06/01/2012 10:14 EDT | Updated 08/01/2012 05:12 EDT

Ex-Friend Says Magnotta Not 'Natural-Born Killer'

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A former friend of Luka Rocco Magnotta says the accused murderer is not a "natural-born killer."

Dane, who has asked CBC News to protect his real identity, is offering a different perspective on the Toronto man now at the centre of an international manhunt.

"I certainly would not say he was a natural-born killer," Dane told CBC News in an interview Friday. "He has laughed with me, we've laughed together, he's cried. I would not think that this was something that he was born to do."

Magnotta and Dane had known each other for a year and half, but lost touch four or five years ago.

Dane said that he was shocked to learn that Magnotta was connected to the killing and dismemberment of Jun Lin, a 33-year-old Chinese student who was studying in Montreal.

Magnotta is a self-described model and escort with a sprawling web presence. According to Dane, Magnotta was ashamed of his work as an escort and points to a turbulent past.

Dane said that Magnotta left home when he was 16 years old after his parents rejected him for being bisexual. Magnotta also told Dane that he was gang-raped during an escort call.

"Because of life circumstance, he now has the ability to be deceitful, to be manipulative, to be charming and now to be lethal — allegedly," Dane said.

Montreal authorities believe Magnotta killed Lin and videotaped a sequence of repeated stabbing and dismemberment, before mailing body parts to political parties in Ottawa.

Magnotta flew out of Montreal's Trudeau airport on May 26. France's fugitive search unit had been ordered to hunt for him, according to several reports.

Magnotta is wanted for first-degree murder and carrying out an indignity to a human body.

Despite the allegations, Dane said that he still has compassion for Magnotta and admits that he is likely one of the few people who do.

"I see this as a sad chapter in his life story," Dane said. "I see him as someone who is sick."

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