First a foot, now a hand sent in Canada's mail

A police officer removes a package from the Conservative Party headquarters in Ottawa. A severed hand is the latest limb to be sent in the mail. Photo / AP
A police officer removes a package from the Conservative Party headquarters in Ottawa. A severed hand is the latest limb to be sent in the mail. Photo / AP

Police launched a hunt today for a male porn star after a human hand was found in the mail at an Ottawa post office, and a decomposing foot was sent to Canada's ruling Conservative Party.

A nationwide warrant has been issued for Luka Rocco Magnotta, 29, also known as Eric Clinton Newman and Vladimir Romanov.

Montreal police spokesman Ian Lafreniere told a press conference the suspect has no criminal record and asked the public's help in tracking him down.

Police in Ottawa had previously disclosed that both packages were sent to Ottawa from Montreal.

The gruesome discoveries, described by Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews as "very disturbing," were made hours after a severed torso was also discovered by a janitor in Montreal early Tuesday in a suitcase in a pile of garbage.

Lafreniere said the finds are thought to be linked after an investigation brought them to a Montreal apartment that is believed to be scene of the dismembering.

The torso, he said, belonged to a white male and it is believed that the victim and the suspect knew each other.

The body parts will undergo forensic testing to determine if they came from the same person and if the person was alive when the parts were severed.

"We're missing parts of the body so it's difficult at this time to positively identify the victim," Lafreniere added.

The first package was partly opened by the receptionist at the Conservative office in Ottawa who called the police after seeing blood stains and was overwhelmed by the smell.

"The Hazmat Unit and Emergency Operations Section were called and upon further inspection of the package it was determined that there was possibly a human foot in the box," Ottawa police said in a statement on Tuesday.

The box was then X-rayed and handed over to the local coroner who "determined that the package did contain a human foot," it added.

Hours later, a second suspicious package was intercepted by Canada Post at a nearby mail sorting facility. It "contained a human hand," said police.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, citing sources, said the second parcel was addressed to the Liberal Party headquarters in Ottawa.

The public broadcaster also said Magnotta posted videos online of himself torturing kittens, and once dated serial killer Karla Homolka who was convicted in 1991 of manslaughter following a plea bargain in the rape-murders of two teenage girls and her sister.

Homolka had claimed in testimony that helped send her husband Paul Bernardo to prison for life that she was abused and an unwilling accomplice to the murders.
But videotapes of the crimes later surfaced showing that she was a more active participant than she had claimed. She was released from prison in 2005 and moved to Montreal.

Several websites describe Magnotta as a washed-up porn star and hooker, and say that he has denied ties to Homolka.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney told reporters Wednesday that this was clearly a "completely disgusting criminal act," adding it was also "bizarre and completely horrifying."

-AFP

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