The victim of suspected killer Luka Rocco Magnotta is Lin Jun, a Chinese student at Concordia University who was last seen in public the day before the suitcase with the human torso was discovered, Montreal police have confirmed. He was only reported missing Tuesday.
In Britain, meanwhile, a tabloid printed Friday a chilling message it believes was sent in December by Mr. Magnotta. The writer warns that “once you kill, and taste blood, it is impossible to stop.”
And in yet another development, racist messages on a white supremacist website appear to have been authored by Mr. Magnotta.
The Chinese consulate in Montreal says the 33-year-old victim, born in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, had been in Montreal since July of last year.
Friends and family have lost contact with him since May 24, according to a missing-person notice posted on the Chinese-language version of the consulate's website. A spokesperson for the consulate was not available Friday morning.
Mr. Lin's family was contacted Thursday, said Montreal police Commander Ian Lafrenière.
"Have they been dating? Are they friends? We aren't sure," he said. "They knew each other." He said police only released Mr. Lin's identity to reassure relatives of other missing people.
A Concordia University spokesperson confirmed that Mr. Lin was an undergraduate enrolled in the engineering and computer science faculty. She said privacy rules prevented her from revealing any more information.
In another string of bizarre Internet postings that may have been written by Mr. Magnotta, he is identified on an American neo-nazi forum as a white supremacist who fled to Russia after he was bombarded with hate mail for expressing his racist views.
The posts bear some similarities to the style of writing on Mr. Magnotta's own website. They appeared on Stormfront, a website run by a former Ku Klux Klan leader, over the last year. Among other things, the writer argued white people should have "their own countries," wrote that he wanted to be isolated from other races and praised Italian dictator Benito Mussolini's "courage." Most of the racist vitriol is too offensive to repeat.
One post claims Mr. Magnotta was born in Tolyatti, a mid-size city in central Russia, immigrated to Canada at the age of 5 and later worked in the United States in adult entertainment. It also says he is of mixed Russo-Italian heritage. Such information is suspect as Mr. Magnotta, whose birth name was Eric Newman, grew up in suburban Toronto and has been known to make many other unverified claims on the Internet.
But it is consistent with his apparent interest in Russia. He has gone under the alias Vladimir Romanov, the same last name as Russia's former ruling dynasty, and photos elsewhere online show him posing in front of Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.
Asked if there was a racist motive behind the slaying of Mr. Lin, a Chinese student, Montreal police said they could not put themselves inside the killer's mind and would not speculate.
The Stormfront posts come from two accounts. One, which wrote about Mr. Magnotta's apparent flight from Canada, also made an anti-Semitic comment in another thread.
The other account, which links to Mr. Magnotta's website, declares that "multiculturalism is dangerous" and writes at length about various racist topics. Another post by that account, in a thread on Mussolini, declares the Italian fascist's policies "were very interesting."
In a statement midday Friday, Concordia University president Frederick Lowy extended condolences to the friends and family of Mr. Lin.
“We are saddened to learn of this loss of life and it has affected our community, especially those who knew him,” he said. “It is never easy to deal with the loss of a loved one, particularly when the death is unforeseen. Our hearts go out to his family and friends during this very difficult time.”
Students and university employees are being offered counselling to help deal with the death.
In China’s online forums, a poster claimed to know Mr. Lin.
“He was my classmate studying French at Alliance Française. Although we only studied French for three months together, he was the only one in class who was older and was learning French in order to immigrate to Quebec... I never thought it could be like this!” wrote a Beijing resident.
Mr. Magnotta, 29, is the subject of global manhunt, accused of a heinous killing that police believe was recorded and posted on the Internet. It’s believed Mr. Magnotta travelled to France over the weekend after Mr. Lin was killed and dismembered in Montreal, with pieces of the victim mailed to political parties in Ottawa. According to the Associated Press, a senior French police official says he is "sure" that Mr. Magnotta is currently in France, and that France’s fugitive search unit was ordered to hunt for Mr. Magnotta.
Cdmr Lafrenière said Mr. Magnotta flew out of Montreal to Europe the day after the killing, on May 26. He said the search for the suspect won't be restricted to a specific country or police won't even rule out Mr. Magnotta might have snuck back into Canada.
In the wake of kitten-killing videos attributed to Mr. Magnotta, a British tabloid says it received an email last December saying it was “impossible to stop” after tasting blood and warning that the next time “the victims won’t be small animals.”
The Sun said that they interviewed Mr. Magnotta, who was living in London at the time, and became concerned the violence could escalate. They notified Scotland Yard, who reportedly said it was not their jurisdiction.
In recent days, after a ghastly video showing a man being dismembered and the body sexually interfered with was posted to the Internet, a concerned American tried to raise new warnings. Montana lawyer Roger Renville said he contacted several police forces and media outlets to voice his fears that the video was real. He said he was rebuffed everywhere.
On Friday, The Sun, Britain’s biggest selling daily, referenced a story it had done in December about on-line videos showing cats being suffocated and fed to a python. A few days later, they say, Mr. Magnotta turned up at the newspaper to deny involvement.
Two days after that, the British paper reports, an email was sent to a pair of addresses used by readers to offer tips. The email address suggested it was from John Kilbride, a child victim of one of Britain’s notorious Moors Murderers. A piece of music linked to those killers was also used on one of the cat-killing videos.
“In the near future you will be hearing from me again,” the email said. “This time, however, the victims won’t be small animals. I will however, send you a copy of the new video I’m going to be making. You see, killing is different than smoking... with smoking you can actually quit. Once you kill, and taste blood, it is impossible to stop.
The email was badly spelled and indicated a certain arrogance. The writer called it “so fun” that people were trying to catch him. And there was a chilling warning.
“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.”
Mr. Magnotta’s family members in Ontario have repeatedly declined to comment on the allegations against him. On Wednesday, an aunt only said, “I’m ashamed that he’s related,” before hanging up the phone.
Although his online footprints are extensive, including claims that Mr. Magnotta is a famous model, bisexual adult-film actor and world traveller, his real day-to-day life isn’t easily traceable. Little is known of his whereabouts over the past few years, except for the fact he moved to Montreal recently and that he became the prime suspect in a social media campaign to identify a killer of kittens who began posting videos on YouTube in December, 2010.
Evidence gathered in that campaign has been sent to the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Ontario SPCA spokesman Brad Dewar confirmed an investigation was launched in February, 2011, but he wouldn’t reveal whether Mr. Magnotta is a suspect.
He said the ongoing probe has not found sufficient evidence to suggest the person in the videos was in the province when the footage was recorded. The Ontario SPCA has reached out to law-enforcement and animal-cruelty agencies around the world for help, Mr. Dewar added. The list includes municipal police services in Toronto and Montreal, the RCMP and FBI and an animal-welfare organization in the United Kingdom.
With files from Renata D’Aliesio, Adrian Morrow and Mark MacKinnon.