Timeline of events: The Luka Magnotta case

WARNING: This story contains disturbing content that may not be suitable for some people. Discretion is strongly advised. 

TORONTO –  A jury has found Luka Magnotta guilty of first-degree murder in the killing and dismemberment of Jun Lin, as well as the other four charges he faced: committing an indignity to a human body, publishing obscene material, criminally harassing Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other members of Parliament, and mailing obscene and indecent material.

Global News takes a look at the details surrounding the Luka Magnotta case in Canada.

MAY 24, 2012

Jun Lin, a 33-year-old Chinese student, studying at Montreal’s Concordia University is last seen alive.

MAY 25, 2012

A neighbour reportedly spots porn actor and model Luka Rocco Magnotta carrying a box to post office.

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MAY 26, 2012

Magnotta flies out of Montreal to France, landing in Paris.

Montana lawyer Roger Renville sees bizarre Internet video he believes is snuff film depicting bound man being stabbed to death and dismembered.

MAY 27, 2012

Renville alerts U.S. and Canadian police to Internet video but they dismiss it as a fake.

MAY 29, 2012

In Montreal

Investigators comb through garbage bags and furniture left on a street in the Snowdon district, looking for body parts.
Mike Nadeau, 49, who works as a janitor in a building nearby, makes the grisly discovery of a human torso in a suitcase at about 10 a.m. in a pile of garbage and discarded furniture left on the curb on Place Lucy at Décarie Blvd.

Lin is reported missing by a close friend.

In Ottawa
A stunned Conservative receptionist opens a blood-soaked box containing what police later confirm to be a human foot that had been delivered to the party’s headquarters a few blocks from Parliament Hill.
The macabre discovery leads to a midday call to police and paramedics about a suspicious package. The first officers to arrive on the scene, spot blood splatter on the package and immediately called in the hazardous-material unit. When the specialists open the package, police find the severed appendage inside.
A few hours later, a hand is discovered in a package at an Ottawa postal sorting warehouse. The package is addressed to the Liberal Party HQ.

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MAY 30, 2012 

Nationwide arrest warrant issued

An international manhunt is on after Montreal police name a suspect accused of killing a man and mailing parts of his body to various locations.

Police allege Luka Rocco Magnotta, 29, a man with a controversial past, is behind the grisly crime. He is also known by the names Eric Clinton Newman and Vladimir Romanov.
Profiles circulating online describe him as a male model and bisexual porn actor while shirtless photographs of the man in question are also readily available on the Internet.

At the alleged crime scene

Police believe the second-floor bachelor unit in Montreal, which Magnotta rented for $490 per month, is the scene of a gruesome crime that has locals’ stomachs churning.

5309 Place Lucy, Apartment 208 in Montreal becomes a central focus in the investigation. A pink bed sheet soaked with what appears to be blood lies next to a purple, blood-streaked shower curtain.

Police say they believe the murder was videotaped and posted on a website originating out of Alberta that specializes in posting gore.
Late Wednesday night, media reports indicate a letter was attached to the severed foot delivered to the Conservatives’ headquarters. The note said four more body parts had been mailed out. Both police and postal officials are said to be working now to track down these grotesque parcels.

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MAY 31, 2012

Worldwide search begins

Magnotta is added to Interpol’s wanted person’s list. Interpol is the world’s largest international police organization, collaborating with 190 member countries.
Montreal police tell Global News they have information suggesting Magnotta has left the country and they’re “pretty sure” he’s in Europe. Media reports suggest that he may have travelled to France.
While reports continue to tie Magnotta to Homolka, the police say that so far in the investigation, there is “no connection.”

JUNE 1, 2012
Victim identified  

Montreal police identify the victim in Montreal’s grisly murder and dismemberment case as missing Concordia University student Jun Lin.

Jun Lin is shown in this undated handout photo which was given to media Tuesday, April 2, 2013 in Montreal.
Jun Lin is shown in this undated handout photo which was given to media Tuesday, April 2, 2013 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Lin Family

The 33-year-old student from Wuhan, China was reported missing to the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Montreal on May 30, the day after a janitor in Montreal found the torso of a man locked in a suitcase. Police say they believe Lin and Magnotta had some sort of relationship.

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The global impact of the vicious sex killing and dismemberment of a Chinese student in Montreal was brought home when Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird picked up the phone and reached out to China’s envoy to Canada.

His officials say the minister is promising to keep the Chinese up to date with any developments in the international manhunt for Magnotta.

JUNE 2, 2012
Additional charge laid against Magnotta

Montreal police say Magnotta will also be charged with threatening Canada’s prime minister. Montreal Police Cmdr. Ian Lafreniere said Saturday that because the severed foot mailed to Ottawa was addressed to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s party office they can lay an additional charge against Magnotta.

