VANCOUVER - As parents in Vancouver struggle with whether to shield their kids from the shocking news that a human hand and foot were mailed to two schools, links between the city and the Montreal suspect at the centre of an unfolding horror story are beginning to emerge.
Montreal police Cmdr. Ian Lafreniere confirmed police believe Luka Rocco Magnotta, 29, spent time in Vancouver, but police are not saying why or when.
"Was it just passing by, or (had) he been there for a long time? We don't know, but we know he used to be in Vancouver at least," he told Vancouver radio station CKNW.
Magnotta was arrested in Berlin on Monday and is expected to be extradited back to Canada.
Information on the Internet Adult Film Database shows Luka Rocco Magnotta performed in eight adult movies, including "Street Bait 996: Luka," distributed by StreetBait.com.
Jeff Vanzetti, the owner and webmaster of the database site based in New Jersey, said the last of his movies may be the key.
"Back in 2003, (StreetBait) had an office in Vancouver," he said. "It doesn't mean they had a production studio there, or that he was ever in Vancouver."
No one at StreetBait could be contacted for comment.
Vanzetti said Magnotta may have used the term porn star to identify himself, but he wasn't considered a star in the industry. In fact, Vanzetti said he and his staff had never heard of the man until Canadian police launched a manhunt.
"It's easy money," he said of the industry. "So if you're a guy who doesn't mind having sex on camera with other guys, it's certainly easy enough to say 'You know what, I need a couple grand, let me go do a web scene for somebody.'"
Bankruptcy documents filed by Magnotta in Ontario in 2007 say he owed a Metro Vancouver leasing company $10,000.
The company is listed as Travelers Leasing, based in Burnaby, B.C., a Vancouver suburb.
There is a Travelers Financial Corp., headquartered in Burnaby and its website says the company offers "financial and leasing solutions" with offices in Mississauga, Ont., Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon and Winnipeg.
The bankruptcy documents also show that in March 2007, Magnotta was making little money.
He owed $17,000 and had just $6,500 in assets. His job is listed as a server, and his monthly income was just $800.
Besides the leasing company, he owed $800 in parking tickets to the City of Toronto, $2,500 to his property management company and, collectively, thousands to utilities companies.
But there is little in his background or the bankruptcy documents to suggest why Magnotta might mail the grisly packages to two elementary schools in the Vancouver.
At False Creek Elementary School, Dave Brown said Wednesday he told his daughter the truth after a package containing a hand arrived at the school on Tuesday afternoon.
"She knows that somebody was killed and that the body was dismembered and part of it ended up here and that there are some people in this world that are not coping well with reality and doing some crazy, sick, twisted stuff like that," he said.
Brown said it was important for him to tell his daughter the truth, but it frightened her.
"There was a moment, I think, at first, of fear and then there was sort of a dawning of acceptance. That didn't take very long, and then I think what followed was her basically saying, 'Wow, there's a lot of sick, twisted people in the world.'"
But Eva Perjes said she doesn't want her two kids — in Grades 2 and 3 — knowing anything about human remains showing up in a package at the school and hopes they don't find out about the incident from older kids.
"It's hard because I really want to shelter them from this news. Even for adults, I don't want to hear it," Perjes said.
"I did talk to my neighbour, and my husband, obviously, and he's actually a teacher so he was devastated. It's awful, awful.
"It's just the impact on kids and the innocence that's taken away, that someone ... I don't want to say it."
As she spoke, about a dozen students huddled around a girl in the school yard as she showed them the front page of a newspaper with a story about a hand being sent to their school and a foot that was mailed to a private school.
Nearby, administrators handed out letters to parents on how they could help kids cope with "the difficult time at False Creek Elementary."
The letter said parents should limit children's exposure to media coverage and to be aware if they are watching anything about it on TV or the Internet.
Mariette Smith said she took the morning off to be with her Grade 4 twin boys, to walk them to school and make them feel safe.
"I was shocked and horrified because it's such a safe community. It's unnerving."
Montreal police say the human remains were mailed from that city, where a Chinese man studying at a university was killed and dismembered and a hand and foot were sent to the headquarters of the Conservative and Liberal parties.
At St. George's, a private school for boys, headmaster Tom Matthews said in a letter posted on the facility's website that teachers have been briefed on how to provide students with appropriate information about the incident.
"We reiterate that there is no reason to believe any direct connection exists between St. George's and the case under investigation in Montreal," he said.
He also urged parents to tell their sons to "refrain from speaking about or speculating on this matter to anyone" or posting comments on social media sites.
The torso of Chinese student Jun Lin was found in a back alley in Montreal with the hands, feet and head removed.
Police have not said whether the Vancouver packages contained Lin's remains, but before Tuesday's discoveries at the schools, one of Lin's hands, a foot and his head were still missing.
Vancouver police have sent the remains from the two schools to Montreal for further testing and police in that city are now taking over the investigation into the horrifying discoveries.