The information in this report is based on my personal insight into the Magnotta case and the Trial proceedings and the opinions expressed herein are my own unless stated otherwise. I do not claim to have expertise in legal matters or psychiatry. Evidence referred to in this report is comprised of the following:
- Evidence established in Court during the Trial;
- Evidence based on Luka Magnotta's proven biographical details;
- Evidence gathered from internet and/or other activities attributed to Luka Magnotta, where there is a high threshold of probability to reach a reasonable conclusion establishing his involvement.
A printer friendly PDF of this report is available to download here
Now that all the evidence has been presented and the Crown and Defence have made their closing arguments, I have decided to write this report to take a wider overview of the evidence I consider pertinent to this case, taking into account a perspective of the criminology; which has been my primary interest in the case from the outset and something that I feel has been lacking in the Trial.
It is not my intention to delve too deeply into the issue of Magnotta's mental health diagnosis, which has been covered ad naseum in the expert witness testimonies I have transcribed in the The Psyche Defence page.
Whichever expert psychiatric opinion you choose to believe regarding Magnotta's mental health condition, it is clear that Luka Magnotta is a man who has suffered with serious mental health issues for most of his adult life. This is not exactly revelatory information to many of us who have been following this case from the outset.
After ten weeks of evidence and expert witness testimonies regarding Magnotta's mental health, the case boils down to the same two simple questions:
Was the murder of Jun Lin premeditated?
Was Luka Magnotta criminally responsible for his actions at the time he murdered Jun Lin?
1) Evidence and information that the Jury did not get to hear about during the Trial.
After Superior Court Judge, Guy Cournoyer, had finished instructing the Jury and sequestered them to deliberate their verdict, it emerged that several key pieces of evidence and information were withheld from the Jury during the Trial, which until now had been covered by a publication ban on reporting.
i) The online postings made prior to the murder -
In the absence of the Jury the Court was shown a still photograph of Luka Magnotta wearing a purple hoodie and clutching a screwdriver with a Casablanca poster in the background. This photograph came from a video posting on vimeo.com that Magnotta made on 15th May 2012 promoting the 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick video (see section 1b for more details about the online postings). Defence attorney, Luc Leclair, objected to this photograph being shown to the Jury because he felt it was "Extremely
incriminating. It proves first-degree murder." Leclair's objection was upheld because the Crown had not included evidence of this posting in Crown Disclosure and thereafter the Jury never saw this or any other evidence about the online postings.
ii) The unidentified 'Colombian' male - Magnotta's Defence attorney, Luc Leclair, let slip during the Trial that the Defence knew all along the identity of the hitherto unidentified 'Colombian' male that Magnotta met and filmed on 18th-19th May 2012 (footage of the 'Colombian' male during this encounter was included in the 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick video that Magnotta posted online). Leclair stated that he is a foreign national currently serving a prison sentence (he did not mention in which jurisdiction). It would appear that the identity of this foreign male was not revealed by the Defence to Montreal police investigators or the Crown prior to the Trial. Conveniently, an opportunity was missed to take a witness statement from him and/or subpoena him to give what might have been key witness testimony during the Trial.
iii) Magnotta's demeanour during the Trial - During the Trial proceedings the Crown pointed out that Magnotta behaved in a markedly different manner when the Jury were present, spending much of the time with his head bowed down almost touching his knees. This contrasted with Magnotta's demeanour when the Jury were sent out - when he sat upright, alert, listening attentively to legal argument. The Crown attempted to question their expert forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Gilles Chamberland, in front of the Jury about Magnotta's contrasting behaviours, but Judge Guy Cournoyer ruled it was too
late to introduce new material not included in Dr. Chamberland's report.
iv) The 'Plastic Makes Perfect' audition -
In February 2008 Magnotta auditioned for a reality television show 'Plastic Makes Perfect' hoping to win a prize of plastic surgery. The Crown argued that it was important for the Jury to see this audition because Magnotta does not appear to show disorganized thought processes or behaviour during the 21 minute 43 second audition tape - a view echoed in the report by Defence expert psychiatrist, Dr Joel Watts. The Crown pointed out that Magnotta auditioned for this show at the same time as he was complaining to
psychiatrists about experiencing hallucinations and other symptoms of
schizophrenia. During the audition Magnotta is asked by the producer: "How important are your looks to you?" Magnotta replied: "Number One is looks, Number Two would have to be intelligence, and I don't know what the rest are, all I care about is Number 1". Judge Guy Cournoyer described the audition as a "game changer" because of it's "eerie, timeless quality", but nonetheless he ruled it inadmissible because it might distract the Jury from their deliberations.
v) The conduct of Counsel during the Trial - It can now be reported that during the Trial proceedings Defence attorney, Luc Leclair, had numerous animated exchanges with Judge Guy Cournoyer over points of law, prompting Judge Cournoyer to call him to order for talking over him and interrupting him. Luc Leclair also threatened to call a mistrial on several occasions (if presumably he didn't get his way) and Judge Cournoyer chastised him for focusing on minute details, saying: "You are arguing about crumbs in the periphery of the case, probably to establish a grounds for an appeal".
At the midpoint during the Trial, Monsieur Leclair said he had to take time out to think things through, prompting Judge Cournoyer to ask if he wanted to withdraw from the case. Crown prosecutor, Louis Bouthillier, was also rebuked by Judge Cournoyer on the odd occasion and Crown rebuttal witness Dr. Gilles Chamberland was reprimanded by the Judge for making inappropriate facial expressions whilst a defence expert witness was testifying, with Judge Cournoyer describing his behaviour as unprofessional.
