Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Manhunt for Porn Actor Wanted for Gruesome Murder Ends in Berlin

Luka Rocco Magnotta.

An international search for Luka Rocco Magnotta, the Toronto-born model and porn actor wanted for murdering and dismembering a Chinese student then mailing his body parts to Canadian political parties, ended peacefully when the 29-year-old was captured in a Berlin internet cafe where Magnotta had been reading media accounts about himself.

At roughly 11:45 am Monday, Magnotta stopped at the Internet Spaetkauf Helin, an internet cafe on Karl Marx Strasse in Berlin’s Neukölln neighborhood, and rented time on a computer. Magnotta, wearing sunglasses and dressed in a black hoodie and jeans, reminded cafe owner Ulku Sungur of the international fugitive whose face had been all over the papers, tv, and the internet — the man who had been branded with the nickname “Canadian Psycho” by European media. “We thought he looked familiar, but we couldn’t be sure,” Sungur told The Globe and Mail, “In person, he looked a little different.” Sungur surreptitiously monitored what Magnotta was reading, and noticed the young man was browsing porn sites and news articles about himself.

Convinced that this patron might be the young man wanted by Interpol, the cafe owner had a co-worker flag down local police. At roughly 1:30 p.m., seven German police officers entered the internet cafe and approached the suspect. According to media reports, Magnotta was viewing an article about his crimes when police accosted him. A police spokesman later told Canadian reports that Magnotta did not resist arrest, but he initially denied his identity to avoid arrest. Berlin police captain Guido Busch explained Magnotta “first tried to get out by telling several names that are fiction… At last he said, ‘You got me.’”

Magnotta is expected to make his first appearance in a German court on Tuesday. The Toronto Star reports that even though Magnotta is in custody, the legal procedures that must proceed before the Canadian citizen is extradited back home to stand trial could take as long as two years — and possibly much longer if Magnotta stalls the proceedings and appeals any adverse rulings up to Germany’s highest court.

Germany does not extradite suspects to courts where they might be sentenced to die; Canadian law does not have a death penalty, so that won’t apply. Magnotta does face stiff prison terms that might see him behind bars for the rest of his life. Montreal prosecutors plan to try Magnotta on five charges: first-degree murder, causing an indignity to a body, corrupting morals, using the mail system to deliver “obscene, indecent, immoral or scurrilous” material, and harassing Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

See Also:

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