Global manhunt for suspect in grisly Montreal murder
Published Thursday, May 31, 2012 5:12PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 20, 2012 9:44AM EDT
MONTREAL- CAUTION: GRAPHIC CONTENT MAY DISTURB SOME READERS.
The manhunt for Luka Rocco Magnotta turned international on Thursday after Interpol issued a warrant for the Montrealer suspected of having murdered and dismembered a man. Magnotta, who had been living in a Cote-des-Neiges apartment next to where a man's torso was found Tuesday, could have fled Canada.
The Interpol listing includes a picture of the 29-year-old man and a description listing his height as five-foot-eight, and his weight as 134 pounds. Magnotta has brown hair and blue eyes, according to the posting which includes few other details.
CTV's Montreal Bureau Chief Genevieve Beauchemin said police have indicated they have reason to believe Magnotta may have left the country.
"They said there's some information on the scene, some evidence on the scene as well as some of the writings he's done in the past [to suggest he's left the country]," Beauchemin told CTV News Channel.
"There was a blog he wrote two years ago where he details just how to escape, how to leave without being noticed, without being found and so certainly they're looking at that and they say there's a possibility he may have left the country."
However, she said police have not confirmed whether Magnotta has fled Canada.
On Wednesday, CTV Montreal was shown around Magnotta's apartment by the building's superintendent.
The one-room apartment had blood-soaked sheets on bed in a pile, blood stains on the mattress, and a large puddle of dried blood in the fridge.
A model and low-budget adult film performer, Montreal police are also investigating a video online that could link Magnotta to the dismemberment. All personal belongings had been removed from the apartment by the Montreal police.
Magnotta moved to the building from Toronto several months ago. Nobody in the building has seen Magnotta for several days.
This past Tuesday another building worker, Mike Nadeau, opened a suitcase that had been sitting in an alley since last Friday, when it should have been picked by garbage collectors.
"We went over and looked and it looked--there was literally maggots coming out so we said 'Let's bust the lock off and see what's inside.'
"When we opened it up inside, there was a torso with no head," said Nadeau.
Superintendent Eric Shorer said Magnotta was a quiet guy who kept to himself.
Montreal police on the hunt
Montreal police are collecting pieces of the puzzle in their attempt to locate the suspect. Much of their research has been done by examining Magnotta's online writings and appearances.
"Most of the investigation was done through the web,"said police representative Ian Lafreniere. "It's had to believe but we had no criminal background whatsoever on that suspect so we've been looking at the web and we've found a lot of videos, shocking videos and pictures and we discovered some information for ourselves. There was a letter publicized on his website talking about how to leave a country without being found."
Lafreniere is optimistic that Magnotta will be located.
"We believe the picture will be everywhere. There's a lot of heat on him, there's a lot of pressure on him, so we believe it's going to be hard on him," said Lafreniere.
The victim has still not been identified publicly but is said to be an Asian Montrealer with no family in the city.
"The victim, we're talking a male in his thirties, looks like someone who's been reported missing for the past days, but it's not confirmed who it is, that's because of the state of the body, it was cut into pieces so the only way to confirm this will be a DNA match," he said.
One expert said that the offender might seem like a likeable person to anybody who crosses his path.
"He will be seductive or charming. We call that the sanity mask meaning that he will try and project an image so people will say‘what a great guy', ‘what a great person' and that's how he is able to seduce the people into his web," said clinical psychologist Pierre Faubert.
Faubert said that the person who committed the crimes is at the end of any psychological chart.
"I think that it's pretty safe to say that we're dealing with a psychopath and of the extreme type and that is if you put him on the scale, the psychopathic scale that has been set up by Dr. Stone he would be at number 22 which is the highest level," said Faubert.
Faubert believes that the killer will eventually reoffend if given the chance.
"He'll lay low but once the tension builds up and he gets this need and he's not getting enough attention that's when he's going to be looking for a victim. That's when he becomes dangerous again," said Faubert. "He even announced that he would kill again and he's probably most likely to do that. The thing is who will he kill next? It could even be himself."
There are several online campaigns pointing to Magnotta as someone who may have posted several videos involving the torture and killing of cats.
Those online sleuths say Magnotta may also be responsible for a gruesome video put online earlier in May called One Lunatic One Icepick.
The video shows someone repeatedly stabbing a young man with an ice pick. While both killer and victim lay naked, he dismembered the corpse and committed sexual and cannibalistic acts on it.
That same person apparently videotaped the gory scene and posted it on the Internet. The video is now being reviewed by Montreal police, who are investigating a case that has shocked the country.
He is a prolific author of online articles.
One article written in 2009, titled "How to Completely Disappear and Never Be Found," shares a six-step process for escaping and shedding one's identity. Another offers tips on how to get into the porn business.
A Facebook page belonging to a self-described model with the same name list a variety of personal heroes. They include pop star Madonna and two Russian leaders: Vladimir Putin and Joseph Stalin.
"There is such things as Monsters, Demons and Ghosts," says a quote typed onto that page.
"They live inside of us, and sometimes they win."
Link to Ottawa
On Wednesday morning police confirmed that the case of the Montreal torso was linked with body parts sent through the mail to Ottawa.
A foot was sent to the headquarters of the Conservative Party of Canada. Canada Post later discovered a second package containing a human hand. Police believe other body parts may have been shipped by courier.
Magnotta is known to use several pseudonyms, including Eric Clinton Newman and Vladimir Romanov.
He is 29 years old, 1.78 m tall, 61 kg ( 5'10", 135 lbs) with blue eyes and black hair.
Anyone who sees him is asked to call 9-1-1 immediately.
Echoes from the past
The crime is considered among the most horrific ever committed in the city and dominated conversations everywhere. Some worried parents even kept their kids inside as the killer had remained unapprehended.
The murder echoes similar killings from the past committed by men who came to the city, including Richard Dean Christensen, a serial killer of up to 30 from Pennsylvania who is believed to have killed and dismembered two Montreal-area women in 1982, leaving severed remains of one in his oven on Milton.
Another sex killer who terrified the city was Wayne Boden, who killed and chewed on three Montreal women before being caught and put away for the rest of his life in 1971.
With files from The Canadian Press.