For the first time since his 2014 arrest, Luka Magnotta has been interviewed about the murder of 33-year-old Jun Lin in 2012.
The new book, My Son, The Killer, co-written by Magnotta’s mother Anna Yourkin and crime writer Brian Whitney, recounts the killing of the Chinese exchanged student who was studying computer engineering at Concordia University in Montreal at the time. Yourkin says she started writing this book in 2013 to manage her “devastation” over her son’s crime.
“I needed to come to terms with the fact that my son Luka Magnotta was charged and eventually convicted of first degree murder and why?” Yourkin wrote in a statement. “Remember, there are always two sides to every story and now you have the opportunity to know both.”
Magnotta’s brutal crime involved videotaping Lin’s death and mailing the body parts to different parts of the country. The former escort was eventually arrested at an Internet cafe in Berlin after an international manhunt.
“He presents the same way now as he did back then. Rather haughty and above it all,” Whitney told the National Post.
At the time of the trial, Magnotta’s lawyer, argued the 36-year-old was not criminally responsible for the offense because he suffered from a mental disorder that made him incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong actions. The court ultimately sentenced Magnotta to life in prison with parole eligibility in 25 years.
“I have no mental illness whatsoever. I had to go with it, even though I didn’t want to, but my lawyers pressured me into it,” Magnotta told Whitney in the book, according to the Toronto Sun. “I told the doctors I had no mental illness. Even now in prison I take no medications, but the lawyers said our only chance was to go with the NCR [not criminally responsible] defence.”
Literature by Canadian killers
But Magnotta is not the first Canadian murderer to have a book penned about their life and the tragic incident that defines them.
While in prison, serial killer Robert Pickton released a book that proclaims his innocence. Pickton, known as “the pig farm killer,” confessed to an undercover police officer that he murdered 49 women, one shy of 50 because he “got sloppy.” The DNA or remains of 33 women were found on his B.C. farm. He was convicted of the second-degree murders of six women and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.
In the novel Pickton: In His Own Words, full of bible quotes and details of police interview, the man from Coquitlam, B.C. claims was wrongfully convicted in 2007 because officials were just looking for someone to blame.
“The RCMP were desperately failing to do their job properly, while looking for someone to take the fall, which is truly evil,” Pickton wrote in the book, according to CTV News.
Earlier this year, Pickton was transferred from the Kent Institution in Agassiz, B.C. to a maximum-security prison in Quebec.
In 2015 Paul Bernardo, another one of Canada’s most notorious murderers, wrote a graphic fiction novel called A MAD World Order. When the e-version of the book became available for purchase on Amazon, the popular online retailer was met with harsh criticism for selling a book from a rapist and serial killer.
Bernardo is currently serving a life sentence for kidnapping, raping and killing two teenage girls, 14-year-old Leslie Mahaffy and 15-year-old Kristen French, in June 1991 at his Port Dalhousie, Ont. home with then-girlfriend Karla Homolka. The bodies were dismembered, encased in cement and disposed of in a lake.
The convicted killer, known as the “Scarborough rapist,” was denied parole this year after spending 25 years behind bars. Homolka was behind bars for 12 years until 2005.
Canada’s sentences for killers
Recently, Canadians have debated whether sentences and management of killers should be more strict in the country, particularly after the announcement that Terri-Lynne McClintic, eight-year-old Tori Stafford’s killer, was being transferred from prison to an Indigenous healing lodge.
“If this is something that can happen to an eight-year-old child and there’s no justice for it, then that’s a big issue,” Stafford’s father said in an interview with Yahoo Canada News.
McClintic has since been sent back behind bars in Edmonton after the government faced harsh criticism for the initial healing lodge move. According to newly released federal data, 17 individuals serving time for killing minors were transferred to a Correctional Service of Canada’s healing lodge from 2012-13 to 2017.
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