Seriously, you couldn't make stuff like this up even if you tried!
1a) The Crown's Case against Luka Rocco Magnotta
Following his arrest in Berlin, Germany, on 4th June 2012, and extradition to Canada on 18th June 2012, Luka Rocco Magnotta was indicted on five charges related to the murder of Jun Lin:
1. First degree murder;
2. Committing an indignity to a dead body;
3. Publishing obscene material;
4. Mailing obscene, indecent, immoral or scurrilous material;
5. Criminally harassing Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and several (unnamed) members of Parliament.
The Crown's Case is based on: 1.) Montreal Police forensic evidence gathered from the crime scene; 2.) Police forensic evidence regarding examination of electronic devices owned by Magnotta containing video and photographic evidence; 3.) The online video footage of the 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick video uploaded by Magnotta on 25th May 2012; 4.) CCTV footage from Magnotta's apartment block at 5720 Decarie Blvd between 24th-26th May 2012; 5.) The testimonies of witnesses including experts from Montreal Police (SPVM), individuals who encountered Magnotta on 25th-26th May 2012 and witnesses who met Magnotta in Paris, France, between 27th-31st May 2012 and Berlin, Germany, between 1st-4th June 2012 up to his arrest; 6.) The key testimony of British journalist Alex West on his encounter with Magnotta in London during December 2011 and the 'John Kilbride' email that Magnotta sent to Sun Newsdesk on 10th December 2011 and; 7.) The testimonies of Crown expert rebuttal witnesses Professor Joel Paris and the assessment of the Defences criminal responsibility evidence by forensic psychiatrist Dr. Gilles Chamberland.
At the heart of the Crown's case contending that Luka Magnotta should be found guilty of the premeditated murder of Jun Lin and the four related charges, is the 'John Kilbride' email that Magnotta admits he sent to Sun Newsdesk on 10th December 2011, following a confrontation with Sun journalist Alex West in Wembley, London, on 8th December 2011.
The Crown has argued during the Trial that this email establishes Magnotta's premeditation to commit murder nearly six months prior to the crimes being committed by Magnotta, with particular emphasis on these statements he made in the email: "Well, I have to say goodbye for now, but dont worry, in the near future you will be hearing from me again. This time, however, the victims wont be small animals...the next time you hear from me it will be in a movie I am producing, that will have some humans in it, not just pussys."
In response to the Defences case that Magnotta experienced a psychotic break related to paranoid schizophrenia when he sent the 'John Kilbride' email and when he went on to perpetrated the indicted crimes, the Crown has put forward a case that the circumstances of Magnotta's original diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia in 2001 was lacking in any real medical evidence and relied on Magnotta's "self-reporting...of his schizophrenia symptoms". The Crown argues that subsequent psychiatrists have been reluctant to challenge the original diagnosis of one of their colleagues.
Furthermore, the Crown has contended that Magnotta has been faking and "malingering" about his schizophrenia symptoms for personal gain at various points in his life: initially to claim Ontario Disability welfare support; as mitigation in his 2005 fraud trial; and latterly to excuse behaviour such as the kitten killing videos and 'John Kilbride' email and; to evade criminal responsibility for the murder of Jun Lin.
The online postings that Magnotta made in the weeks prior to the murder of
what might well transpire to be a defining moment in the Magnotta
forensic psychiatrist appearing for the Defence, was asked under
cross-examination by the Crown about an extract from his report
(P.92) regarding online postings promoting the 'One
Lunatic One Ice Pick'
video prior to the murder
of Jun Lin:
asked Mr. Magnotta about online postings that appeared on the
Internet in the weeks prior to the killing, allegedly promoting the
video of Mr. Lin’s death." Dr.
Watts told the Court: “I
where I got that information, but I thought it important enough to
ask Mr. Magnotta about it.”
told Dr. Watts: "I
have been trying to make sense of it, I hope it was not me, I don’t
remember doing it, it feels weird.”
his report Dr. Watts then asked if Magnotta had chosen the title 'One
Lunatic, One Ice Pick',
“I don’t remember doing it, I don’t know what the hell is wrong
with me. Maybe I’ve been watching too many movies, maybe it was to
scare people, I don’t know if I even did it.”
Watts omitted to mention this information in his lengthy testimony to
the Court, but after his 124-page report was filed into evidence the
Crown seized upon this omission in an attempt to unravel the Defences
case about the murder not being premeditated.
22nd April 2012 - YouTube - Rita VanVolkenberg - A video is uploaded entitled 'Cannibal Serial Killer - Luka Magnotta' featuring a slideshow of LM pics (many fake and photoshopped) with the track "True Faith" by New Order accompanying, which is the same track featured in 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick.
15th May 2012 – vimeo.com – Angela Downs
– A short “promotional” video is uploaded depicting a person in a
purple hoodie with fist clench holding an ice pick, referencing the 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick video and asking if anyone knows the “guy” in the video.
15th May 2012 – ohlookaforum.com – babymaggie11 – Forum posting entitled 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick claiming there is a video circulating on TOR (Deep Web) depicting a real life snuff movie with necrophilia and cannibalism.
15th May 2012 – answerbag.com – Aiden_V - A question is posted asking “Where can I watch the 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick Video?" A subsequent reply is posted on 25th May 2012 stating Best Gore!
15th May 2012 – neoseeker.com – briankinney556 – Another forum posting claiming there is a video circulating on TOR called 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick.
The sockpuppet used in this posting could be a reference to Moors
Murder victim, Brian McKinney, or the character Brian Kinney in the US
version of Queer as Folk.
