MONTREAL – Jun Lin’s slaying had many parallels to scenes from the film “Basic Instinct,” which may have inspired Luka Rocco Magnotta in his acts, the Crown suggested at his murder trial Thursday.
Prosecutor Louis Bouthillier brought up references to the early-1990s film during his cross-examination of defence psychiatrist Marie-Frederique Allard.
Allard testified Magnotta had mentioned the movie and being a fan of lead actress Sharon Stone. Bouthillier then provided examples to show the links went further.
He said her character is suspected of killing a man with an ice pick during sex. Magnotta, who has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of Lin by way of mental disorder, published the dismemberment in an online video entitled “One Lunatic, One Ice Pick.”
Bouthillier raised other similarities: a silver ice pick is used in the movie while one of Magnotta’s weapons was a black screwdriver that had been spray-painted silver. Magnotta’s alias while on the lam — Kirk Tramell — had the same surname as Stone’s character, Catherine Tramell.
Magnotta blames much of his troubles on a man named Manny Lopez, an alleged pimp and ex-boyfriend whose existence has not been formally established.
Magnotta describes his Manny as an abusive and controlling figure in his life. Bouthillier noted a character named Manny is also in the movie as Stone’s dead fiancee who never appears on camera.
Allard said Manny’s role in Lin’s death is the main difference between the version Magnotta gave her and the version he gave another psychiatrist.
Allard first met Magnotta in December 2013 — 19 months after the homicide. Her 127-page report was based on nearly 25 hours worth of meetings with the accused. Magnotta had previously met another psychiatrist, Dr. Joel Watts.
In Allard’s version of events, Manny is described as a peripheral character who is in Montreal but not directly linked to Lin’s slaying.
According to Allard, however, Magnotta suggested to Watts that Manny was an active player the night of Lin’s killing and ordered him in many aspects of the crime.
Watts is scheduled to begin testifying Friday.
Allard maintained that Magnotta was psychotic the night he killed and dismembered Lin.
She said there is plenty of information from before and after the slaying to support her conclusion that the accused didn’t know right from wrong when he killed Lin.
Allard pointed to Magnotta’s lengthy medical history, including a paranoid schizophrenia diagnosis a decade earlier and documents chronicling fears about government and being spied on.
Allard noted that Magnotta hadn’t been seen by a psychiatrist since 2010 and that his illness was out of control by 2012.
“Even if I excluded his version of the events, his own words, there are still plenty of elements to show he was psychotic,” she said.
Magnotta told the forensic psychiatrist he became concerned that Lin was an agent sent by the government to get him and that voices in his head urged him to kill.
The Crown has countered that Magnotta’s actions were planned and deliberate.
Bouthillier also questioned Allard about a 2011 email Magnotta sent to the Sun newspaper in London that suggested the murder of a human would occur in the near future.
Allard said Magnotta told her the email was a mistake and meant merely as a threat toward a journalist who’d interviewed him. It was sent six months before Lin’s slaying.
Allard repeatedly stood her ground despite being grilled by Bouthillier about omissions and perceived contradictions in her report.
At one point, he asked if there was anything else the jury should know about after she said some information emerging in the cross-examination was not in her report.
“In the work I did, I tried to be as faithful as possible to my meetings with Mr. Magnotta,” Allard said, adding she went back to see him in October to get answers to questions. Not all of those made it into the report.
The jury also heard that personal photos of Lin, alive, were found in the trash bin of Magnotta’s computer after it was seized in Berlin.
Faced with repeated questions about whether Magnotta was faking his schizophrenia, Allard asked why he didn’t purposely show symptoms during a Montreal hospital visit one month before Lin’s slaying.
“Maybe he didn’t think he was going to be caught, doctor,” Bouthillier replied.
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