POLITICS

Chinese student's brutal murder shatters parents' view of Canada: CBC

07/16/2012 09:51 EDT | Updated 09/15/2012 05:12 EDT
MONTREAL - The grieving mother of a Chinese university student who was brutally slain and dismembered in Montreal has told CBC News her son's death has shattered her view of Canada.

Zhigui Du, who arrived in Montreal last month, says she now lives in fear and sometimes feels everyone she passes on the street looks like her son's killer.

Jun Lin's torso was discovered stuffed in a suitcase behind a Montreal apartment building in late May.

The 33-year-old Concordia University student's hands and feet were mailed to offices of political parties in Ottawa and to two Vancouver schools days after his death. His head was discovered in a Montreal park early this month.

Luka Rocco Magnotta faces multiple charges in the slaying and has pleaded not guilty to all counts. The 29-year-old self-described amateur porn actor is due back in court next March.

Lin's mother says her family still believes most Canadians are "very kind" but her son's "heinous" killing has made her reconsider her opinion of the country.

Lin's death attracted waves of sympathy from the public. Shrines filled with heartfelt messages to him written in Mandarin, French and English were established near Concordia and at the convenience store where he worked as a part-time cashier.

A fund was set up to help his family pay for their journey to Canada and Concordia established the Jun Lin Award to help Chinese students and keep his memory alive.

Those gestures have not been lost on Du, who said her family has received ample support from Montreal residents and has been treated kindly by the Canadian government.

Lin, who was studying computer engineering in Canada, had done extensive research on his new home before leaving Beijing, his mother said.

Travelling to Canada was a long-held dream for her son, who believed the country was a peaceful, multicultural place where there was no reason to worry about one's safety, Du said.

The family has struggled to accept Lin's horrific death, and is now anxious about the impending court case which they hope will bring his alleged killer to justice, she added.

Magnotta was arrested in Berlin in early June after an extensive international manhunt. He was extradited to Canada two weeks later, where he requested a trial before a jury.

Lin's parents are still debating whether to bury their son in Montreal or in his native China.