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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Did Luka Magnotta Dismember Two Gay Men in America?

     In Montreal, Canada on May 29, 2012, the janitor at 29-year-old Luka Magnotta's apartment complex discovered a bloody torso inside a suitcase in the trash behind the building. The torso belonged to Jun Lin, the 33-year-old Chinese university student who had been Magnotta's boyfriend. The stripper, model, and bisexual actor in low-budget adult films had videotaped Lin's stabbing and dismemberment, and uploaded the snuff-video onto the Internet. Magnotta also mailed the victim's hands and feet to a political headquarters in Ottawa, and a boys' school in Vancouver. At this point in the case, the Montreal police were still searching for Mr. Lin's head.

     Magnotta fled to Europe where, after an international manhunt, police in Berlin Germany, on June 4, arrested him in an Internet cafe. He is now back in Canada awaiting his murder trial. Police in Montreal, Toronto, and other Canadian cities are looking into other murders of gay men to determine if Magnotta could have been responsible for those unsolved homicides.

     On June 30, the Montreal police recovered Jun Lin's missing head. It turned-up in a pond in Angrignon Park. The 110-acre site is located in western Montreal near a subway line that runs past Magnotta's apartment building where the dismemberment took place. Crime lab scientists are examining the head before announcing a positive identification.

     Homicide detectives in Miami and Los Angeles working on unsolved murder cases involving gay men who have been dismembered, are looking into the possibility that Luka Magnotta had killed and mutilated these victims as well.

The Omar Laparra Murder Case

     In 2009, a swimmer in Miami's Biscayne Bay came across, floating in the water, several plastic bags containing human body parts. The man's head, hands, and feet had been severed. The victim turned out to be Omar Laparra, a 21-year-old Guatemalan immigrant who lived in a Little Havana apartment with his brother and sister. Laparra had been working as a carpenter. Detectives still working the case are trying to determine if Luka Magnotta had been in south Florida at the time of Laparra's murder, and if the two men could have crossed paths.

The Hervey Medellin Murder Case

     On January 17, 2012, two women walking their dogs on a park trail in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles not far from the famous Hollywood sign, happened upon a plastic bag containing a human head. The next day, cadaver dogs, in this section of Griffith Park, sniffed-out a pair of hands and two feet. The Los Angeles medical examiner estimated that the victim had been murdered two days before the dog-walkers discovered the severed head.

     The dismembered man was identified as 66-year-old Hervey Medellin, a retired employee of Mexicana Airlines. Medellin regularly walked the trail in the Bronson Canyon area of the park where his body parts were found. He had lived on the third floor of an apartment building not far from the walking trail. One of Medillin's neighbors told detectives that at 3AM on Jaunuary 15, he heard men yelling in Medillin's apartment. The shouting was followed by someone screaming, and sounds of scooting and knocked-over furniture.

     Los Angeles detectives investigating Medillin's murder have no suspects, and are considering the possibility that Luka Magnotta had been in the city last January. While the universe of gay males who murder and dismember other gay men is small, the Magnotta leads in these two U.S. cases are long-shots. But Magnotta did a lot of traveling, so who knows?



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