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Suspect in body parts probe describes himself as 'a people person'

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 5:35 AM EDT, Tue June 5, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • "Naked News" says it interviewed Luka Rocco Magnotta in 2007
  • He talks about his work as an escort and how he responds to aggressive clients
  • Magnotta is the prime suspect in a grisly Montreal murder
  • He was arrested in Germany on Monday

(CNN) -- He sits, relaxed, one arm propped casually on top of a couch, describing his work as a stripper and adult escort.

He talks about the difficulty drawing a line between his personal and professional lives and how he responds to aggressive clients.

"Some clients, mostly the ones that are on drugs or drinking alcohol, can get very violent, but I know how to handle myself in that situation. Basically I've been around and I know what to say and what not to say in a dangerous situation," the young man reports.

Those words, spoken in 2007 to "Naked News," an Internet-based service, took on fresh meaning as the man on the couch was identified by Naked News to be Luka Rocco Magnotta, a porn actor accused of killing and dismembering a man in Canada. He was arrested in a Berlin internet cafe Monday, ending an international manhunt.

See details of arrest in Germany

"I really do enjoy my work. I get to meet new people all the time. I'm a people person," Magnotta, who used a pseudonym during the interview, told Naked News, a self-described nude news program.

He said he'd traveled around the world as a "high end" escort and had the opportunity to meet influential people.

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"The best part about being an escort is I'm my own boss. I get to pick my own hours and I make a lot of money," Magnotta said, laughing.

The Naked News interview was apparently just one in a very long line of Internet appearances by Magnotta in images and words -- on porn sites and what appears to be his own website, where he defends himself as the victim of cyber-stalkers out to get him.

In months and years past, he was pegged as a serial kitten-killer by animal rights activists, and as a man who may have dated a Canadian woman convicted of drugging, raping, torturing and killing young girls almost two decades ago. A journalist who met him described him as "creepy."

All the charges, however, paled in comparison to last week's accusations against Magnotta as he became the center of Canada's most talked-about crime.

Authorities launched a massive manhunt for Magnotta after a severed hand was sent to Canada's Liberal Party, a foot was sent to the Conservatives and a torso was stuffed in a suitcase and tossed in the trash of the Montreal apartment building where he lived.

Inside Magnotta's apartment in Monreal, police found dried bloodstains on the table, the bed, the bathtub and the refrigerator.

Montreal police Commander Ian Lefreniere said officers who have been investigating crimes for 30 years had never encountered such a grisly scene before.

To make matters more chilling, Lefreniere said Magnotta filmed himself in the act of dismembering a body, the shocking 10-minute video then posted online for all to see.

Magnotta was born in 1982 in Scarborough, just outside Toronto, as Eric Clinton Newman. He changed his name to Magnotta in 2006, according to the Toronto Star.

Sometimes, he used the alias Vladimir Romanov. His website has writings in Russian as well as a link in Arabic that takes readers to an explanation of homosexuality.

A search for Magnotta on Google last week yielded a plethora of images that match his description of himself: A model, an actor, a porn star. There are images of Magnotta half or fully naked, in suggestive poses, lips always pouted.

Reporter Joe Warmington of the Toronto Sun met Magnotta in 2007. There were rumors then that Magnotta was romantically linked to Karla Homolka, who many years before was arrested for the rape-murders of three Ontario girls, including her own sister. In a plea bargain deal, she was sentenced to only 12 years in prison.

She had been released from prison when the rumors about Magnotta started, Warmington said.

He asked Magnotta to come to the Sun building -- he was nervous to meet him in an unfamiliar location.

He had bleached blond hair and wore black leather. He said his modeling career was careening because of the rumors.

"I very quickly determined he was narcissistic," Warmington said. "He was a guy looking for attention in a creepy way -- name dropping one of our most notorious criminals."

Warmington felt Magnotta was a "little out there." Coherent but not connecting. But he didn't sense him to be dangerous.

When police released his name last week, Warmington felt chills.

"It freaked me out," he said.

Magnotta's name is also familiar to animal rights activists who accuse him of being a serial kitten-killer. They say the man in a YouTube video killing kittens by drowning and asphyxiation and then using the carcasses in sexual acts is Magnotta.

A Facebook group started in December 2010 identified Magnotta by name on its page, dubbed him the "Vacuum Kitten Killer" and asked for help in tracking him down.

Last week, a post on the page said: "We are patiently waiting for more information on the case and have faith in the Montreal Police ... Members of this group have spent over a year searching for this individual, who we believe is also responsible for several videos where animals were killed. Information gathered by group members was passed on to the authorities in Canada, and we were informed that they were actively working on locating the person seen in the videos hurting animals."

CNN's Moni Basu contributed to this report.

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