The Lookout

Who is Luka Rocco Magnotta?

The Lookout

Luka Rocco Magnotta, the former adult film actor who is alleged to have brutally killed a man in Montreal and shipped at least two body parts by mail to political parties in Canada, is now the subject of an international manhunt. Thursday morning, INTERPOL issued an international arrest warrant for Magnotta, who may have fled overseas, with France as one possible destination.

The global bulletin follows a Canada-wide warrant issued by Montreal police hours after officers first entered the 29-year-old suspect's blood-soaked apartment—the scene of one of the most gruesome killings in Montreal in recent memory. Investigators found a torso left in a suitcase, while a hand and foot were mailed to the Ottawa offices of the Liberal and Conservative parties. Police have obtained a video of the crime, and are taking steps to have it removed from a website where it was posted.

While authorities search for Magnotta, the young man's past has come under the microscope as Canadians try to come to terms with what kind of person might have committed such gruesome acts. Here's what we know about Magnotta so far:

Early life

Magnotta was born in Scarborough, Ontario, in 1982 as Eric Clinton Newman. Records show he had legally changed his name to Rocco Magnotta in 2006. He has also used the alias Vladimir Romanov. According to a neighbor, Magnotta moved to Montreal four months ago. Several members of Magnotta's immediate family now live in Peterborough, just east of Toronto. Police have interviewed those family members in their manhunt for Magnotta.

Porn career

Magnotta is a self-described male model who launched his bisexual porn acting career "doing webcam shows" in Los Angeles when he was 20 years old. Photographs of him—often shirtless, his lips rouged and set in a model pout—are all over the Internet. According to the Toronto Star, Magnotta is featured in a number of online interviews about the porn industry. In one, he is quoted professing his love for cosmetic surgery. In another, he gives tips on how to make it in porn.

In the latter, he laments about his approaching retirement from the entertainment industry and is quoted as saying he finds criminal law and psychology "fascinating."

Dead kittens and the animal rights

According to the Montreal Gazette, animal-rights activists around the world have been after Magnotta since 2010, after a video surfaced that allegedly showed him placing two kittens in a plastic bag and then vacuuming the air out, suffocating the animals. Two more videos, also depicting the torture and killing of cats, also have been linked to Magnotta. At one point, a $5,000 reward was offered to bring him to justice.

Connections to a killer

Police have confirmed that Magnotta was romantically linked to Karla Homolka, the former wife of convicted killer Paul Bernado. Homolka was convicted of manslaughter following a plea bargain in the 1991-'92 rape-murders of three young women, including Karla's sister Tammy Homolka. The Canadian Press reports that one mainstream news article cited Magnotta complaining that his life had been ruined by "unfounded rumors" that he was dating Homolka. Strangely, Magnotta claims that he helped spread those rumors himself. This 2010 article at allvoices.com notes the two were married and living in the Caribbean.

View Comments (823)