15th May 2012 – Yahoo!Answers – ? - A question asked by '?' asking does “Anyone know where I can watch the 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick video”?
16th May 2012 – PsychForums – anonymousgirl4 – Two forum postings to the Anti-Social Personality Disorder board mentioning the 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick video and speculating about the mental health condition of a person involved in snuff, cannibalism and necrophilia.
It remains somewhat perplexing exactly why the Crown decided not to introduce evidence of these online postings into evidence when presenting it's case, since these postings clearly establish premeditation not just for the murder of Jun Lin but the acts depicted in the 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick video that Magnotta uploaded. The online postings are far too specific in detail for anyone else but Magnotta to have made them, particularly so as no evidence was produced during the Trial of any third-party involvement in the crimes.
The photograph from the vimeo.com posting that Magnotta made on 15th May 2012 was shown in Court, but without the Jury present. Crown prosecutor, Louis Bouthillier, said about deliberating whether to introduce evidence of this posting: "We pondered on that a long time, but we
chose not to because we could not prove what we wanted to prove. It was impossible for investigators to
determine exactly when the photo was posted online." Ermmm 15th May 2012, Mr. Bouthillier, didn't think of asking vimeo.com, non?
However, Dr. Watts' omission gave the Crown an opportunity to make reference to the online postings during cross-examination, but alas for Mr. Bouthillier when he attempted to introduce evidence of the vimeo.com photograph, Magnotta's Defence attorney, Luc Leclair, objected and the Jury were sent out for an hour while Counsel made legal argument about the matter.
It has now been disclosed that during legal argument Magnotta's Defence attorney, Luc Leclair, objected to the photograph being shown to the Jury because he felt it was "Extremely
incriminating. It proves first-degree murder." Leclair's objection was upheld because the Crown had not included evidence of this posting in Crown Disclosure.
The Jury has never seen, or been shown, evidence about these online postings and, therefore, they cannot take these postings into consideration when considering whether the murder of Jun Lin was premeditated.
1c) What is the Defences Case?
It is the contention of the Defence that Luka Magnotta is not criminally responsible for his actions due to the onset of psychosis, related to paranoid schizophrenia, at some point during his encounter with Jun Lin at Magnotta's apartment on the night of 24th-25th May 2012 .
Since Magnotta did not testify in his own Defence, the Defences case rests in entirety on the expert forensic psychiatric assessments of Dr.
Marie-Frédérique Allard and Dr. Joel Watts, who conducted criminal responsibility assessments of Magnotta's mental health in relation to the crimes.
The assessments of Doctors Allard and Watts were conducted a considerable time after Magnotta's arrest and are heavily weighted on Magnotta's accounts of events on the night of 24th-25th May 2012 and his past medical history - with many of their conclusions little more than professional assumptions to explain Magnotta's behaviour, rather than having a basis in factual evidence.
The Defences strategy is reliant on convincing the Jury that Magnotta was psychotic at the time he perpetrated the crimes, or that his version of events is simply so implausible that only someone who is insane could proffer such a defence: the so-called win-win scenario!
2) How did Magnotta and Jun Lin meet?
Allard: “Mr. Magnotta met Jun
Lin through a Craigslist advert that Mr. Magnotta posted. Mr. Magnotta put an advert on
Craigslist because he was lonely and wanted sex without being paid
for it. Mr. Magnotta said Jun Lin came to his
apartment willingly and was game to videotape their sexual
activities.” Magnotta met Jun Lin at a McDonald's restaurant at Snowdon metro station before heading back to Magnotta's apartment at 5720 Decarie Blvd.
The Evidence: Montreal Police computer forensics and data retrieval experts examined the laptops and mobile phones of Jun Lin and Magnotta in June 2012, but could find no evidence on any of the devices linking the two men. Jun Lin's mobile phone was recovered by Montreal Police from Mr. Lin's apartment. Two calls were made from Jun Lin's mobile phone in the early hours of 25th May 2012, just 11 minutes before Magnotta is seen on CCTV leaving his apartment block wearing Jun Lin's yellow t-shirt:
25th May 2012, 01.48 – 19 second call from Jun Lin's mobile phone to Fairmont Hotel, Vancouver;
25th May 2012, 01.55 – 24 second call from Jun Lin's mobile phone to Hostelling International, Vancouver.
No evidence was presented to substantiate Magnotta's claim that Jun Lin consented to video their encounter.
Unanswered Questions: Did Jun Lin, or someone else, deliberately erase the internet and/or email history on his laptop regarding his communications with Magnotta and on Craigslist? If so who and why? Who made the calls using Jun Lin's mobile phone on 25th May 2012? Was it considered if Jun Lin's mobile phone had been placed in his apartment after his death by someone? Did Montreal Police check for any CCTV footage for 25th-26th May 2012 at Jun Lin's apartment block?
|Craigslist Ad, 24th May 2012|
Magnotta's internet activities: During May 2012 Magnotta starts posting 'men4men' adverts on Craigslist,
seeking sexy males aged 18-35 for a home movie he's making. His
aggressive behaviour causes so much concern that webmasters advise
people not to reply to the 'men4men' adverts.
2a) What happened on night of 24th-25th May 2012 ?