JUNE 3, 2012

Magnotta spotted in France 

Authorities confirm that Magnotta was spotted in France this weekend, but warn that he may still be on the move.

JUNE 4, 2012

Magnotta arrested 

Magnotta is arrested at an internet cafe at 2 p.m. local time without incident.

The owner of the small café located in the Arabian district near the centre of the city recognized Magnotta and went on the street to flag down the police, German police tell Global News.

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Thomas Neuendors, spokesmen for Berlin City Police, said seven young officers from a police school entered the café on Karl Marx Strasse, where they found Magnotta alone in a corner.

Neuendors said Magnotta rambled off several names, before calmly admitting defeat, telling police: “Okay, you got me.”

The suspected killer is now in a Berlin jail and is expected to go before a judge tomorrow. Magnotta will be extradited to Canada at some point, but a legal expert tells Global News it could take months.

JUNE 5, 2012

In Germany

Magnotta says he will not fight extradition to Canada.

The suspected killer makes a brief court appearance at a massive police station where he told police he would not object to his return to Canada.

The court appearance comes after Magnotta spends a night alone in a small prison cell after his arrest at an Internet café in Berlin. Authorities said they offered Magnotta the choice of a shared cell, but he chose to be alone.

Guards at the detention centre describe Magnotta as “quite meek,” says German police spokesman Stefan Redlich. “They told me that he had passed a quiet night without incident.”

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In a press conference, Montreal police say they have no reason to believe other body parts were mailed out but confirm several body parts are still missing. Montreal police also confirm Magnotta and Lin knew each other.

Montreal police also state that they are investigating whether to lay charges against the owner of the Best Gore website where the alleged death video was posted. The police are urging people not to watch or share the “sordid” video.

In Vancouver

As Magnotta sits behind bars awaiting extradition in a Berlin jail, packages containing human remains are delivered to two schools in Vancouver.  Montreal police say they are investigating possible links between the suspected killer and other unsolved homicides and assaults.

JUNE 6, 2012

Montreal police confirm the body parts mailed to two Vancouver schools and found the day prior were sent from Montreal and are thought to be linked to the killing and dismemberment of Lin.

JUNE 7, 2012

German prosecutors say a decision on Magnotta’s extradition could be made within days.

JUNE 8, 2012

Berlin state court spokesman Tobias Kaehne says the court would “soon decide” on the request, but that information would be available “Monday at the earliest.”

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JUNE9, 2012

The Miami Police Department is the latest force searching for ties between Luka Rocco Magnotta and an unsolved homicide, as law-enforcement agencies across the continent take a closer look at the distinct Montreal killing. Police there say there appears to be some similarities between the slaying the of Jun Lin and a three-year-old cold case.

JUNE 12, 2012

In Miami

Miami police say they don’t see any links between Magnotta and a three-year-old cold case in the Florida city.

Homicide detective Confesor Gonzalez says he contacted Canadian authorities about Magnotta after hearing from a reporter that the murder suspect may have spent time in Miami in recent years.

In Montreal

Lin Jun’s family says his death was a “destructive blow” which left them physically and psychologically spent.

“This tragic loss is not only a devastating attack to our family, but also has had a tremendous impact on the whole society,” they wrote in a one-page statement.

“We are deeply touched by the kindness inspired by this human tragedy.”

JUNE 13, 2012
In Germany
A Berlin court orders Magnotta be held in pre-extradition custody as his likely return to Canada edges closer.

Berlin state court spokesman Tobias Kaehne says the court decided at the end of last week that there was enough evidence to keep Magnotta behind bars pending extradition.

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“That means that he must now remain in custody until a possible extradition to Canada,” he says.

In Montreal
Montreal police confirm the hand and foot that were sent to two separate school in Vancouver on June 5 belong to Lin.

JUNE 18, 2012
Magnotta returns to Canada on a Royal Canadian Air Force plane, landing at Mirable Airport in the early evening. The federal government said Magnotta was removed from Berlin by Canadian military officials. Ottawa “worked closely” with Montreal police, the Quebec prosecution service and German officials in the extradition.

Police escort Luka Magnotta from a military plane to a waiting van in Mirabel, Que., in this Monday, June 18, 2012 file photo provided by Montreal Police. T
Police escort Luka Magnotta from a military plane to a waiting van in Mirabel, Que., in this Monday, June 18, 2012 file photo provided by Montreal Police. T. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Montreal Police

JUNE 19, 2012

In Montreal

Magnotta pleads not guilty. Appearing in a Montreal courtroom by video link, Magnotta protests his innocence in a slaying-and-dismemberment case that has drawn international attention.

