Vancouver police looking through cold cases for Magnotta connection

Human foot, hand sent to two Vancouver schools this week

Vancouver Police Department spokesperson Const. Lindsey Houghton says the department will be investigating whether murder suspect Luka Rocco Magnotta is connected to any crimes in this city.

As always, a review of cold and open cases will be conducted, said Houghton, who added so far there has been no connection to any Vancouver cases.

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Magnotta is a suspect in the murder and dismembering of his lover, Chinese national student 33-year-old Jun Lin in Montreal last week. The crime was videotaped and posted on the Internet. During a press conference Wednesday, Montreal Police Commander Ian Lafreniere confirmed Magnotta spent time in Vancouver, but did now say for how long. Speculation about whether Magnotta lived in the Metro Vancouver area for a time began when it was revealed that when declaring bankruptcy in 2007, he owed money to a Burnaby auto leasing company.

Police allege Magnotta sent body parts to two Vancouver schools Tuesday, including a severed hand to False Creek elementary school where it was opened by a staff member. The second parcel, including a foot, was opened later at St. Georges junior school. Montreal police have not yet confirmed if the body parts belong to Lin. On Wednesday, members of the Vancouver School Boards crisis team, including superintendent Steve Cardwell, media spokesperson Kurt Heinrich and counsellors, were at False Creek elementary to handle questions and concerns from staff and students. Magnotta, who had worked as a porn actor, is also suspected of mailing body parts to both the Liberal and Conservative parties.

The 29-year-old Magnotta fled the country last week and was arrested in Berlin Monday at an Internet café while surfing porn websites and looking at articles about himself.

Canadian criminologist Kim Rossmo, who heads up Texas States Center for Geospatial Intelligence and Investigation, has helped the FBI, the U.S. department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives, and Scotland Yard solve crimes. Rossmo, who specializes in geographic profiling of serial killers, said the fact Magnotta was arrested surfing articles about himself is telling.

His pre-and post-offence actions definitely suggest he enjoys attention, Rossmo told the Courier in an email.

Rossmo added while a number of serial killers such as Jeffrey Dahmer targeted gay males, those kinds of multiple murders are not intrinsic to the gay community.

If there were more predatory female sexual serial killers, the young male single heterosexual community would be at equal risk, he said.

The Courier consulted with Rossmo in 2009 while investigating the disappearance of dozens of young men in Southwestern B.C., several who vanished literally without a trace. Rossmo said its definitely possible to kill someone and dispose of the body while leaving no clues.

Look at [Robert] Pickton, said Rossmo. It all depends on the resources available to the killer.

The father of a Burnaby teen missing since June 1, 2007, told the Courier he would welcome a renewed look at his sons case.

Ron Braumberger said he and wife Janice were hoping the fifth anniversary of Bryans disappearance would spur another look by police.

And if this is what it takes, thats OK, said Braumberger. Any bit helps.

sthomas@vancourier.com

Twitter: @sthomas10

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