Luka Magnotta heard voices, felt he was being watched, doctors testify

Luka Magnotta’s family doctor, who treated him over six years in Toronto, says the accused was convinced he was being stalked and complained about hearing voices.

Magnotta tells psychiatrist he hated his life and didn’t understand why he was born

Luka Magnotta is charged with five offences, including first-degree murder, connected to the death of 33-year-old university student Jun Lin. (Frank Rubert/Trial evidence)

The forensic psychiatrist who has treated Luka Magnotta since his detention for the killing of Jun Lin says the accused has a fragile personality, complains of hearing voices and fears others are out to harm him.

But Dr. Renée Roy, who has met with Magnotta on a regular basis at the Rivière-des-Prairies detention centre since November 2012, wrote in January of last year that it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact diagnosis — despite the accused’s history of psychiatric problems.

Roy told the court Magnotta's thoughts are coherent, but are often focused on cinema, and says Magnotta hears Marilyn Monroe’s voice at times.

The psychiatrist, who has never spoken to Magnotta about the charges against him, said in the months following the killing the accused heard voices disparaging him, but after consistent therapy sessions he was able to keep auditory hallucinations in check by listening to music.

Magnotta believes he’s constantly being observed on cameras, she said, even convincing himself that a new staff member at the detention centre was sent to harm him and that cellmates were talking behind his back.

While Magnotta did not reveal suicidal thoughts in the meetings, he did tell the psychiatrist he hated his life and didn’t understand why he was born.

Roy testified that Magnotta, who is taking antidepressants among other medications, did not often show emotion and spoke in a monotonous voice, particularly when they first met, but says he is capable of showing sadness at times.  He even expressed a wish to write a letter to Lin’s mother saying he was sorry.

Roy, who Magnotta authorized to break physician-patient privilege, will continue her testimony Tuesday morning.

Family doctor

A family doctor, who treated Magnotta sporadically for six years in Toronto, said the accused also complained to him of hearing voices and of the feeling he was being stalked.

Dr. Allan Tan told the first-degree murder trial Monday morning that he saw the accused more than a dozen times from 2003 to 2009 at different clinics.

Tan, in referrals for a new psychiatrist, described Magnotta as a man with “a long-standing history of paranoid schizophrenia.”

Magnotta first told Tan he began hearing voices in mid-2004, but it got worse.

Tan said Magnotta came in to see him on March 8, 2005, complaining of hearing voices that he tried to drown out by blasting the radio.

Magnotta said one of the voices told him he was walking like an ape, the doctor noted.

He also told Tan he felt he was being followed by people who were trying to photograph him and post the pictures online to ruin his modelling career.

Name change in 2006

According to Tan, Magnotta kept his curtains closed because he was worried he was being watched.

Tan noted Magnotta's sense of being stalked was still present in a follow-up visit two months later.

In 2006, Magnotta returned to the clinic and had legally changed his name from Eric Newman to Luka Rocco Magnotta.

Magnotta said that people were still following him.

“That’s why he changed his name,” Tan testified.

The medical notes highlight repeated visits over the six years Tan treated Magnotta.

He complained of erectile dysfunction, which was treated with prescriptions of Viagra and similar drugs, and Magnotta frequently requested to be tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Dr. Allan Tan arrives in court with Luka Magnotta's lawyer Luc Leclair. Tan told the court that Magnotta said he tried to drown out the voices he heard by blaring the radio.

Magnotta visited the clinic to have stitches removed after hair transplants, and also complained of bleeding gums, a symptom Tan told Crown prosecutor Louis Bouthillier he could not link to illicit drug use.

The Toronto doctor said he did not have access to Magnotta's psychiatric records and all the information in his files came directly from the accused.

Tan said during the time he treated Magnotta, the accused was receiving financial aid from the Ontario disability support program, though he told the doctor he was working as an actor and model, and later, as an escort.

Magnotta wanted more sleeping pills

The court also heard Magnotta had visited the Monk Clinic in Montreal’s southwest borough four months after his move to Montreal, looking for a prescription renewal for Temazepam.

Dr. Andrée David said the accused came to the walk-in clinic complaining of chronic fatigue and problems putting on weight.

He told the doctor he had already been prescribed Temazepam by his physician in Ontario, but Dr. David refused to give him a renewal because it’s not normal procedure to do so for walk-in patients, and instead referred him to a sleep clinic.

The court already heard that traces of Temazepam were found in the victim’s body.

Another witness today told the court that Magnotta visited her drop-in clinic just two months before 33-year old Lin was killed, looking for a referral to a local psychiatrist.

Dr. Marie-Nicole Jean-Destin said the accused told her he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, not schizophrenia.

The defence is trying to prove that Magnotta should be held not criminally responsible for his actions because of his mental state. Magnotta has pleaded not guilty.

The Crown alleges the killing was premeditated.