UPDATE: After an international manhunt, alleged killer Luka Rocco Magnotta has been arrested in Berlin, the German newspaper Bild reported today. More details to come as the story develops.
Last July, Jun Lin, a 33-year-old Chinese national, traveled to Montreal to study at Concordia University. He ended up dead, his body parts shipped across Canada.
On Friday morning, Montreal police Commander Ian Lafrenière held a press conference announcing the victim’s identity and giving more details on the circumstances surrounding the sensational killing and subsequent flight to Europe by alleged suspect Luka Rocco Magnotta, a Toronto-born porn actor and model.
Investigators believe that Lin and Magnotta knew each other before the gruesome crime. Police surmise the murder occurred sometime during the night of May 24 or the early hours of May 25 — and that Magnotta posted a video of the killing on May 25 before fleeing to France the next day. Friends last spoke with Lin on May 24, and the Chinese Consulate reported him missing on May 29.
Montreal police have issued a warrant for Magnotta’s arrest for the charges of first-degree murder and indignity to a human body. Police believe Magnotta might be traveling under an assumed name — he has gone by Eric Clinton Newman (his birth name) and Vladimir Romanov in the past. Cmdr. Lafreniere said Magnotta has also donned a wig to disguise his appearance.
The Toronto Star has uncovered more details of Magnotta’s salacious past. A former girlfriend, transsexual Nina Aresenault, told the paper she dated Magnotta ten years ago and that he struggled to control his temper. Toward his own family, Magnotta allegedly had a “red hot anger”.
Magnotta once auditioned for a spot on “Cover Guy”, a gay reality TV show. “A lot of people tell me I’m really devastatingly good looking,” he tells judges — but he’s ultimately dismissed for being too skinny.
Magnotta had previously run afoul of the law — in 2005, he pled guilty to fraud and impersonation. According to an unverifiable online interview with Magnotta, he claimed to have begun doing porn at the age of 20, saying he liked the work but knew it was fleeting: “You have to realize that after age 30 your career is basically over.”
While the international manhunt continues, the bad news about Lin Jun has made its way to China. The Chinese consulate has contacted his family back home to tell them the man who had left home to study at the faculty of engineering and computer science would not come home alive. Concordia University president Frederick Lowy issued a statement offering grief counseling for students and extending condolences to Lin’s family: “It is never easy to deal with the loss of a loved one, particularly when the death is unforeseen. Our hearts go out to his family and friends during this very difficult time.”