Security footage obtained from Luka Magnotta’s apartment building and shown at his murder trial today captured some of the final images of his victim, showing a carefree Jun Lin walking in to his killer’s home.
The evidence, presented during police detective Claudette Hamlin's testimony, paints a picture of Magnotta’s behaviour in the moments before and after Lin’s death.
The two men, of comparable build and height, are first seen entering the building together, chatting. A few hours later, Magnotta leaves alone and Lin is never seen again.
'We saw a neck, shoulders and the top of a torso, and that was enough for us. We called 911 right away' — Michael Nadeau, witness
Over the next 24 hours, the videos show the accused calmly making repeated trips to the building’s basement, lugging trash bag after trash bag into garbage bins.
Throughout the night and for much of the following day, Magnotta changes his clothes several times, occasionally wearing what appears to be Lin's clothing.
In all his comings and goings, Hamlin points out that Magnotta only takes the elevator once — leaving the building at 10:14 p.m. on May 25, 2012, he brings out a large canvas suitcase.
Videos retrace Magnotta's steps
Officer Luc Savard, then with the Montreal police’s technological crimes unit and the day’s third witness, told the jury his team extracted video from several different security cameras to retrace Magnotta’s steps.
Savard said the accused visited a local pharmacy — with a post office — and a large department store in the hours following Lin’s death. Video from the apartment building also shows Magnotta ordering a pizza on the night of May 25.
Earlier Thursday afternoon, the court heard the emotional testimony of Michael Nadeau, who worked as a janitor in Magnotta’s building. He discovered the first of Lin’s remains.
In a shaky voice, Nadeau recalled finding the suitcase covered with maggots and prying it open to reveal the torso.
"We saw a neck, shoulders and the top of a torso, and that was enough for us. We called 911 right away," he said.
The afternoon’s testimonies were in stark contrast to what jurors heard in the morning.
Audio testimony of the now deceased man who managed Luka Magnotta’s apartment described the accused as a “normal” tenant who said he wanted to live in the area to care for his child.
'Very normal, very cordial'
Witness Eric Schorer died earlier this year, so the court played a recording obtained during the preliminary hearing in March 2013.
Court staff and jurors listened attentively as the recording detailed Schorer’s first encounter with Magnotta and the chilling discovery made following his tenant’s departure.
Schorer described Magnotta as "very normal, very cordial," and said the accused had told him he wanted to live in the neighbourhood because he had a child nearby and a potential job opportunity in the area.
Magnotta has been charged with five offences, including first-degree murder, in connection with Lin's death. He has pleaded not guilty, but has agreed to the facts of the case, including that he killed Lin.
Because of that admission, the Crown does not need to prove he committed the acts, but does need to convince the jury that Magnotta had the state of mind to commit the crimes.
His lawyer has told the jury he intends to argue that his client should be found not criminally responsible for the death because he suffers from a mental illness.
The prosecutor in the case said he intends to prove the killing was premeditated.
In total, more than 60 witnesses are expected to testify during the six-week-long trial.