Dr. Allard: "Mr Magnotta was the first one to be tied to the bed while Jun Lin
had anal intercourse with him. Mr. Magnotta felt anxious and asked him to stop. Mr. Magnotta went on to the balcony and saw a black car, came back in and said they
should take a break. Both took temazepam. Mr. Magnotta heard voices in
his head. Mr. Magnotta thought he was being spied on. Jun
Lin asked to be tied to bed. Mr. Magnotta began thinking Jun Lin was sent by
the Government to kill him. Voices told Mr. Magnotta to “do it”, “he's
from the Government” and “cut it”. As he killed Jun Lin, he heard voices telling him to “give
it back” and thought he would give the body back to the
Dr Watts: In an account of events that Magnotta told Dr. Watts he claimed that his supposed former pimp/boyfriend, Manuel 'Manny' Lopez, was constantly telephoning him on the night of 24th-25th May 2012, at least "twenty times."
Dr. Watts said: "Manny told Mr. Magnotta to put the phone on speakerphone and Mr. Lin and Manny began talking about Vancouver. Mr. Magnotta told me that Mr. Lin had been rough during anal intercourse making him sore, causing him to pause the encounter and go and "cry in the bathroom" because he didn't want Manny to force him to continue having sex with Mr. Lin. Mr. Magnotta said, 'Who is he (Mr. Lin)?
Why is he going so rough?' He recalled wanting fresh air, going out
on the balcony and then coming back in. Mr. Magnotta said that at
this point Mr. Lin was on the bed, tied up. When I asked if he was
upset or angry with Mr. Lin for hurting him during sex, Mr. Magnotta answered that Mr. Lin did not seem to listen or care. 'I did not
want to go back and have sex with him. I didn’t know how to end the
Mr. Magnotta added, 'In my
head, he was an agent, I was hearing static, being very afraid that
he poisoned me and that is why I was feeling sick. He (Mr. Lin) was
working for the government'. When I asked why he thought that he
had been poisoned, Mr. Magnotta said, 'Manny said, How do you know he is not working for the Government, (for) Stephen Harper, maybe he put something in your drink. “Kill him, he is an agent'.” Magnotta subsequently admitted to Dr. Watts: “It’s hard to talk about this because I’m not sure at times if he (Manny) is real or not."
The Evidence: Much of the evidence about events on the night of 24th-25th May 2012 was gathered from the crime scene several days after the murder of Jun Lin, from CCTV footage and material on Magnotta's laptop and digital camera. The only account of what transpired during the encounter between Magnotta and Jun Lin is from the versions that Magnotta told Doctors Allard and Watts, which contains some poignant discrepancies and contradictions.
Jun Lin and Magnotta were captured on CCTV footage arriving at Decarie Blvd at 22.17 on 24th May 2012, with Jun Lin eagerly running up the steps and opening the foyer door followed by Magnotta who lets them into the apartment block.
It is known that Magnotta, and possibly Jun Lin, had an interest in BDSM activities - however, since no email, internet history or text messages have been recovered of conversations between Jun Lin and Magnotta it is impossible to know if this was a factor in their meeting. Magnotta's interest in BDSM and his frequenting of gore websites combined with his underlying mental health issues has been largely overlooked in significance in my view.
The sedative temazepam was found in Jun Lin's system during the toxicology on his remains, however it was not possible to determine the amount Jun Lin had ingested or the means by which he had ingested the drug. A wine bottle recovered from the rubbish that Magnotta disposed of after the murder contained temazepam, which strongly indicates the possibility that Jun Lin did not ingest the drug knowingly, contradicting Magnotta's statement to Dr. Allard that he and Jun Lin took the drug during their encounter.
It is atypical of Magnotta's behaviour that, even after he had committed such heinous crimes, he attempted to portray himself as a victim by alleging Jun Lin was "rough" during anal intercourse (if indeed that even happened)
- No evidence has been produced to substantiate Magnotta's claim that 'Manny' telephoned him on 24th-25th May 2012.
- No evidence has been produced that 'Manny' even exists. Even Doctors Allard and Watts have questioned whether 'Manny' is in fact a real person and/or at what point he became an hallucination.
- No evidence has been produced of the involvement of any third parties in the planning and perpetration of the crimes.
2b) The 48-hour Timeline of evidence after Magnotta murdered Jun Lin
After murdering Jun Lin, Magnotta set about dismembering his corpse and disposing of physical evidence of the crimes from his apartment. In between this he edited and uploaded to gore websites the 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick video on 25th May 2012 and made various postings online. Magnotta left his apartment block on numerous occasions to purchase goods and mail Jun Lin's body parts to addresses in Ottawa and Vancouver, as well as making preparation for his flight to Paris on 26th May 2012.
Throughout this significant 48-hour period Magnotta appeared calm, highly composed and ultra-organised, with no apparent signs of psychosis or psychotic behaviour in the CCTV video footage of him coming and going from his apartment block or at the postal outlets and shops he visited. Indeed, witnesses who encountered him during this period reported that his behaviour appeared normal and nothing out of the ordinary.
CCTV footage of Magnotta's comings and goings from his apartment at 5720 Decarie Blvd between 24th May-26th May 2012 was shown in Court during the Trial and a compilation of this CCTV evidence is below in a video published courtesy of Montreal Gazette, followed by a detailed timeline of Magnotta's movements during this period.
24th May 2012, 22.17 - Jun Lin and Luka Magnotta are captured on CCTV entering Magnotta's apartment block at Decarie Blvd.
25th May 2012 – Magnotta uploads the 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick video to gore sites. A user comments about this video on Best Gore at 21.27 MST (I think).
26th May 2012, 5.29 – Magnotta is seen entering the building.
2012, 01.48 – A 19 second call is made from Jun Lin's mobile phone to
Fairmont Hotel, Vancouver.
