Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Up until now most of the evidence and testimony at the Trial has not comes as a surprise to me, with one notable exception...

An unidentified young male (left) with Luka Magnotta, 19th May 2012

On 1st June 2012, Det Sgt. Panagiotis Sarganis, a computer forensics and data retrieval specialist with Montreal Police, Tech Unit, examined a memory card from Luka Magnotta's Sony DSC-W5 digital camera, that had been retrieved from rubbish outside 5720 Decarie Blvd.

Whilst the camera itself was not operational at the time, Det Sgt. Sarganis recovered 505 photographs and 3 raw videos from the memory card, which included several photographs, presumed to have been taken with a self-timer, of Luka Magnotta and an unidentified male resting on a bed (pictured above), which was subsequently dated to 19th May 2012.

Luka Magnotta met the unidentified male via an advertisement on the Craisglist website. During the Trial it was revealed the unidentified male was a Colombian.

The unidentified male, dubbed by many as 'Mr X', also featured in video footage taken by Luka Magnotta on 19th May 2012, prior to taking the photographs.   In the video footage the unidentified young male is filmed gagged, tied-up and snoring on a bed with Luka Magnotta straddling him.  Magnotta is later heard asking the semi-conscious young male: "Are you OK? Are you Ok?"

Disturbingly, at one point Magnotta has an electric saw in his hand whilst the Colombian male was semi-conscious on the bed - this footage was subsequently edited into the opening segment of the 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick murder video of Jun Lin that Magnotta uploaded on 25th May 2012.

Luka Magnotta and the unidentified young male are shown on CCTV arriving at Luka's apartment block at 5720 Decarie Blvd on 18th May 2012, meaning the video and pictures were taken sometime after midnight.  The pair are next shown on CCTV leaving 5720 Decarie Blvd at 11.30am on 19th May 2012, with Luka Magnotta holding the young male's arm in a manner as if to steady him.

What I find extraordinary about this video and photographic footage, is that it was taken just six days before the murder of Jun Lin, depicting an encounter which has the hallmark of a rehearsal for subsequent events on 24th-25th May 2012, but yet the significance of this barely seems to have registered in the police investigation and when it was introduced into evidence during the Trial proceedings; at least in the public testimony!

Montreal Police have had knowledge of this mystery young male and his encounter with Luka Magnotta on 18th-19th May 2012 since 1st June 2012Det Sgt. Claudette Hamlin, of Montreal Police, testified that despite an exhaustive search Montreal Police have not been able to identify this young male.  Surely, it must have been possible to utilise the power of the net at an earlier stage to identify this male, without compromising the police investigation into the murder of Jun Lin?

When Det Sgt. Sarganis gave his testimony at the Trial, the revelation about Luka Magnotta's encounter with the unidentified young man on 18th-19th May 2012 created quite a stir online, with some pretty wild theories circulating on the net about his identity, the encounter and the Jun Lin murder case; which it has to be said must be regarded as pure conjecture at this stage.   

Based on what is known, there is absolutely no evidence that any harm came to this young man, nor is there evidence to indicate his involvement in any criminality or that he had prior knowledge of the murder of Jun Lin some six days later.

Indeed, I would contend that the circumstantial evidence suggests the encounter between the two men was consensual: based on the fact that Luka Magnotta showed concern for his well-being during the video footage; the young male was seen leaving the apartment block afterwards; and the young man did not report any untoward behaviour, i.e. being drugged against his will.  I also very much doubt Luka Magnotta would have taken such a risk.

Whilst I am somewhat reluctant to join the throng of people banding about speculative theories, it should be noted that there is an underground scene on the internet of men into the more extreme types of bondage and sado-masochistic roleplay scenarios, which includes submissive males willingly being rendered unconscious with sedative drugs.

I am staggered that, as of yet, this young male has not been identified, but until he is and gives his account of the encounter with Luka Magnotta, speculation will be rife about ramifications for the Trial.

Needless to say if anybody reading this genuinely thinks they might know the identity of this male, you know what to do!

16/12/2014 - UPDATE - Magnotta's Defence attorney, Luc Leclair, let slip during the Trial that the Defence knew all along the identity of the hitherto unidentified 'Colombian' maleLeclair 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.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

My overview of the Magnotta Trial so far

It has been quite some while since I have written an article in this blog, although recently I have been fairly busy updating the Timeline and Luka's Lifestory pages with contemporary information.  

