POLITICS

Outpouring of support inspires plan to honour dismemberment victim Jun Lin

06/08/2012 03:50 EDT | Updated 08/08/2012 05:12 EDT
MONTREAL - The university where the victim of one of Canada's most gruesome slayings studied is taking several steps to keep his memory alive amid an outpouring of public support.

There will be an award for a deserving student named after Jun Lin along with a fund to help his relatives pay their expenses during a sorrowful trip to Canada.

Chris Mota, a spokeswoman for Concordia University, said Friday there had been a flood of calls and emails offering any kind of help for the family, devastated by the murder-dismemberment that has attracted worldwide attention.

"I can't tell you the number of people who have reached out to us, through emails, through phone calls, our alumni, people as far as Hong Kong, people who have no connection to the university, companies who've called and said, 'We'll offer services, what do they need,'" Mota said.

Small shrines have popped up near the university and in the convenience store where Lin worked, with people leaving flowers and messages expressing their sympathy.

Concordia University announced Friday it is establishing the Jun Lin Family Fund and the Jun Lin Award, named for the 33-year-old engineering and computer science student whose dismembered torso was found in a suitcase outside a Montreal apartment building last month.

Police have recovered body parts mailed to the Conservative and Liberal party headquarters in Ottawa and to two schools in Vancouver.

Luka Rocco Magnotta, a porn actor and male escort, was arrested in Germany on Monday after an international manhunt. He is awaiting extradition back to Canada to face first-degree murder charges in Lin's murder.

Lin's father, mother, sister and uncle arrived in Montreal this week to begin the grim task of wrapping up his life in Montreal and making arrangements to bring the body back to China for burial. They have met with Montreal police and university officials since their arrival.

The new fund will take over from an earlier effort, the Lin Jun Rest in Peace Foundation, which was a bank account set up by the Concordia Chinese Students Association to receive donations to help Lin's family while they are in Canada settling his affairs.

Any money already donated will be transferred into the new fund.

Mota commended the Chinese students for their effort to raise money for the family but said the university offered to operate the fund because it it is better equipped for the complicated and work-intensive effort, and can publicize it widely.

Both the Chinese students association and the Chinese consulate will now direct donations to the family fund.

"It's their initiative and we are their facilitators," Mota said.

She added that the Jun Lin Award was set up because the family wanted something positive to come out of the tragedy.

"It's very important for them that something good come out of this beyond the help that they need."

The details of the award are still being determined although the family, which was represented at the meeting by a cousin, preferred it go to a Chinese student.

"By setting up the award, Jun Lin's name will live on and the family felt very good about that," Mota said.

There has been some discussion about a public memorial service for Lin but Mota said no decision had been made.