2012, 01.55 – A 24 second call from Jun Lin's mobile phone to
Hostelling International, Vancouver. Jun Lin's mobile phone was later recovered from Mr. Lin's apartment by Montreal Police. In the timeline evidence just 11 minutes later Magnotta is seeing leaving 5720 Decarie Blvd wearing Jun Lin's yellow t-shirt (make of that what you will).
25th May 2012, 02.06 - Magnotta is captured on CCTV leaving his apartment block wearing Jun Lin's yellow t-shirt.
25th May 2012, 02.13
– Magnotta returns to 5720 Decarie Blvd with a small white shopping
bag, pausing briefly in the lobby to check his hairpiece in the mirror.
25th May 2012, 02.47 – Magnotta disposes of rubbish in the garbage room.
25th May 2012, 02.52 – More rubbish disposed of in garbage room.
25th May 2012, 04.02 – Magnotta disposes of yet more rubbish in the garbage room.
25th May 2012, 09.08 – Magnotta leaves the building checking himself in mirror.
25th May 2012, 09.48 – Magnotta is captured on CCTV at Jean Coutu postal outlet buying mailboxes.
25th May 2012, 11.11 - Magnotta is at Eaton Centre exchanging money for euros.
25th May 2012, 11.20 – Magnotta buys white spray paint.
25th May 2012, 11.42 – Magnotta is at Zellers at Alexis Nihon where he buys bed sheets for $9.
25th May 2012, 12.12 – Arrives back at 5720 Decarie Blvd.
25th May 2012, 13.09 – Disposes of further rubbish.
25th May 2012, 13.30 – Returns to Jean Coutu postal outlet to buy bigger mailboxes.
25th May 2012, 14.17 – Arrives back at 5720 Decarie Blvd
25th May 2012, 15.39 – Disposes of further rubbish in garbage room. Magnotta is wearing surgical gloves.
25th May 2012, 16.38 – Magnotta purchases a return plane ticket to Paris on Expedia.com
25th May 2012, 17.12 – Magnotta makes another trip to the garbage room placing clothes in drum. Checks his hair again in mirror.
25th May 2012, 18.30
– Pizza delivery man arrives with Magnotta's order. Magnotta was
coherent when placing order and provides correct address and phone
25th May 2012, 19.11 – Magnotta returns to John Coutu postal outlet and mails Jun Lin's severed left foot to Conservative Party HQ in Ottawa and Jun Lin's left hand to Liberal Party HQ in Ottawa. Both packages contain handwritten notes from Magnotta.
25th May 2012, 19.28 – Arrives back at 5720 Decarie Blvd.
25th May 2012, 21.00 – Magnotta leaves building carrying two heavy black garbage bags. He is wearing Jun Lin's baseball cap.
25th May 2012, 21.53 - Magnotta's 11th trip to garbage room. Not wearing a wig.
25th May 2012, 22.14 - Carries out suitcase he had bought earlier that day, which Magnotta had then spray painted. It looks heavy and has slash marks (to aid decomposition it has been suggested by the Crown).
25th May 2012, 22.16 – Returns to apartment block. Exactly 24-hours after arriving with Jun Lin on 24th May 2012.
26th May 2012, 05.39 – Magnotta carries out more black garbage bags, including what looks like a laptop computer being thrown out.
26th May 2012, 06.25 – Wearing a wig again Magnotta takes out more black garbage bags.
26th May 2012, 06.34 – Magnotta leaves the building with a bulging black shoulder bag, checking himself in the mirror again.
26th May 2012, 09.23 – Returns to 5720 Decarie Blvd. His black shoulder bag appears empty.
26th May 2012, 11.11 – Magnotta leaves building with another garbage bag.
26th May 2012, 12:10 – Magnotta is captured on CCTV at Complexe Les Ailes postal outlet mailing boxes to Vancouver. He mails Jun Lin's severed right foot to St. Georges School, Vancouver, BC and Jun Lin's right hand to False Creek Elementary School, Vancouver, BC. Again both packages contained handwritten notes from Magnotta.
26th May 2012, 12.14 – Magnotta mails money order paying bills to US.
26th May 2012, 16.35 – Magnotta arrives back at 5720 Decarie Blvd.
26th May 2012, 16.46 – Magnotta makes a final trip to the garbage room – the 16th!
26th May 2012, 17.14 – Magnotta leaves 5720 Decarie Blvd for last time in a taxi heading for Montreal Airport.
The Crown has put
forward a compelling argument that Magnotta's demeanour during this
period and his purposefulness in deliberately disposing of evidence from the crime
scene, clearly establishes that Magnotta was not suffering from psychosis and
that he had mental capacity to reason right from wrong.
2c) Magnotta's activities from 27th May 2012 up to his arrest on 4th June 2012
After Magnotta arrived in Paris on 27th May 2012 he checked in to a Novotel and stayed overnight on 27th-28th May 2012 with Paris resident, Jean-Christophe Robert, whom he had got to know online prior to coming to Paris. He checked in to Le-Soumamme hotel on 28th May 2012 using a passport in the name of Kirk Trammel (the surname Trammel from Basic Instinct), before booking a one-way Eurolines reservation to Berlin in the name of Kirk Trammel on 31st May 2012.
After arriving in Berlin on 1st June 2012, Magnotta headed for the apartment of Frank Rubert, whom he had contacted online whilst in Paris. He stayed with Mr. Rubert until 4th June 2012, during which the pair went out several times to restaurants, gay clubs and parties.