That is not to say I lost interest in the case, far from it, but I needed a break from dwelling too much on such a dark side of human natureHowever, I have been following the trial on a daily basis.
Defence attorney, Luc Leclair
Now on to the trial so far.  The opening gambit from Magnotta's Defence attorney, Luc Leclair, principally that Luka Magnotta admits to carrying out the particulars of the crime but was not criminally responsible for his actions due to mental illness and persecution, came as no surprise to be honest.  It is after all an obvious line for the Defence to pursue and, perhaps, Magnotta's only hope of evading a lengthy spell in prison.

The Crown on the other hand, in light of Luka Magnotta's admission to carrying out the particulars of the crime, was tasked with establishing that Luka Magnotta was indeed criminally responsible of committing the premeditated 1st degree murder of Jun Lin.

Crown Prosecutor, Louis Bouthillier
Over the course of the past four weeks or so Crown prosecutor, Louis Bouthillier, presented the Court with graphic evidence from the various crime scenes, numerous expert witness testimonies and witness statements from North America and Europe, including what transpired to be key witness testimony from British journalist, Alex West.

A great deal of the evidence of the crime and crime scene was in the public domain already, in whole or in part, likewise was Luka Magnotta's activities and movements around the time of the crime and up until his arrest in Berlin, Germany. Much of the witness testimony on these matters confirmed facts and augmented information in the public domain.

The email to Sun Newsdesk, 10/12/11
Early on in the Trial it emerged that the Crown's case for premeditated 1st degree murder centred almost entirely on an email sent to Sun Newsdesk on 10th December 2011, from a UK Yahoo email account in the name of John Kilbride (a child victim of Moors Murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley)

It is the Crown's contention that Luka Magnotta sent the 'Kilbride' email following the confrontation between Alex West and Luka Magnotta in Wembley, London, UK, on 8th December 2011. Crown prosecutor, Louis Bouthillier, argued that this proves premeditation to commit murder some six months prior to the crime.

I have expressed my viewpoint about the 'John Kilbride' email elsewhere in this blog, but here we are talking about key evidence presented by the Crown to substantiate the charge of premeditated 1st degree murder.  

It was established in December 2011 by the British Metropolitan Police, Malicious Communications Unit, that the 'John Kilbride' email was sent from a server in The Netherlands to Sun Newsdesk on 10th December 2011 at 16.32.  It is also not disputed that two days previously, on 8th December 2011, Luka Magnotta was staying in Wembley, London.   

Now, bearing in mind the Crown's case for premeditation, one would have expected the Crown to present substantiating evidence of Luka Magnotta's movements from the last confirmed sighting of him in London on 8th December 2011 - i.e. airline passenger ticket, airline manifest entry, or maybe a photocopy, if one was taken, of airline ticket from lodgings in London - to establish that Luka Magnotta was actually in The Netherlands at the time the 'Kilbride' email was sent?!

11th November 2014 - Dr. Allard, forensic psychiatrist giving expert testimony in Magnotta's Defence, stated to the Court that Luka Magnotta admitted to her that he: "admits to having sent the email to Alex West, journalist with The Sun in London!"  Dr. Allard stated that Luka Magnotta is "embarrassed and ashamed" at having sent the email and that he "sent it because he wanted to scare Alex West."    Adding, "It was bad judgement."

So, there you have it, Magnotta sent it but he didn't mean anything by it - it is all one huge coincidence that nearly six months later he followed through on the threat in the email to make a movie involving humans. Nowt premeditated in that then.  What's that?  Pull the other one it's got bells on it!

It is worth noting, however, that the Crown has made little effort to establish motive for the crimes.  Indeed, it seems to me that Crown Prosecutor, Louis Bouthillier, has been rather complacent about the strength of the Crown's case. Maybe this is due, in part, to a presumption from the outset of the Trial that the Crown would have to prove Luka Magnotta perpetrated the crime, rather than prove that he was criminally responsible.

The overriding impression I have gained from the proceedings during the Trial, is not so much about what has been revealed and established, but what has not and remains unresolved!

This Trial, more than most, is very much a Trial of two halves and a great deal now hinges on whether Luka Magnotta's attorney, Luc Leclair, can persuade the Jury there is sufficient evidence to cast reasonable doubt over the Crown's case for premeditation.  

Ultimately, it does not matter what you or I think, as quite properly it is for the twelve men and women of the Jury to reach a verdict on the charge of premeditated 1st degree murder.