MONTREAL — After a little more than seven days of deliberations, eight women and four men decided the 32-year-old Scarborough native knew exactly what he was doing when he brought Jun Lin to his apartment on May 24, 2012, then slit his throat and cut him into 10 pieces.
He knew what he was doing when he bought mailing boxes to send Lin’s feet and hands, wrapped in pink tissue paper, to schools in Vancouver and to the Liberal and Conservative parties of Canada.
He knew what he was doing when he videotaped hours spent with Lin, then edited portions together, added music and uploaded the end result to the Internet under the title One Lunatic One Ice Pick.
The jury, who sat through 12 long weeks of testimony from 66 witnesses from three countries didn’t buy the defence argument that Magnotta was not criminally responsible for his actions because of his mental illness.
Instead, they found him guilty on all five counts against him: first degree murder, indignity to a human body, producing and distributing obscene material, sending obscene material through the mail and harassing Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other MPs.
First-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence with no chance for parole for 25 years.
Throughout most of his trial, Magnotta has sat bent over in the prisoner’s box, out of sight from most in the courtroom. A few times, he shuffled over to the intercom telephone to communicate with his lawyer, Luc Leclair, but otherwise, appeared either heavily medicated or disinterested in the proceedings.
Thanks to copious surveillance video footage from Magnotta’s Décarie Blvd. apartment, a Jean Coutu pharmacy, Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport, and a hotel lobby and bus station in Paris, as well as 15 videos Magnotta himself shot of his crime, the jury had the unique opportunity to trace practically every step of the killer.
They saw Magnotta casually entering his apartment with Lin at about 10 p.m. May 24 after they met through a Craigslist ad that Magnotta said he posted. Throughout the early hours of May 25, Magnotta is caught on camera going in and out of the building, carrying a suitcase, garbage bags and a puppy. He’s seen making 16 trips to the garbage room in the basement of his apartment building. He’s seen checking himself out in the lobby mirror, adjusting his wig and observing his buttocks.
At one point, a pizza delivery man arrives with food for Magnotta.
From the summer of 2012:
During the day May 25, Magnotta is picked up on surveillance cameras at Jean Coutu, exchanging mailing boxes that proved too small for Lin’s extremities, then mailing the packages at the Canada Post kiosk.
On May 26, the clean-up of his apartment and disposal of the body parts complete, Magnotta cabbed it to Dorval to catch the flight to Paris that he’d booked on Expedia the day before.
Once in France, Magnotta’s path was tracked through hotel reservations at two hotels – one made under a false name – as well as surveillance cameras in the lobby of one of those hotels. He also spent a night with a man he met online while still in Montreal and planning his trip to Europe.
News broke about an international warrant for Magnotta’s arrest once police in Canada made the connection through things seen in the online video and items found in the garbage behind Magnotta’s apartment, such as a Casa Blanca poster. Magnotta hopped an overnight bus to Berlin, where he once again stayed with a man he’d met on an online dating site.
His narcissism may have been his downfall. On June 4, 2012, while viewing news stories about the international manhunt for him, Magnotta was arrested by German police. The manager of the Internet café Magnotta chose for his browsing was a news junkie who recognized the wanted man and alerted police.
Once surrounded by police officers Magnotta announced, “You got me. I’m the man you’re looking for.
Crown prosecutor Louis Bouthillier successfully convinced the jury that Magnotta planned Lin’s killing and that the warnings were there months before it happened.
Alex West, a journalist with the Sun newspaper in London, interviewed Magnotta in December, 2011 about videos of kitten killings that at the time Magnotta was suspected of making and posting online. (During his trial, it was revealed that he was, in fact, the author behind them).
After the interview, Magnotta sent an email to the paper, saying, “…but next time you hear from me it will be in a movie I am producing, that will have some humans in it, not just pussys (sic).”
He told the paper that he enjoyed watching “millions of people get angry and frustrated” because they can’t catch him.
“It’s so fun watching people work so hard gathering all the evidence, then not being able to name me or catch me,” he wrote.