During the Trial the Court heard witness testimonies from Mr. Jean-Christophe Robert and Mr. Frank Rubert, plus the booking clerk at Eurolines and hotel staff. Each testified that there was nothing unusual in Magnotta's behaviour, he appeared well kept and cared for his appearance, with no signs of psychosis or mental illness.
2d) The One Lunatic One Ice Pick video
Allard: "Mr. Magnotta said he made the video
that was posted online because: “Something forced me to do
it. It just gave me this weird energy." After killing
Jun Lin, Mr. Magnotta remembers feeling very confused and he told
me: "I didn't make the video to shock people, but to get
voices out of my head." He wanted to scare the
Government so they would get out of his life."
Magnotta also admitted to Dr. Allard that he had chosen the soundtrack True Faith by New Order featured in the One Lunatic One Ice Pick video that was uploaded to gore websites on 25th May 2012. I personally find the lyrics to this soundtrack significant.
Dr Watts: "When I asked Mr. Magnotta whether he
could recall filming and editing the video of Mr. Lin’s
dismemberment, Mr. Magnotta said he could not. He did not believe
that he had thought out an order in which to film his different
actions ahead of time. He said that he did not “choose to film certain things or
not"...he had "a feeling that Manny was telling me to do so".
He could not recall when exactly the video was edited and put on the
I asked if Mr. Magnotta had chosen the title 'One
Lunatic, One Ice Pick', Mr. Magnotta replied:“I don’t remember doing it, I don’t know what the hell is wrong
with me. Maybe I’ve been watching too many movies, maybe it was to
scare people, I don’t know if I even did it.”
Since the Defence contends that Magnotta experienced a psychotic break during his encounter with Jun Lin on 24th-25th May 2012, it goes to follow that filming and uploading the 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick video cannot have been an orchestrated or premeditated act in their view.
The Evidence: The statements that Magnotta gave to Doctors Allard and Watts yet again completely contradict - he admitted to Dr. Allard that he remembers filming and posting the video, whilst telling Dr. Watts that he could not recall filming, editing or uploading the video.
Even if you disregard the online postings (as the Jury will have to) that Magnotta made in the weeks prior to the murder of Jun Lin promoting the 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick video and the nature of it's contents, there are just too many elements in this video for it not to have been a well orchestrated and premeditated feature of the crime.
The 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick video is in fact two videos combined, as the first 55 seconds is taken from footage that Magnotta filmed during his encounter with the unidentified Colombian male on 18th-19th May 2012. The remaining footage was carefully chosen from some three hours of footage filmed by Magnotta after he murdered Jun Lin on 24th-25th May 2012.
There are clear parallels in the video with the film Basic Instinct, which the Defence has dismissed and it's expert witnesses seem to be oblivious of the significance. Magnotta painted the screwdriver silver that he used to stab Jun Lin to resemble the ice pick used by Sharon Stone's character, Catherine Tramell, in the film Basic Instinct. He staged the opening scenes featuring Jun Lin in 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick to imitate the opening ice pick stabbing scene in Basic Instinct. Then, of course, there is the 'Manny' character who was Catherine Tramell's fiancé in the book Basic Instinct, ring any bells? Plus the homage reference to 'Ice Pick' in the video's title. I have never seen Basic Instinct, so I have based this information on evidence and witness testimony.
The 1L1IP video contains well defined scenes depicting acts of picquerism and necrophilia, which are far too specific in the videography for Magnotta to claim that he did not plan to perpetrate and film these acts right from the outset. Dr. Allard disputes the acts were necrophilia on the basis of what Magnotta told her and that he did not appear to be aroused. During the course of this video Magnotta masturbates with Jun Lin's severed arm not once but in two separate segments, plus he mounts the corpse thrusting his groin back and forth against Jun Lin's buttock and then repeatedly penetrates Jun Lin's anus with a wine bottle.
Aroused or not these are deliberately sexual acts intended to depict necrophiliac practices - just as Magnotta had promoted in two of the online postings he made in the weeks prior to the crimes. Magnotta's medical records also show that he has suffered with erectile dysfunction in the past.
It seems to me that 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick is becoming an innocuous metaphor in this case, rather than the horrific depiction of unimaginable violence and depravity that it is. Since I am writing about 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick in this article I feel it is now necessary to focus on the graphic nature of the acts depicted in this video to put this crime back into context. I first saw 1L1IP in May 2012 and even now, some two and a half years on, in writing this description I find myself feeling highly disturbed and sickened. So, skip the following section if you do not wish to read graphic details about what Magnotta did in 1L1IP.
In the first 55 seconds of the video footage Magnotta is shown holding an electric angle grinder saw straddling a semi-conscious naked male writhing on the bed. The male is blindfolded, gagged and bound to the bed. The male featured at this point in the video is not Jun Lin, but the unidentified Colombian male that Magnotta met and filmed on 18th-19th May 2012.
Magnotta walks around the bed and pans out with a fully body shot of the naked Colombian male. The footage then cuts to a scene of a blindfolded naked Jun Lin laying lifeless on the bed, with several puncture wounds to the chest. Magnotta is then shown repeatedly stabbing the abdomen and lower chest region of the corpse and Jun Lin's right arm with the silver painted screwdriver. In all Magnotta inflicts exactly 100 stab wounds to Jun Lin's corpse (yes I counted). This lasts for 1 minute 15 seconds approximately.
Magnotta then pans across the corpse, with remarkably few visible stab wounds, and removes the blindfold on Jun Lin's head revealing deep slashes to his throat. Magnotta pans down to Jun Lin's right thigh and starts cutting into the flesh with a kitchen knife before moving up to Jun Lin's right arm where he inflicts further slash wounds and a single slash wound to Jun Lin's left thigh.
