Police in Los Angeles say they now believe they know who is responsible for a gory murder and beheading that has haunted the city since January, and that it is likely unrelated to the case of an alleged cannibal who similarly dismembered his victim in Canada.
L.A. cops yesterday said they were in touch with their counterparts in Montreal looking for a possible connection between January's Hollywood Sign murder, in which Hervey Medellin, 66, was decapitated and his remains scattered beneath the famous landmark, and the videotaped dismemberment of Jun Lin, 33, a Chinese student killed in May in Quebec.
Lin was allegedly killed by former porn actor Luka Magnotta, 29, who recorded himself murdering Lin with an ice pick and hacking apart the Chinese student's corpse. Magnotta then allegedly had sex with some of Lin's dismembered body parts and ate others. The man's hands and feet were mailed to two government offices and two schools.
Authorities in Los Angeles are continuing to talk with Canadian cops, but at this point do not believe the two murders are related.
"They follow up on all clues, no matter how small and tenuous," said LAPD Commander Andrew Smith.
"Our investigators are in contact with Canadian investigators and are trying to determine Magnotta's whereabouts during the time of the Hollywood Hills murder. At this time we do not believe there is a connection," he said.
A Facebook page in Magnotta's name, and one of many attributed to the accused killer, includes posts made in February that suggest the user was in Los Angeles working as a masseuse.
Authorities in L.A., however, now say they do not believe Magnotta was in L.A. at the time of Medellin's murder.
Canadian sources, however, have yet to officially confirm Magnotta's whereabouts.
Los Angeles sources believe there is a large body of evidence suggesting Medellin's murder was a love-triangle killing.
The evidence points to a person or persons with no known link to Magnotta, sources said.