OTTAWA, Jun 1 – A global manhunt was under way on Friday for a Canadian porn star suspected of dismembering his boyfriend and mailing the body parts, after a video of the grisly killing surfaced online.
Interpol posted the picture and profile of Luka Rocco Magnotta, 29, who is being hunted across Canada over the killing, first brought to light when a human foot was sent to the headquarters of Canada’s ruling Conservative Party.
A hand was later found in the mail at an Ottawa post office, and a torso was discovered in Montreal. Police believe the remains belong to a man who was dating Magnotta – and that Magnotta is to blame.
Authorities say they believe the suspect, also known as Eric Clinton Newman and Vladimir Romanov, may have fled the country.
Interpol said it had issued a “Red Notice” wanted persons alert for Magnotta to its 190 member countries.
“There is no country in the world that is not talking about him,” Montreal police commander Ian Lafreniere told public broadcaster CBC Thursday, adding that police have evidence he fled North America.
“There’s a lot of heat on him. There’s a lot of pressure on him, so we believe that it’s going to be hard for him.”
The video circulating online shows a man repeatedly stab another man with an ice pick and dismember him, as a song from the soundtrack of the film “American Psycho” plays in the background.
“It’s a video of the murder,” police told the daily Globe and Mail. The newspaper also reported that the footage showed acts of cannibalism.
Despite efforts to take it down, frustrated police said Thursday the gory 10 and a half minute video first brought to the attention of Canadian authorities by a Montana lawyer has kept popping up all over the Internet.
US civil litigation lawyer Roger Renville told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) he came across the video last Saturday, and informed police in the United States and Canada.
“What I saw in that video exceeds your worst nightmare. It’s Jeffrey Dahmer-esque,” he said.
When Renville spoke to Canadian police on Sunday, he said they were “very sceptical.”
A police officer “suggested that whatever I was seeing must be fake. And he suggested that special effects are pretty good these days and it’d be hard to tell if it was real or not,” said Renville.
An investigation was launched Tuesday when a package sent from Montreal was partly opened by the receptionist at the Conservative Party office in Ottawa, who called police after seeing blood stains and being overwhelmed by the smell.
Hours later, a second suspicious package was intercepted by Canada Post at a nearby mail sorting facility. It “contained a human hand,” said police.
The probe soon shifted to Montreal, where a torso was discovered by a janitor in a suitcase in a pile of garbage. Police said the torso belonged to a white male but was difficult to identify because of the missing body parts.
The investigation quickly brought police to a studio apartment overlooking an expressway in the neighbourhood where the torso was found.After combing it for evidence, the doors and windows were left open to air out the “pungent” smell of death, the Ottawa Citizen reported.
A CBC reporter, who was let in by the building superintendent, said he saw blood stains on a bed mattress where police say the victim may have been killed, around a bathtub drain, and on other furniture.
Only two months ago, Magnotta wrote in his last known public comments on a blog: “It’s not cool to the world being a necrophiliac. It’s bloody lonely.”
Police have not said whether there was evidence of sexual assault on the victim.
Several websites describe Magnotta as a washed-up porn star and hustler, who allegedly posted videos online of himself torturing kittens.
Online reports also said Magnotta once dated Karla Homolka, who was convicted in 1991 of manslaughter following a plea bargain in the rape and murder of two teenage girls and her sister.
Homolka had claimed in testimony that helped send her husband Paul Bernardo to prison for life that she was abused and an unwilling accomplice to the grisly murders.
But videotapes of the crimes later surfaced showing that she was a more active participant than she had claimed. She was released from prison in 2005 and moved to Montreal.
In a 2007 interview with a Toronto newspaper, Magnotta denied knowing Homolka, who is reportedly now married with three children.