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Luka Magnotta admitted to sending email threat to journalist

11/11/2014 04:23 EST | Updated 01/11/2015 05:59 EST
Luka Magnotta admitted to a psychiatrist that he sent a menacing email to British journalist Alex West, but maintained it was simply to scare the reporter into leaving him alone.

The email, signed with the name of a child victim of a well-known British serial killer, refers to the pleasure of killing and the need to continue, and specifically mentions that the writer is producing another movie with humans in it, instead of cats. The journalist had been investigating who was behind the posting of kitten torture videos online.

The court has already seen the email, which is key to the Crown’s argument that the May 2012 killing of 33-year-old Jun Lin was premeditated. 

West had confronted Magnotta about the kitten torture videos circulating online. Magnotta told psychiatrist Dr. Marie-Frédérique Allard that the meeting, on the steps of the entrance to his hotel room, made him angry.

Allard evaluated Magnotta over the course of several sessions starting in December 2013. 

Magnotta admitted to Allard that the email was “very stupid,” but his goal was to scare the reporter and force West to leave him alone, which he believed worked.

Allard’s report read that Magnotta “maintained that he had never planned to kill anyone.”

The psychiatrist testified that the email is aggressive and threatening, which she interpreted as an example of how Magnotta’s illness, paranoid schizophrenia, changed the way he reacted in different situations.

Karla Homolka rumours

Allard likened the email to the way Magnotta behaved concerning the story he was dating convicted killer Karla Homolka.

Magnotta admitted he had started the rumours online in 2007, but Allard testified Magnotta then began to believe that “maybe she was sending [him] messages." At the same time, he continued to vehemently deny their relationship.

The accused told Allard in their meetings that he wasn’t proud of his behaviour, and called himself stupid for starting the rumours, which led to online harassment.

The psychiatrist said the behaviour stems from Magnotta’s illness, his preoccupation that he was being harassed, coupled with his belief that nobody believed him.

'I was my worst enemy'

Magnotta called his life “chaotic” in the two years leading up to killing, dominated by bad decisions.

He said he was isolated after his move to Montreal, cut off from his family, and often stayed home alone, surfing the internet. He slowed down in his work as an escort and stopped taking his medication.

Magnotta told the psychiatrist, “I was my worst enemy,” adding that he moved to Montreal to run away from his problems but now realizes he simply added to them.

The accused acknowledged his problems got worse after he made the cat video, and he felt convinced people wanted to kill him.

A client called Manny

Allard testified that the name Manny comes up often in Magnotta’s explanation of what happened in the years leading to the killing. Magnotta remains convinced Manny was a client of his named Manuel Lopez, who turned abusive, he said.

The accused sent a long list of abuses he said he endured at Manny’s hands to his lawyer, including forced sex acts. Magnotta also claims Manny forced him to abandon his antipsychotic medication in July 2010.

The psychiatrist said it’s hard to say whether Manny is real or an invention. She believes he may exist, although the events related by Magnotta could have been shaped or misinterpreted because of his psychosis.

Allard also noted that Magnotta still believes that in the past the government was spying on him, because that delirium became a reality for the patient.

The psychiatrist was asked whether travel is a problem for patients suffering from schizophrenia, pointing to Magnotta’s flight to Paris and Berlin after the killing.

Allard answered she has treated patients suffering from the same illness who are comfortable travelling, adding it’s a “big myth” that those suffering from schizophrenia have problems organizing trips.

Magnotta has pleaded not guilty to the five charges against him, citing his mental illness, but has admitted to the physical acts behind the charges, including killing Lin.

The Crown alleges the killing was planned.

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