05/30/2012 08:22 EDT | Updated 07/30/2012 05:12 EDT

Who Is Luka Rocco Magnotta?


Luka Rocco Magnotta, the 29-year-old sought by police in connection with a suspected homicide linked to the mailing of body parts to political offices, is a self-described model with a sprawling online presence that includes allegations of animal killings.

Police issued a Canada-wide warrant for Magnotta on Wednesday after a human foot was sent to the Conservative Party headquarters in Ottawa. A headless torso was found in Montreal.

A hand addressed to the Liberal Party was later found at a postal depot, CBC's Evan Solomon learned.

A man with the name Luka Rocco Magnotta has a presence online as a low-budget adult film actor and is known for controversial videos he has posted online in the past.

Police say Magnotta, believed to be originally from Toronto, was renting an apartment in a Montreal building that is now at the epicentre of the body-parts investigation.

The man now known as Luka Rocco Magnotta changed his name from Eric Clinton Kirk Newman on Aug. 12, 2006, CBC's John Nicol reported.

He has also gone by the name Vladimir Romanov, among others. His multiple identities were confusing enough that even police had to issue a second press release Wednesday after originally identifying him as "Rocco Luka."

Montreal police said Wednesday that Magnotta wasn't known to them, but CBC's John Lancaster said that the accused has a criminal record in Ontario.

In 2005, he was convicted on four counts of fraud and served 16 days in pre-trial custody. He was given a further nine-month conditional sentence and 12 months' probation.

Magnotta was also the subject of online rumours about possible ties to notorious schoolgirl killer Karla Homolka. But in 2007, Magnotta spoke to the Toronto Sun's Joe Warmington and denied internet rumours linking him to Homolka. He asserted he had never even met Homolka.

Warmington told Carol Off of CBC's As it Happens that Magnotta didn't make much sense during their 2007 interview.

"It was one of those situations where you realize somebody is not all there," Warmington said. "I tried to be respectful and maybe even get some help – but he had a story to tell and we let him tell it."

"He talked about somebody killing his dog, and he talked about being in great demand as an escort, a male escort, that kind of thing."

The Toronto Sun reporter said he will never forget the young man he spoke to who was "clearly troubled, and borderline delusional — at the same time friendly, somebody you kind of felt sorry for, if you will."

The Luka Magnotta website contains photos as well as rants about media propaganda, the problems with the judicial system and cyber stalking.

In response to what he refers to as haters and stalkers on the internet, Magnotta writes: "I have no obsession with the limelight — the reality is, I refuse to give interviews and I have turned down countless interviewers and media requests to appear.… Having appeared in magazines/films years ago does not constitute an unhealthy obsession with the limelight. Most people who spend all their time online belittling others probably have no life as is evident."

A man by the same name also authored an online post called "How to disappear completely and never be found." The article shares a six-step process for escaping and shedding one's identity.

The article cautions that making a decision to disappear is "not an undertaking to be entered into lightly" and says "a minimum of four months is really necessary to successfully carry out the heroic actions necessary to leave your old life behind."

Online searches for Luka Rocco Magnotta turn up numerous sites where it is alleged that Magnotta killed kittens and posted video of it online. He denied the allegations, which haven't been proven.

Montreal police spokesman Ian Lafrenière said Wednesday he would not substantiate internet rumours about the suspect.

"We don't conduct our investigations via social media," he said.

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