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JUNE 21, 2012

Magnotta makes a brief, surprise appearance in a Montreal courtroom to tie up a few loose ends in his case before vanishing from public view until early 2013.

The accused body-parts killer had court dates set for early next year and was told he will face a preliminary hearing next March where part of the evidence against him will be heard.

JULY 1, 2012

Montreal police say investigators working on the Luka Magnotta case had information that led them to the city’s Angrignon Park. Police will not say where the tip came from.

The park is southwest of downtown Montreal, and a short distance from Magnotta’s apartment. Police won’t confirm exactly what was found. They will say what appears to be human remains were discovered near the shoreline of the park’s lake.

JULY 4, 2012

Montreal police confirm that the human remains found in a city park on July 1 belong to Lin.
MARCH 4, 2013

Magnotta’s lawyer requests closed court at pre-trial hearing.

MARCH 11, 2013

A preliminary hearing begins. Magnotta’s lawyers argue, unsuccessfully, that courtroom should be closed to public and media. Courtroom remains open and more routine publication ban is applied to details of hearing.

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MARCH 12, 2013
A Quebec court says the public and media will be allowed inside the courtroom, denying a defence motion to exclude the public and the media.

Jun Lin’s father, Diran, leaves courtroom in tears after hearing evidence. Details of that evidence are subject to publication ban. Members of Lin’s family from China are in Canada to follow case.

MARCH 13, 2013

Preliminary hearing for Magnotta resumes.

MARCH 19, 2013

Magnotta collapses in court during preliminary hearing while appearing distraught by evidence presented against him. Still handcuffed, he falls to his side in prisoner’s box and curls into fetal position.

APRIL 12, 2013

Magnotta is ordered to stand trial on five charges, including first-degree murder.

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APRIL 29, 2013

A trial date is set for September 2014.

NOVEMBER 13, 2013

Magnotta enters fresh not-guilty pleas.

FEBRUARY 7, 2014

Justice Guy Cournoyer grants order to allow witness testimony to be gathered in France and Germany.

JULY 21, 2014

Cournoyer rules out blanket publication ban on trial evidence.


Jury selection begins.

SEPTEMBER 19, 2014

The jury is finalized after eight days of selection hearings.

SEPTEMBER 29, 2014

The trial begins with Leclair saying his client admits to slaying Lin, but that he intends to show he was not criminally responsible at the time.

READ MORE: What is Not Criminally Responsible?

OCTOBER 31, 2014

Crown prosecutor Louis Bouthillier closes case against Magnotta after presenting 48 witnesses.

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NOVEMBER 25, 2014

The defence rests its case after calling 12 witnesses.

DECEMBER 4, 2014

The jury hears from last of six rebuttal witnesses, bringing total number to 66.

READ MORE: Evidence over at Magnotta murder trial

DECEMBER 10, 2014

Leclair urges jurors in closing arguments to find Magnotta not criminally responsible. Tells them not to get bogged down in various expert reports and says “insanity is insanity.”

DECEMBER 11, 2014

In his closing arguments, Bouthillier asks the jurors to convict Magnotta on all five charges. Tells them the accused was “purposeful, mindful, ultra-organized and ultimately responsible for his actions.”

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DECEMBER 15, 2014

Cournoyer gives instructions to jurors and they are then sequestered to decide the verdict.

READ MORE: What does the Luka Magnotta jury have to decide?

DECEMBER 16, 2014

The 12 jurors approached the court for the first time since they were sequestered more than 40 hours earlier, asking whether a personality disorder is considered “a disease of the mind as a matter of law.”

READ MORE: Magnotta jurors ask: Is a personality disorder legally a ‘disease of the mind’?

DECEMBER 23, 2014

Magnotta is found guilty of first-degree murder in the killing and dismemberment of Jun Lin. He is also convicted on the four other charges he faced: criminally harassing Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other members of Parliament; mailing obscene and indecent material; committing an indignity to a body; and publishing obscene materials. The verdicts came down on the eighth day of jury deliberations.

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Magnotta is sentenced to life imprisonment in the killing and dismemberment of Jun Lin. On the four non-murder charges, Magnotta is given the maximum sentences allowed under the Criminal Code, ranging from two to 10 years.

FEBRUARY 18, 2015

Luka Rocco Magnotta formally withdraws his appeal of a conviction in the first-degree murder of Jun Lin on Wednesday during a hearing at the Quebec Court of Appeal.

READ MOREMagnotta formally withdraws appeal of first-degree murder conviction

– With files from The Canadian Press

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