Warning: Due to the nature of the trial, this article contains graphic content.
MONTREAL - After the brutal killing and dismemberment of a Chinese exchange student, Luka Rocco Magnotta made a series of telephone calls to a telephone number in Ontario, a murder trial here has heard.
In the frantic hours that followed the killing 33-year-old Jun Lin, who arrived at Magnotta's Montreal apartment the night of May 24, 2012, the man accused of first-degree murder was in near-constant action.
He made endless trips from his second-floor unit to the garbage room in the basement of the building to dispose of plastic bags containing trash, clothing, a saw, hammer, screwdriver and knives as well as Lin's arms and legs. He obtained a suitcase the morning of May 25, 2012, that he would later load with his victim's headless torso and wheel out to the trash. He travelled to several post offices in the neighbourhood to mail out Jun Lin's hands and feet across the country.
But just hours after the killing, starting at 6:47 a.m., Magnotta also placed four telephone calls to a number with the 705 area code — a number with a prefix that corresponds to phone lines in Peterborough, Ont. — before getting through at 7:22 a.m. for a four minute call.
Later in the day, the court heard that Magnotta purchased a new cellular phone and made additional telephone calls to the same number, including a 6:14 p.m. call that lasted about six minutes and one the following day, May 26, 2012, at 7:55 p.m. that went on for 27 minutes.
The court has not heard evidence about who Magnotta spoke with or what he expressed after killing and cutting up Lin. That information could be critical to determining his state of mind in a case where jurors must decide whether Magnotta was sufficiently aware of his actions to have committed first-degree murder.
Magnotta, 32, has admitted to killing and dismembering Lin, but is arguing he should be found not criminally responsible for the acts because of his psychological condition, which includes schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder.
Born in Scarborough in 1982 under the name Eric Clinton Newman, much of Magnotta's family lived in Peterborough when the killings occurred.
Earlier Monday morning, the chief homicide investigators on the case, Sgt. Det. Claudette Hamlin, told the court that they were able to retrieve information from a discarded video camera found amid Magnotta's trash showing there were two different men shown in a gruesome murder video that was posted online of Lin's killing.
That discovery prompted police to review surveillance tapes from Magnotta's apartment building and obtain footage of a young man that Magnotta escorted into his apartment on the night of May 18, 2012, just six days before Jun Lin's death.
The surveillance footage that was played Monday in court showed a dark-haired man, possibly Asian, arriving with Magnotta at about 11 p.m. The man has what appears to be a black gym bag strung across his chest.
The video camera captured this man leaving the apartment about 12 hours after his arrival. Magnotta leaves with him, and appears to be supporting him as he negotiates the stairs at the entrance to the building at 11:25 a.m. on May 19, 2012.
Investigators have determined it was this man, not Lin, who can be seen in the first segment of the murder video naked and tied to Magnotta's bed with hand and leg restraints.
“Unfortunately,” Hamlin testified, “we never were able to identify the person despite an exhaustive analysis.”
The trial continues Monday afternoon.