Magnotta pans up to Jun Lin's head and lingers on the Casablanca poster on the wall, before panning back down to a view of Jun Lin's almost severed head. He then cuts to a body shot including the genital region before panning back to Jun Lin's head. Magnotta cuts to a view of Jun Lin's severed head, which he rotates by yanking Jun Lin's hair.
Next Magnotta starts cutting deep into Jun Lin's right arm just beneath the shoulder, panning out to reveal the corpse had been turned frontside down on the bed. He slashes into Jun Lin's back with the kitchen knife in a criss-cross fashion before panning out to reveal Jun Lin's right arm severed next to the corpse.
Magnotta then picks up Jun Lin's severed right-arm and begins rubbing the palm of Jun Lin's hand against his crotch, he then pulls his pants down and begins rubbing the severed arm over his penis and balls.
Magnotta cuts to a panned out view of the corpse on the bed with both arms severed and a right leg severed, with deep laceration to the upper thigh of Jun Lin's left leg. The mattress is saturated in pools of blood. Magnotta pans in for a close up of Jun Lin's upper thigh on the severed right leg with thigh bone exposed. He then pans across the corpse as if to review his handiwork before cutting into the deep laceration on Jun Lin's left leg with the kitchen knife.
The scene then pans to Jun Lin's buttocks and pans out to reveal both legs amputated. Magnotta then mounts the corpse on the bed and begins thrusting his groin area against Jun Lin's buttocks in a thrusting motion. He then dismounts the corpse and pans in on the buttock area when he starts slicing into Jun Lin's left buttock with a knife and fork. He makes a series of deep laceration to reveal fatty tissue in a lingering and haphazard scene, pressing the fork in to slice a piece fatty tissue from Jun Lin's buttock with the knife, which Magnotta then presents to the camera on the fork.
Magnotta then presents his small puppy to the corpse and the dog begins gnawing and eating flesh from Jun Lin's left upper thigh stump, briefly bringing the fork with fatty tissue into shot. He lingers on the scene of the dog eating into Jun Lin's flesh, before panning out to a shot of Jun Lin's buttocks with deep lacerations and missing flesh from Jun Lin's left buttocks.
Magnotta inserts a wine bottle into Jun Lin's anus and begins penetrating in and out with the bottle. The footage then cuts to a shot of Magnotta naked form the waist down on the bed masturbating with Jun Lin's severed arm.
The footage then switches to still photographs of Magnotta's puppy eating Jun Lin's thigh stump, shots of body parts in a fridge freezer, a shot of the corpse with right leg severed, shots of Jun Lin's severed head from different angles, ending with a 14 second shot of Jun Lin with throat slashed and pools of blood on the mattress.
- added the specially selected soundtrack True Faith by New Order;
- inserted the first 55 seconds of footage from video filmed on 18th-19th May 2012 featuring the unidentified Colombian male;
- edited carefully selected footage from three hours of video filmed after Jun Lin was brutally murdered on 25th May 2012;
- depicted clearly defined scenes of picquerism, dismemberment, necrophilia and implied cannibalism;
- produced a 10 minute 28 second video that was upload to gore websites on 25th May 2012 - within hours of filming the scenes of Jun Lin.
These are not the actions of a person experiencing a psychotic break, who claims he cannot recall filming the scenes and who claims to have uploaded the 1 lunatic 1 Ice Pick video to "scare the
Government so they would get out of his life."
To summarise - from three hours of video footage filmed on 24th-25th May 2012, Luka Magnotta:
3) What motive did Magnotta have for murdering Jun Lin and uploading the 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick video?
The Defence: The Defence had no need to put forward an explanation for motive in the crimes, since they contend that Magnotta was psychotic at the time he perpetrated these acts. However, in a more generalised view to explain some of Magnotta's behaviours, Defence expert witnesses identified Narcissistic, Histrionic and Borderline Personality Traits.
The Crown: The Crown has not place a great deal of emphasis on motive. However, Dr. Gilles Chamberland, expert forensic psychiatrist testifying for the Crown, contends that Magnotta's behaviour can be explained by multiple Personality Disorders and his use of illicit drugs such as cannabis and cocaine. He agreed with Defence expert witnesses that Magnotta exhibits Personality Traits consistent with diagnoses for Narcissistic, Histrionic and Borderline Personality Disorders, and he also identified Antisocial Personality Traits. Dr. Chamberland concluded that Magnotta was not psychotic at the time he perpetrated the crimes, he knew the acts he committed were wrong and that he committed the crimes to seek attention and fame.
The Criminological Evidence: Of all the pieces of the criminological jigsaw puzzle, establishing motive in the Magnotta case is perhaps the simplest element to understand. There is an overwhelming body of criminological evidence that Luka Magnotta perpetrated the murder of Jun Lin and uploaded the 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick video to achieve fame, or more aptly infamy, by means of the notoriety he gained from the crimes and video that he uploaded to gore websites.
I have organised this website into three sections, Timeline, Luka's Lifestory and Luka's Web, to explore in greater detail the criminological factors relevant to understanding the complete picture in this case, which I shall summarise here.
In order to gain insight into the personality of Magnotta one firstly has to look at the evolution of the persona that is Luka Rocco Magnotta - yes, he is a real person, but perhaps more pertinently Luka Rocco Magnotta is the reinvention of the troubled Eric Clinton Kirk Newman as an internet personality (or as Magnotta himself once said an "internet sensation").
