Luka Magnotta inspired by film Basic Instinct, Crown says

Killer Luka Magnotta drew on elements from the 1990s erotic thriller Basic Instinct, using not only the name of the movie’s main character, but also borrowing from her crime when he stabbed 33-year-old Jun Lin to death, according to the prosecution.

WARNING: This story contains graphic details

Luka Magnotta has acknowledged that he killed Concordia University student Jun Lin, but says he is not criminally responsible because of mental illness. (Canadian Press)

Luka Magnotta drew on elements from the 1990s erotic thriller Basic Instinct, using not only the name of the movie’s main character, but also borrowing from her crime when he killed 33-year-old Jun Lin, according to the prosecution at his murder trial.

The Crown suggested Magnotta painted the black screwdriver he used to repeatedly stab Lin silver, so that it would resemble the ice pick used by Sharon Stone’s character, Catherine Tramell, to murder one of her lovers.

Magnotta painted this screwdriver handle silver, the Crown suggested, so that it would resemble the ice pick used by Sharon Stone's character in the movie Basic Instinct. (Montreal Police)
The title of an edited video showing parts of Lin's slaying that Magnotta posted online also refers to an ice pick.

The Crown contends the similarities don’t end there.

Sharon Stone’s fictional character’s fiancé, who is never seen in the film, is called Manny Vasquez — the same first name as a man Magnotta claims was a client from his escort service who turned abusive.

Magnotta also told a psychiatrist who interviewed him about the night he killed Lin that "Manny" was there urging him to kill, another psychiatrist, Marie-Frédérique Allard, testified Thursday.

However, the version of events he recounted to Allard, hired by the defence to assess Magnotta’s potential criminal responsibility, did not mention Manny’s presence.

Allard, who was on the second day of cross-examination by the Crown, acknowledged that she can see a resemblance between the film character Manny and Magnotta’s Manny, explaining that she spent a long time wondering whether Manny was real or simply part of the accused’s "delusional ideas."

She concluded that he may have had a client called Manuel Lopez, but that the actions Magnotta attributes to Manny may be affected by his psychotic state.

Magnotta used the name "Kirk Tramell" repeatedly in Europe in the days before his arrest, and he chose "Catherine" as his computer login, the Crown said, as an homage to Basic Instinct.

Prosecutor Louis Bouthillier returned frequently to issues in Allard’s 127-page report on Magnotta’s state of mind, trying to point out holes in the logic.

He asked why Magnotta paid for a hotel room in Paris for nine nights, particularly when he hoped to stay with a Parisian he had met online, but then left much earlier for Berlin.

Allard responded it was not logical, and that it’s difficult to impose logic on the actions of someone that, she contends, was in a psychotic state at the time.

It’s not logical — unless he was fleeing from police, the Crown argued.

Diagnosis stands: psychiatrist

In response to the Crown’s persistent questions about contradictory details in Magnotta’s story, Allard acknowledged that sometimes the accused’s story was incoherent.

But the forensic psychiatrist maintained it’s clear to her that Magnotta suffers from schizophrenia, and that the illness and his hallucinations are responsible for his acts on May 25, 2012.

Allard told the court even if she discounted his version of the crime, "there are still several signs that show me he was psychotic."

The psychiatrist noted Magnotta’s lengthy medical history, and the fact he had not been taking antipsychotic medication since 2010.

She pointed to two hospital visits during the time he was off medication to prove that, without regular treatment, his mental health was deteriorating.

Allard also stated during her testimony that a murder can be premeditated while a patient is in a psychotic state.

Magnotta has pleaded not guilty to the five charges against him, but has admitted to committing the underlying acts, including killing Concordia University student Lin and committing an indignity to his body.

The Crown contends the killing was premeditated.