About a week later, Lin’s other hand and foot were delivered to two Vancouver-area schools. Police told a news conference the body parts had been discovered by school staff when they opened the packages.
Before police named him as a suspect in Lin’s death, Magnotta hadn’t drawn much attention in his day-to-day life in Montreal.
People who interacted with him on the street recall him as polite, yet someone who kept to himself.
“He was a very, very nice client,” said Danielle Cleroux, a waitress who remembers serving “Rocco” three times a week in 2010 at Le Club Sandwich restaurant.
She said he and a couple of fellow dancers ate there after their shifts at a local strip club.
“He was a quiet little guy,” Cleroux said.
Magnotta’s online existence, however, told a different story.
He set up dozens of Internet user names and maintained 70 Facebook pages and 20 websites, police have said.
One rumour surfaced years ago that he had dated Homolka — a tale many believe he started. Magnotta went to a Toronto newspaper in 2007 to deny the rumour and the speculation that he was behind it.
In December 2010, he caught the attention of animal activists and Internet sleuths, who began pursuing him after a video posted on YouTube showed a man, suspected to be Magnotta, killing kittens.
One of the world’s biggest porn stars told The Canadian Press earlier this year that animal-rights groups, including the Barbi Twins Playboy bunnies, even tried to enlist him to help nab Magnotta.
Ron Jeremy said he was asked to lure Magnotta to Los Angeles with a fake job offer to appear in a phoney X-rated film shoot. Instead of meeting Jeremy, Magnotta was to be apprehended by a hard-nosed group of animal-rights activists.
The porn icon, however, got cold feet and the sting operation fell apart in the summer of 2011 — about a year before Magnotta became a murder suspect in Lin’s death.
Following up on tips from animal activists, Canadian police started looking for Magnotta to question him about the kitten-killing videos. Magnotta has denied the animal-cruelty allegations.
Magnotta’s former Montreal landlord told The Canadian Press that a detective inquired about his tenant only weeks before Lin’s death. But the query came about two weeks too late — the landlord said Magnotta had already moved out.
Magnotta eventually relocated across town to the building where Lin’s torso was found.
Benjamin, who spent a lot of time dining out and playing video games with Lin, said he accepts that Magnotta has received more media attention than his friend.
He said many of Lin’s loved ones want his personal life kept private. Meanwhile, they have been depending on news reports and investigations for answers.
“We want to know what was really going on behind the scenes because apparently the prosecution and the detectives can’t disclose anything until (the preliminary hearing) next March,” said Benjamin, who added that part of his recovery process has included visits to Lin’s grave and prayers for his friend.
“Every time his friends get together we still talk about him — he’s still around.”
Story ID: G8564 (Via Satellite)