As far back as 2003 Magnotta exhibited grandiose Personality Traits, when he told his psychiatrist at the time, Dr. Sooriabalan: "I am going to be a celebrity, a superstar." These were not the exuberant comments of youth but a statement of intent, as at around this time Magnotta embarked on career making gay pornographic movies and modelling, whilst also working as a gay escort.
Indeed, for a period of time, Magnotta's pornographic and modelling career seemed to satisfy his need for attention and grandiose ideation of his status as a celebrity. However, at some point in 2006 Magnotta's maladaptive personality traits became increasingly dark and twisted when he started internet rumours about dating notorious killer, Karla Homolka. The old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity seems to have resonated strongly with Magnotta, as he revelled in the media interviews he did to deny the rumours about dating Homolka that he, himself, had started.
After this point a clear pattern of maladaptive behaviours emerges in Magnotta's increasingly desperate pursuit of fame and celebrity status, as the boundary between reality and internet activities blur and coalesce into a singular purpose. With his pornography and modelling career waning in 2007 Magnotta turns to auditioning for reality television shows and begins creating a vast internet legend about himself with multiple accounts on websites like You Tube, Flickr and Facebook as well as numerous blogging websites.
His aggressive self-promotional, attention seeking, behaviours on the internet became increasingly disturbing in nature as he actively courted controversy, attracting considerable derision and negative attention, which Magnotta seemed to relish. He developed a well defined modus operandi of posting and uploading content about himself and then creating multiple 'sockpuppet' aliases to post supportive comments and material to substantiate and enhance Magnotta's self-promotion as a celebrity, superstar.
Magnotta has an instinctive understanding of how social media works,
much more so than people give him credit due to the nature of his
behaviour, and he used social media websites as a vehicle not only to
gain attention and publicise his self-promotional materials but to
attain affirmation and recognition.
The pinnacle of recognition for Magnotta was being listed as a famous celebrity on Wikipedia, and despite multiple attempts to create his own Wiki portal - flooding Wikipedia with sockpuppet accounts to edit and post supportive comments to resurrect his page - he was thwarted at every turn by Wiki admins who deemed him a non-notable porn actor and eventually permanently deleted the portal he created. Ironic that his crimes have given him the notability and recognition on Wikipedia that he desired, but then Magnotta knew that would happen.
We live in a culture where celebrity is no longer necessarily defined by talent or achievement, where the advent of reality television shows and internet exposure on websites such as YouTube can propel people from relative obscurity to fame. Magnotta tried unsuccessfully to attain fame from his non-notable porn and modelling career, he briefly turned to auditioning for reality television shows which again produced only relatively fleeting exposure, so he must have pondered the question: just what does a boy have to do to be famous?
It is the combination of all these factors, compounded by Magnotta's underlying mental health issues, which ultimately culminated in the murder of Jun Lin and the shocking revelation of the 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick video. I have found it impossible to put much weight on the credibility of the Defences argument in this case, when so much of the basic criminological evidence has been disregarded or simply not considered. One wonders whether the Defence, in fact, even know who Luka Rocco Magnotta is?
The singular motivating factor behind all these maladaptive behaviours was to seek attention and recognition to attain his goal of fame and notoriety! He has succeeded in this objective!
4) In Conclusion
When I started looking into this case back in May 2012 I had no doubts from the outset that Magnotta perpetrated the crimes, nor did I doubt that he suffered with serious mental health issues. The fundamental issue for me was understanding how these elements relate to each other. Having carefully considered all the evidence and testimony during the trial I have reached the following conclusions:
In an individual such as Magnotta, who has from a young age exhibited maladaptive personality traits and coping mechanisms, the solution became apparent from the attention he gained from the Homolka dating rumours that he started. These maladaptive behaviours escalated significantly in nature during 2010-2011 when Magnotta uploaded the 'kitten killing' videos, creating a storm of publicity both online and internationally in media publications, which culminated in the confrontation in London during December 2011 with Alex West of the Sun Newspaper. But, even this did not give Magnotta the celebrity status he yearned for, instead he was pursued by animal rights organisations and the media in a campaign to bring him to justice.
I have no doubts in my mind that when Magnotta began frequenting gore websites during 2011 the idea implanted in
his thought processes to create his own gore video as the ultimate solution to realise his obsession with attaining recognition and fame - albeit through the notoriety of creating what has the appearance of a real life snuff video...the stuff of urban legend and maybe something that Magnotta considered to be a gap waiting to be filled in the gore scene.
- Mangotta committed the premeditated murder of Jun Lin and that he had mental capacity to reason that his actions were wrong;
- Magnotta perpetrated the crimes to attain fame and notoriety;
- Magnotta's interest in BDSM activities and gore imagery is highly significant and a determinate factor in the nature of the crimes he perpetrated;
- Magnotta has demonstrated that he is unstable, dangerous, highly manipulative and a pathological liar showing few signs of genuine remorse - which is indicative to me of emergent sociopathic personality traits;
- It remains to be seen whether the Crown has done enough to convince the Jury that beyond reasonable doubt Magnotta is guilty of premeditated 1st degree murder!
"Getting away with all this, now that's genius"
Luka Magnotta, Sun Newsdesk, 10th December 2011
Notes on this report:
This report is based on my research into Luka Rocco Magnotta and the crimes that he perpetrated. I started researching this case during May 2012, collating and publishing my findings on The Magnotta Files website as I went along.
I wrote this report in early December 2014 after the Crown and Defence had presented their closing arguments before the Jury, however I have subsequently rewritten sections and added additional information, hence the later published date.