Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Body Parts in the Mail: International Search Continues for Porn Actor Turned Murderer

Luka Rocco Magnotta.

On Tuesday, political advisor Jenni Byrne opened a package that had been mailed to the headquarters of Canada’s Conservative party. What she saw shocked and disgusted her — the box contained a severed human foot. But that was just the beginning.

A note in the package said that six body parts altogether had been mailed, and that the suspect planned to kill again. A suitcase containing a man’s headless torso was found near a garbage heap in Montreal, and authorities tracked down a package destined for the Liberal Party of Canada that contained a detached human hand. Forensic testing showed the three body parts originated from the same person.

Police turned their attention to a 2nd floor apartment of a building adjacent to the garbage dump where the torso was discovered. Investigators found a blood-stained mattress and the smell of death still lingering. Pools of blood found on the kitchen floor gave evidence that dismembered limbs might have been stored in the refrigerator. The apartment belonged to 29-year-old Luka Rocco Magnotta, who was nowhere to be found. The search for Magnotta has gone international as Canadian authorities determined that the suspect traveled to France over the weekend. He has since been placed on Interpol’s wanted persons list as the hunt continues.

Meanwhile on the internet, a viral video surfaced that purports to show a naked Magnotta killing a young Asian man with an icepick, dismembering him, and performing sexual acts with the body parts. Montreal police worked quickly to have the video taken down. As of Thursday morning, authorities had not yet located all of the still-unnamed victim’s body parts, raising speculation that some might still be winding their way through the mail service.“We are still missing a few parts of the puzzle in terms of body parts, so yes, this is a special crime scene,” Montreal Police spokesman Ian Lafrenière told reporters.

Luka Rocco Magnotta.

Emerging information about Magnotta is as bizarre as the crime itself. Magnotta worked as a model and adult-film performer, and is alleged to have dated notorious sex killer Karla Homolka, who was implicated in several rape-murders of young Canadian girls, including her own sister. Magnotta has also caused an internet maelstrom for allegedly posting videos of himself murdering kittens. Magnotta complained about the social media campaign against him on his website.

In the three months he had been staying in the Montreal apartment, Magnotta had been a normal tenant. Building manager Eric Schorer told reporters that neighbors had never made any complaints about Magnotta, who “seemed like a nice guy.” Schorer changed his mind after finding the torso in the briefcase and letting police into Magnotta’s apartment, # 208. “When I first opened the door, I almost heaved,” Schorer said later. “It’s the smell of death.”

While the manhunt for Magnotta continues overseas, the mayhem he left behind in Canada continues to haunt those that have seen it. “For most of the officers who have been there all night long, this is the type of crime scene that they have never seen in their lives, in their career,” according to Police Cmdr. Lafrenière.

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