Magnotta murder trial hears how homicide detectives tracked down victim’s head

Luka Rocco Magnotta’s first-degree murder trial has heard that a cryptic fax from a Toronto lawyer led homicide detectives to his victim’s head.

MONTREAL — Luka Rocco Magnotta’s first-degree murder trial has heard that a cryptic fax from a Toronto lawyer led homicide detectives to his victim’s head.

Magnotta is charged with first-degree murder in Jun Lin’s slaying and dismemberment in May 2012.

Montreal homicide detective Antonio Paradiso testifed today he was working on Canada Day 2012 when a fax told him where to go in a sprawling Montreal park to find what he was looking for.

Paradiso says the letter from Toronto attorney Raphael J. Feldstein contained directions and suggested authorities would find what they were looking for if they followed the directions within.

Police at that time were still looking for Lin’s head after finding the rest of his body parts a month earlier.

Paradiso tried unsuccessfully to reach Feldstein to get a more specific location.

“At this point, we were still looking for a body part, the head,” Paradiso said.

He and his partner, with the help of a canine unit, found it later that day in an overgrown area near a pond.

Paradiso described his role in the case as a “supporting investigator” whose tasks included identifying surveillance video at various locations. He also met with friends and parents of the victim.

The investigator told the jurors Wednesday that homicide detectives initially thought Magnotta was the victim before they quickly realized he was the suspect.

Paradiso said he was dispatched to the Montreal airport on June 1, 2012, as Magnotta had booked a return flight from Paris to arrive on that day. But the native of Scarborough, Ont., wasn’t on the plane.

Paradiso was one of the team that eventually flew to Berlin, where Magnotta was arrested on June 4.

Six police officers, including an inspector, were on the flight that brought Magnotta back to Canada. There was also a psychiatrist.

In the kitchen area of the plane, Paradiso read Magnotta his rights and showed him the arrest warrants after German police had handed him over.

Magnotta said he’d already spoken to his lawyer and that he was going to maintain his right to silence, Paradiso testified.

Paradiso was tasked with minding the shackled Magnotta on the flight and even cut up the accused’s food for him as he was handcuffed and shackled.

Magnotta didn’t say much, ate, used the toilet wice and slept through much of the flight.

Earlier on Wednesday, the jury heard that most of the attempts at cleaning his blood-spattered apartment were poorly done.

Forensic biologist Jacinthe Prevost examined the apartment and other exhibits gathered at the crime scene. She’d initially suggested the apartment appeared to have been cleaned, but admitted under cross-examination it wasn’t done well.

Prevost testified she analzyed sperm stains found around the bachelor pad and on discarded clothing in trash behind the building without finding any with links to Lin.

Magnotta, 32, has admitted the physical acts of which he’s accused but has pleaded not guilty by way of mental disorder.

He faces four other charges: criminally harassing Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other members of Parliament; mailing obscene and indecent material; committing an indignity to a body; and publishing obscene materials.

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