite closely. If you’re unfamiliar with the case, here’s some background on it: Luka Magnotta (Born Eric Newman) has been charged with the murder and dismemberment of Concordia student Jun Lin. Lin, originally from China, was in Canada (Montreal) on a student visa to pursue an education in engineering. It is speculated that Lin responded to a Craigslist ad posted by Magnotta to lure him to Magnotta’s apartment the day of the murder.
I came to know the name Magnotta one day after a friend invited me to join this group on Facebook. She told me it was a “comedy page”; well, that couldn’t have been any further from the truth. I should note at this point in time that I’ve never had a fascination with serial killers per se, but I’ve always been intrigued by how their minds work. Early on into the debates, it was clear that this group had an eclectic mix of individuals—some being pro-Luka, while others wishing he was dead. Mind you, this was just a war of words between both parties. Something I found eerily fascinating was the number of young girls—anywhere from the age of 10 to 16—who were just simply infatuated with this man, devoting their undying love to him, wanting to be with him, etc. I’m a little familiar with stories that surround Charles Manson, but I was unaware just how prevalent this was in society.
Magnotta is accused of murdering and dismembering Lin on camera in Magnotta’s Montreal apartment (one block away from where I currently reside might I add) on the night of May 24, 2012, posting the murder video online, and mailing the body parts to political parties and schools in Ontario and British Columbia. Magnotta subsequently fled the country on May 26 and travelled to Paris, France and then Berlin, Germany. On May 29, the first body part packages arrived in Ottawa and Lin’s torso was discovered in a suitcase outside Magnotta’s apartment, and an international manhunt began. Magnotta was captured reading about himself online at an internet café in Berlin 5 days later, on June 4, 2012, and was quickly extradited to Canada.
Learning about Magnotta has been almost a case within itself. Here’s a man who reeks of narcissism, is flamboyant, and obviously suffers from some severe personality disorder, be it disassociate identity disorder, borderline personality disorder or something else. He was also obsessed with his looks and cosmetic surgery. Delving further into his back story, I learned that he didn’t have exactly the ideal upbringing. Problems with his mother, drug and alcohol problems, and abusive step-fathers, were just a few of the things he had endure; so I can feel empathy for him on that end. I, myself, went through 4 years of hell living with an abusive step-father, but as the years went by, I learned to put it behind me. I don’t think you ever forgive or forget, you just learn to deal with it. Of course this isn’t the same for everyone; a lot of people have a hard time coping in their own lives when they’ve been traumatized by whatever event, but then again, there are many who go on to live healthy and productive lives. As to why Magnotta allegedly committed these murders, again, his character depicts a man who craved the spotlight. He auditioned for reality T.V. shows, such as Plastic Makes Perfect and Cover Guy, talking about how people thought he was “devastatingly good lookin”—this truly shows a man infatuated with his own self. Luka also dabbled into escorting and the gay porn industry, but I feel it’s unnecessary to speak upon at this moment in time.
The preliminary hearing began on March 11, 2013, and it’s been quite the circus thus far. One of Magnotta’s defense lawyers cried in the courtroom, while another took himself off the case altogether. Magnotta is not exactly presenting himself in ideal fashion either, showing up to court dressed in a Versace logo shirt, purple skinny jeans and sneakers on one occasion. Whether you’re in a courtroom being charged for first-degree murder or your first speeding ticket, wearing a suit is a sign of respect; it shows the judge you take the process seriously. The media inside the courtroom has broken down his every movement from “crying” to “fainting”—I put that in quotations because many analysts say it looks extremely fake—and he was even seen waving to an apparent fan. It just doesn’t look good on his part. Here’s a man about to go on trial for first-degree murder, and yet he’s making a huge spectacle of things. If I was in his position, I’d sit there quietly and keep my eyes on the floor. The preliminary hearings have been adjourned until April, where I have no doubts a trial will follow, and the publication ban will be removed. We just want proper justice to be served, most people can attest to that, this story has affected a lot of people not just in Canada, but around the globe.
Has Luka killed before: While the possibility has been widely speculated by police as well as the media, there’s still no evidence proving that Luka has indeed killed before. The biggest theory I hear is that he could be the “Hollywood Sign Killer.” Police are now probing possible links between that gruesome case and the one currently underway here in Montreal. I can, however, confirm he has been directly linked (and I hate to have to write this) to the kitten-killer videos that went viral on YouTube a couple years back. He’s currently facing, among other things, four counts in addition to the murder charge: committing an indignity to a body, publishing obscene material, criminally harassing Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other members of Parliament, and mailing obscene and indecent material. So, it should be one hell of a trial.