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Trial Set to Begin For ‘Canadian Psycho’ Luka Magnotta

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Luka Magnotta’s mugshot

Luka Magnotta, the accused killer known as the ‘Canadian Psycho’ who set off an international manhunt last year, is set to stand trial today in Montreal.

Magnotta, a low-budget gay porn actor and stripper, was arrested last year in Germany after allegedly killing and dismembering a Chinese student studying in Canada.

The investigation into the murder began in late May of last year, when a suitcase filled with body parts was found in a Montreal park on the same day that body parts were discovered mailed to Canada’s two biggest political parties in Ottawa. It would be months later before a head was also discovered in another Montreal park.

Shortly after the initial discovery of the body parts, a video was found online that seemed to show the gruesome ice pick stabbing and dismemberment of 33-year-old Jun Lin. Even more horrifying, the killer then appears to engage in cannibalism and sexual acts with the corpse.

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A still from one of Magnotta’s online videos

After fleeing to Europe and ending up in Germany, Magnotta was finally arrested in early June and charged with first-degree murder, committing an indignity to a body, publishing obscene material, criminally harassing Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other members of parliament, and mailing obscene and indecent material.

Magnotta, whose lawyer has requested a publication ban on the preliminary hearing about to begin, had long been sought by animal rights activists after he posted videos of himself suffocating kittens in a plastic bag.

The 30-year-old was born in Ontario and originally named Eric Clinton Kirk Newman, until he changed his name in 2006 to Luka Magnotta. He also went by numerous other aliases, including Vladimir Romanov. He had an extensive online history that included rumours that he dated infamous Canadian serial killer Karla Homolka, and was active on online dating websites.

Magnotta was tracked down on June 4 of last year in a Berlin Internet café by the café’s astute employee, and was said to have been reading news articles about himself when he was apprehended.

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