Aspiring model, self-professed bisexual porn star, hustler, small-time felon, palpable narcissist, dissected in recent weeks by profilers-for-hire as classic psychopath, the Scarborough born Magnotta — born Eric Clinton Newman, formally changing his name in 2006 — was obsessed with cosmetic surgery to alter the features he didn’t like and, reportedly, to look more like James Dean . What remained throughout was the signature sensuous pout, the bedroom mouth of a man described by a former transgendered girlfriend as actually a dud in the sack, disinterested in sex and woefully unskilled as amorous partner. Magnotta also, she claimed, hit himself compulsively.
In videotaped interviews, he touches delicately at his face.
“A lot of people tell me I’m devastatingly good-looking.’’
“If I don’t have my looks, then I don’t have any life. My looks and my body are my life.’’
Estranged from family, he’d already been accused by animal lover groups of torturing and killing kittens, suffocating them in plastic bags, feeding them to snakes, and posting the evidence online. This would be textbook emerging psychopathic behaviour, characteristics evident early to one relative who told the Peterborough Examiner: “He’s a nut job. I did not trust him. Eric is the type of individual . . . I think he’s mentally ill. He has delusions of grandeur. He concocts stories that he tends to believe and they in turn become fact in his mind.’’
“I am a survivor of mental illness and I’m not ashamed of it. I went through a very traumatic childhood and in my teen years experimented with drugs and alcohol. At first, I thought this was the problem . . . it wasn’t. I am manic depressive and bi-polar. One day I’m normal, the next I can’t get out of my bed and then next week I want to conquer the world. Very confusing to someone who doesn’t understand.’’
Compulsively exhibitionistic, in thrall to himself, but no more than a cipher for most of an utterly superficial life, as insubstantial as a hologram. His only known object of interest was Luka Magnotta — when not calling himself Vladimir Romanov or Angel or K. Trammel, perhaps inspired by the ice-pick murdering Catherine Trammel character from Basic Instinct.
So many identities, shedding bits of himself, forensically, in the short period that he remained a fugitive at large — he’d professed, online, to being expert in disappearing — tracked first to Paris, where he made others uncomfortable in a bistro. French police found porn magazines and air sickness bags from his flight in a room where Magnotta had stayed before lamming it when Interpol publicized his name.
“I do not necessarily feel the need to redeem my reputation since the people that know me best will be more than happy to vouch for my honesty in conduct and I can provide many satisfied and loyal references if necessary.”
Magnotta was arrested June 4 in a Berlin Internet café, where he’d been surfing the web, reading about himself.
Is he really a psychopath? Parts seem to fit, yes, but I actually would bet borderline over both psychopath and bipolar. Thoughts?