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Inside the Twisted World of Luka Rocco Magnotta

Inside the Twisted World of Luka Rocco Magnotta

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Published by raynmike

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Published by: raynmike on Jul 26, 2012
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07/31/2013

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Inside the twisted world of Luka Rocco Magnotta
 
 An exclusive Maclean‟s report by Nicholas Köhler and
Martin Patriquin on the eerily public life and times of atwisted murder suspect
byNicholas Köhler andMartin Patriquinon Monday, June 11, 2012 5:10pm -8 Comments
Paul Mason
Paul Mason knew the man simply as Rocco. Seeking to beef up his photographic portfolio, the 48- year-old Montrealer had placed an ad on Craigslist in April 2011, seeking models who would work gratis in exchange for free portraits. Soon, Rocco got in touch. Mason agreed to meet the man, who
he understood to be a gay model, at Rocco‟s apartment in the gentrifying southwe
st Montrealneighbourhood of Pointe-Saint-Charles. And so it was that around lunchtime on Saturday, May 1 of 
last year, Mason arrived at Rocco‟s apartment, near the Charlevoix metro. Rocco “came out dressed
in sweatpants, a tank-top hoodie, and a little bi
t of facial makeup on his cheeks,” recalls Mason. “Thecheek thing was a little much. I said to myself, „
Ugh
, that‟s going to be a little creamy on camera—
 but
 what the hell.‟ I looked at the guy: a very chiselled face, not ugly, by any means. Quite dynamic
 
looking.”
 
The foundation on his cheeks wasn‟t his only idiosyncrasy. “He was speaking in this Russian, sort
-of-little-bit-of-an-Eastern-
European accent,” Mason says, imitating the Slavic cadence. “He maintained
it all the way through. I had no reason to s
uspect it wasn‟t real, but it did cross my mind:
 
is this a real accent? 
 
It was just a little bit odd. I said, „Where are you from?‟ and he says, „Half 
-Italian, half-
Russian.‟ I had no reason to suspect he was putting on a persona.” Over the ensuing hours M
ason
took dozens of outdoor shots of Rocco against an urban backdrop of brickwork and graffiti. “I said,„Okay, we‟re going to do the first shot,‟ and he said, „I‟m ready,‟ and I pointed the camera and he
 went
boom
: his face went 45 degrees to the side
like a robot, almost
and he froze: no smile, nonothing. Stone-faced. And I said in my head,
‘ 
This guy‟s intense. These pictures are going to turn outnice. As freaky as he looks, they‟re going to have some punch
.’ 
 
 
Rocco mentioned modelling work he‟d done in
Europe and New York and the fact he had a child. His
speaking voice was dry and monotone. When Mason felt he‟d run out of things to shoot in the area,Rocco helped him carry his lighting equipment up the stairs to his apartment for an indoor shoot. “It
 wa
s a mess,” Mason remembers of the place. “Sloppy. One room, a kitchenette, a bed, unmade, witha red bedspread.” A green couch in the room looked more promising. “I said, „This could be like a
nice studio boudoir-
type shot.‟ ” They closed the shutters and set up his flash heads. “He said, „Do you want me on the bed?‟ I said, „Yeah, sure, let‟s start on the bed and we‟ll do some after on thesofa.‟ He got on the bed and did very laid
-back, semi-sensual poses. Nothing erotic
there was nonudity or anything like that
and I shot away. And he maintained this cold face with no smile.
There‟s only one picture in the whole 90 pictures I took with an inkling of a grin on his face.
 
 
“Then he put on the black fake leather jacket and he looked very James Dean,” Mason says. “I eventhought that before I knew he had a fetish for him.” Mason was happy with the day‟s work, and spent
 weeks poring over the shots on his computer, whittling them down. He arranged to meet Rocco againto hand over some portraits; Rocco greeted him with that same Eastern European accent, and thetwo men shook hands. It was the last time Mason would see him until last Thursday. That day, at work, a colleague made a black joke about finding body parts in the trash. Mason had not yet heardof the grisly 
crimes that for the past week have captivated the world. “Ten minutes later my wifephones me. „Paul,‟ she says: „It‟s him! The guy you photographed last year. It‟s him, I‟m sure of it.‟ ”
 Eric Clinton Kirk Newman was born in Scarborough, Ont., on July 24, 1982; on Monday, nearly three decades later, following an intense international manhunt triggered by the discovery of dismembered human remains in Ottawa and Montreal, police in Berlin arrested 29-year-old LukaRocco Magnotta at an Internet café. Wearing sunglasses, Magnotta had been alternating betweensurfing for pornography 
some of it nude photographs of himself 
and reading news stories abouthis alleged crimes back in Canada. There could be no more eloquent a summation of his brief odyssey in the public eye so far as that dual pursuit, hunched over a computer keyboard, a piece of 
equipment that for so long had been at the centre of his life. “You got me,” he told the arresting
officers.
 
 Newman, the kid from Scarborough, and Magnotta, the male escort, low-budget porn actor andaspiring reality-TV star, were one and the same man. But years of online self-mythologizing, plasticsurgery, aggressive vamping and an aching for fame had transformed him: those high cheekbones,that practised pout, the perfection of that single cocked eyebrow 
these were all choreographed withprecision, calibrated to project maximum self-possession, designed to impress. None of it did.Magnotta had been shooting all along for Jimmy Dean; instead, it appears he developed intosomething foul.

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