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VANCOUVER – Alleged killer Luka Magnotta may have mailed human remains to Vancouver schools, including one linked to politician Justin Trudeau, simply to gain media visibility, Montreal police told the Vancouver Province.
“Honestly, besides looking for attention, besides looking for publicity, I don’t see any link between (remains sent to Vancouver schools) and the Liberals and the Conservatives,” said Montreal police commander Ian Lafrenierer.
Asked if Magnotta could have chosen to mail a package to St. George’s School because it has been linked to Trudeau in media reports, Lafrenierer said “absolutely.”
It appears to investigators that Magnotta – dubbed the ‘Canadian Pyscho’ by international media – is following his own press and is playing to an audience, “which is even worse,” Lafrenierer said.
Montreal police are all but certain the human hand found Tuesday by staff at False Creek Elementary and the foot at St. George’s School belong to Magnotta’s alleged victim, 33-year-old Chinese exchange student Lin Jun. Lafrenierer confirmed police know Magnotta has been in Vancouver in the past, but he did not provide further details.
Bankruptcy filings from an Ontario court say that in March 2007, Travellers Leasing of Burnaby repossessed a 1999 Chevy Cavalier that was leased to Luka Rocco Magnotta, who owed the company $10,000.
Magnotta, 29, was captured in Berlin after a six-day international manhunt, and is alleged to have murdered Lin and mailed a left hand and foot to the offices of the Conservative and Liberal parties last week.
Lin’s head is still missing.
St. George’s School, on Vancouver’s west side, is billed as one of Canada’s premiere boarding schools for boys, with students from 18 countries enrolled.
In March, Christopher Charles Ingvaldson – a 42-year-old former teacher at St. George’s School – pleaded guilty to child-pornography-related charges in connection to an international Facebook child-porn ring.
It was widely reported in 2010 that Ingvaldson was a close friend of Justin Trudeau, the Quebec MP and son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau. Justin Trudeau had taught with Ingvaldson at West Point Grey Academy more than 10 years ago.
Dr. John Bradford, head of forensic psychiatry at the University of Ottawa, speculated that the alleged crimes and behaviour of Magnotta could be motivated by a bid for infamy.
“Is (Magnotta) extremely psychopathic and he wanted to bring himself into a position of tremendous notoriety, to become infamous as a Canadian homicide perpetrator? People with extreme psychopathology would do these sorts of things,” Bradford said. “That is my gut feeling.”
Vancouver city councillor George Affleck, whose 11-year-old son attends False Creek Elementary, said parents are completely confused.
“I can only think that someone that went to the school, (Magnotta) may know?” Affleck said.
Affleck said the school is diverse in terms of parental incomes and ethnicity, and there are no known celebrities that have attended.
Vancouver police turned the investigation over to Montreal police late Tuesday, and are sending the body parts to Montreal for DNA testing. Late Wednesday, Lafrenierer said the parts are expected to arrive soon.
Police in Vancouver won’t speculate on why the two schools were targeted.
Meanwhile, Evelyn Ascher, Magnotta’s German court-appointed lawyer, says her client is “afraid he will be attacked by other prisoners” inside a Berlin jail because media reports make him out to be a “really, really bad person.”
Magnotta has been transferred to an old Berlin prison where he is kept separate from other prisoners 23 hours a day, Ascher told the CBC in an interview.