Montreal

Luka Magnotta trial: How Jun Lin met his killer still a mystery

Homicide investigators found garbage bags full of evidence and surveillance video of Jun Lin and Luka Magnotta entering the latter’s apartment, but were never able to establish how the two first met, the jury at Magnotta’s murder trial heard on Monday.

Police searched photos, email, cellphone records, but found no links

Videos taken at Luka Magnotta's Montreal apartment and entered as evidence in the murder trial show Jun Lin arriving at the building shortly before his death. 1:20

Homicide investigators found garbage bags full of evidence and surveillance video of victim Jun Lin and Luka Magnotta entering the latter’s apartment, but were never able to establish how the two first met, the jury at Magnotta’s murder trial heard on Monday.

Sgt.-Det. Claudette Hamlin, a veteran homicide investigator, told the court police went through more than 7,000 photos, cellphone records and searched email accounts looking for details on how the 33-year-old university student met Magnotta, all in vain.

Video surveillance entered into evidence in the trial’s first week showed the two entering an apartment on Decarie Boulevard in the evening of May 24, 2012. 

Subsequent footage shows Magnotta leaving the apartment repeatedly, often with drooping garbage bags in hand, occasionally checking his own image in the lobby mirror.

Last image of Magnotta at apartment

The jury watched attentively as more surveillance footage was shown Monday, including the last image of Magnotta at the apartment.

He’s seen with a carry-on suitcase in hand, calmly walking through people sitting on the building’s front stoop, flicking his head back to put his sunglasses on, before getting into a waiting cab.

The witness then showed the jury photos taken at the hotel room that Magnotta stayed at in Paris, as well as images from the Berlin apartment he rented before his arrest on June 4, 2012. 

Luka Magnotta and Jun Lin are seen on an image captured from surveillance video inside Magnotta's Montreal apartment building on May 24, 2012. (Montreal police )

Among Magnotta’s personal items found in Europe were a yellow T-shirt and blue-and-white baseball cap similar to what Lin was seen wearing in surveillance video outside Magnotta’s apartment.

Those items were entered into evidence, along with a receipt showing Magnotta bought new sheets from Zellers before flying to Paris.

Hamlin also testified that police found surveillance footage from the week before Lin was killed of another man entering Magnotta's apartment, accompanied by the accused.

The man, whom police were not able to identify, is seen exiting the following day, walking with difficulty as Magnotta guided him down the stairs by the arm.

Magnotta has pleaded not guilty to five charges, including first-degree murder. However, he has agreed to the facts of the case, including that he killed Lin.

His lawyer told the court in his opening statement when the trial began last week that he intends to prove that his client was not criminally responsible for his actions because of mental illness. He told the court Magnotta suffers from schizophrenia.

The Crown prosecutor in the case told the court he will present evidence that shows Magnotta had documented a plan to kill someone six months before Lin's death.

During cross-examination, the jury patiently watched hours of footage of Magnotta at a Paris hotel lobby and bus station, as well as airports in both Montreal and Paris.

The jury saw video footage of Luka Magnotta walking through airport security in Montreal and Paris not long after Jun Lin was killed. Magnotta travelled under his own name and had booked a return flight. (Trial evidence)

The court saw Magnotta calmly walking through security, wearing a dark wig that cost $1,700.

The accused travelled under his own name, and bought a return flight, which he never used.

The trial continues Tuesday.