The strange and sordid case of Luka Magnotta

Magnotta at preliminary hearing

When the murder of the Chinese student Jun Lin first hit the news at the beginning of last summer, I followed the investigation and the subsequent arrest of Magnotta with intrigue. The case has so many wondrous and shocking elements that it becomes hard to believe, perhaps in part because Magnotta’s behavior and attitude were so blase and unapologetic. The disregard for human life and Magnotta’s blatant lack of humanity seem to point straight away to pathological narcissism or psychopathy.

Here is a quick history of some of the things pertinent to Magnotta’s eventual capture:

Magnotta had been wanted by Rescue Ink, an animal rights group after Magnotta had videotaped the torture of animals and put them online. Rescue Ink had even sought the help of porn star, Ron Jeremy, to lure him out.

U.S. Attorney Roger Renville reports the video of Jun Lin being cut up and defiled by Magnotta. This video was not taken seriously at the time it was reported.

Jun Lin’s body parts were separated, and some were mailed to Canada’s respective political party headquarters.

Magnotta had fled Canada, but was finally apprehended and extradited very quickly back to Canada for trial.

Preliminary hearings have now begun in Toronto, 8 months after Magnotta was returned to Canada. However, after all of this attention, Magnotta’s attorney is asking that there be no media present in the courtroom, presumably making the argument that it could lead to an unfair trial. Certainly, given what happened to Jun Lin, the public are going to watch the case very carefully, vying to see that Magnotta receives the maximum penalty, which in Canada would amount to being locked away for life.

These first hearings are to determine if there is enough evidence to go to trial, and numerous witnesses are said to be delivering testimony throughout these proceedings.

While wanting to prevent the inclusion of the media during the proceedings, Magnotta still managed to maximize attention during the hearing. Magnotta was dressed all in white, which made him stand out against many working for the legal profession, who were all dressed traditionally in black gowns. Did Magnotta know that his clothing would have this effect? From someone who craved media attention, often as a stripper and a model, he could not have been completely unaware of the contrast his clothing created. So, keep the media out to increase the chances of a reduced sentence, but for those in the courtroom – they are all obliged to keep their attention on Magnotta.

Magnotta has so far denied murdering Jun Lin and defiling his body.

Jack Pemment, 2013

 

Sources

Toronto Star: Body parts case: Luka Magnotta’s lawyers want public, media barred from preliminary inquiry

BBC News: Luka Magnotta in court accused of body-parts murder

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