Murder suspect auditioned for reality TV show
Published Thursday, May 31, 2012 11:33PM EDT
The man wanted on an Interpol warrant in connection with a murder and dismemberment investigation auditioned for a reality television show on OutTV five years ago.
Cover Guy is no longer on the air, but the show on the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender specialty television channel was seeking the ultimate male underwear model and, in 2007, Luka Rocco Magnotta thought he had what it took.
"A lot of people tell me I'm really devastatingly good looking," Magnotta tells a panel of show judges as he unbuttons his black shirt, takes it off, and slings it over his shoulder.
Magnotta stands naked from the waist up as he answers questions from the judges, talking to them about how he used to be overweight, until he took up running every morning.
The video is the latest element in to emerge as police continue a world-wide hunt for a man who has disappeared, leaving an extensive online presence behind.
Magnotta is being sought after a severed foot and hand were sent in the mail to the Conservative and Liberal parties' offices in Ottawa. A note sent along with the foot to Tory headquarters warned that more body parts were on the way.
A human torso was also found in a suitcase in Montreal behind the apartment building where Magnotta lived.
Montreal police have issued a countrywide arrest warrant for the Ontario-born man, who is listed as a porn actor and model online, and police have reached out to the international community with suspicions that he has fled the country.
The Interpol warrant issued Thursday morning includes a picture of the 29-year-old man and a description listing his height as five-foot-eight, and his weight as 134 pounds. Magnotta has brown hair and blue eyes, according to the posting, which includes few other details.
Montreal police Cmdr. Ian Lafreniere said on Thursday that they have reason to believe Magnotta has left the country, but would not confirm a report that the suspect's destination was France.
"We found some evidence on the scene," Lafreniere said. "We found, also, a letter that was posted on a website making us believe he might be gone out of the country."
A 2009 blog entry posted under Magnotta's name details the steps a person should take to leave the country without being noticed and how to stay hidden.
Police say they have not identified the victim but that he bears similarities to a man reported missing several days ago.
Officers canvassing the working-class Cote-des-Neiges neighbourhood of Montreal where the torso was found in a suitcase have been showing residents an image of an Asian man in his 30s.
Lafreniere has said that police believed that the male victim knew his assailant.
Police in Montreal continue to investigate the possibility that Magnotta killed the man inside the apartment where he lived, dismembered the body and mailed pieces to political parties in Ottawa.
One neighbour told The Canadian Press that he last saw Magnotta nearly a week ago, at about 11 a.m. on Friday, May 25.
Richard Payette, who lives on the same floor as Magnotta, said he saw the man carrying a box at the time. Payette said the box appeared similar to boxes used to package hockey skates.
On Tuesday, a package containing a severed foot arrived in the mail at the Conservative Party of Canada headquarters in Ottawa, prompting a police lockdown and investigation.
Later that evening, a second package, this one containing a hand, was intercepted at a Canada Post office in Ottawa. The package was addressed to the Liberal Party of Canada.
Authorities have said that Magnotta has no criminal record, making it difficult to track the suspect's history.
Magnotta, who also uses the names Eric Clinton Newman and Vladimir Romanov, has an extensive and macabre online footprint that includes links to videos purportedly showing the torture and killing of kittens, profiles as a male model and rambling blog entries posted under the headlines "Cyber stalking," and "Media propaganda."
A video that may be connected to the body parts case has been making the rounds on the Internet. It purportedly shows a young man being stabbed and dismembered.
The video was posted to a website that specializes in gory videos and photos, but by Wednesday evening the link was slow to load and the video disabled.
CTV News reported that a note sent with the severed foot warned that a total of six body parts had been sent in the mail and that the person behind the dismemberment would kill again.
As for Magnotta's Cover Guy audition, he didn't make the cut, but he did leave an impression on producer Larry Peloso of Giant Productions, who remembered him as one of the quieter people to audition for the show.
"He looked a little bit different," Peloso recalled. "He looked like someone who wasn't necessarily comfortable in his own skin or he was trying to create an image of himself."
Magnotta had dyed his hair and said it wasn't his normal hair colour, Peloso recalled.
"He certainly wasn't confident like many of the other models who came in."
After Magnotta got the boot from the three judges, he told them that it didn't matter before thanking them for their time.
"Everyone has their own personal opinion, but I think I have what it takes to do it. I definitely do," Magnotta said at the end of his audition.