A low-budget porn actor with a controversial past is wanted in the shocking case of a dismembered body whose parts were mailed to different places including the headquarters of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Montreal police say they are looking for 29-year-old Rocco Luka Magnotta, believed to originally be from Toronto, in connection with a suspected homicide.
A man with that same name has a huge presence on the Internet, as a low-level adult film actor and as a contentious figure alleged to have posted videos of cats being tortured and killed.
PHOTOS OF MAGNOTTA
There is considerable online chatter that the recent killing — along with multiple gruesome acts committed on the male victim's body — was videotaped and posted on the Internet.
The huge web presence includes an article, written under Magnotta's name in 2009, titled, "How to Completely Disappear and Never Be Found,'' which shares a six-step process for escaping and shedding one's identity.
Another online article offers tips on how to get into the porn business.
One mainstream news article cites Magnotta complaining that his life had been ruined by unfounded rumours he was dating sex-killer Karla Homolka; the article suggests, however, that Magnotta may have helped spread those rumours himself.
Magnotta was renting an apartment in a Montreal building that is now at the epicentre of the body-parts investigation.
It was behind that blue-collar mid-rise apartment that a man's torso was found in a locked suitcase Tuesday. On the same day, a foot was found in a package opened at Conservative headquarters and a hand was found at an Ottawa postal warehouse.
The building manager told The Canadian Press that Magnotta had been living there for about four months. In the manager's words, Magnotta seemed like a nice guy.
Police in masks have been combing through Apartment 208 in the brick building, zeroing in on that particular unit from which a rotten stench was drifting out, says a building resident.
The neighbour says police were showing people pictures of two men _ the suspected victim and the homicide suspect.
It was one male victim tied to all the body parts found Tuesday, Montreal police confirmed Wednesday. The packages in Ottawa were mailed from Montreal.
Police shared other new details about the case Wednesday.
"The suspect and victim knew each other,'' Montreal police Cmdr. Ian Lafreniere told reporters.
"It isn't linked to organized crime.''
A man in the west-end Montreal building described the scene.
"I saw the suitcase and I was tempted to go get it,'' said Richard Payette, 60.
"It didn't look too damaged. I said, 'Maybe I'll go down and get it.' But I changed my mind.''
The grisly discovery was made later, by someone else living nearby.
Police wearing masks were milling about Magnotta's second-floor apartment. Payette said the door of that particular apartment was left open for part of the day, and the smell of rotten meat was drifting out into the hallway.
The building manager said Magnotta had lived there for four months but hadn't been seen around in a while. He said there were never any complaints about noise in the unit, and that Magnotta passed a credit test to rent there.
"He seemed like a nice guy,'' said the manager, Eric Schorer.
Police said Magnotta has no criminal record.
He was once featured in a mainstream news report that described false rumours of romantic ties to Homolka. While he is quoted complaining that the rumours destroyed his life, the report suggests he may have spread them himself and concludes the young man should get some help. However, Montreal police have confirmed that Magnotta once dated Homolka, according to an article by the Montreal Gazette .
Magnotta denied a relationship with schoolgirl killer Karla Homolka in 2007 to the Toronto Sun's Joe Warmington.
Warmington recounts meeting Magnotta at the Toronto Sun after the man refused to meet with other media:
The young man was groggy and shaking as he spoke. "I took some sleeping pills and could not sleep last night," he said. "I have had death threats and someone stole my dog."
He says he thinks it's all because of this crazy rumour which, he claims, he has no idea how it got started. "I think it might be from someone in my past," he said. "I have worked in adult films and I have met lots of people."
Montreal Police released this press release. Here's a translated version:
Luka Rocco Magnotta wanted in connection with city’s 11th homicide
May 30, 2012
Montreal, May 30, 2012 - Major Crimes investigators with the City of Montreal Police (SPVM) are looking for a suspect in connection with the city’s 11th homicide. Luka Rocco Magnotta, 29, is wanted on a Canada-wide arrest warrant.
Luka Rocco Magnotta is also known by the pseudonyms Eric Clinton Newman and Vladimir Romanov. He is white, 1.78-metres tall, weighs 61 kg, and has blue eyes and black hair.
Following a call from a citizen, police officers arrived yesterday at 10:15 a.m. at the rear of an apartment building in Place Lucy, located in the Côte-des-Neiges area. Agents found human remains in a pile of garbage. The investigation was quickly transferred to the Major Crimes Section.
The investigation led police to a home on Decarie Boulevard, also in Côte-des-Neiges, where they conducted a search. In addition, forensic biologists were asked to analyze some elements of the scene.
Meanwhile, investigators are exploring the hypothesis that the human remains found in Montreal are related to a human foot sent to the office of the Conservative Party of Canada in Ottawa yesterday and a package intercepted by Canada Post that contained a human hand. Police have concrete reason to believe the events are linked. However, investigators are waiting on pathological tests before concluding beyond doubt that a link exists.
The SPVM is working closely with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Ottawa Police on this issue.
Anyone with information about that person or see Luka Rocco Magnotta should immediately contact 911.
With Files From Jonathan Montpetit and The Huffington Post Canada