OTTAWA -- They met as strangers for a threesome in a Toronto apartment, and Luka Magnotta took a liking to the transgender girl his same age -- so much so that the other guy stormed out, said he was going for a pack of smokes and never returned.
Luka Magnotta was 23 and years away from becoming the monster depicted in the headlines. Then an aspiring porn actor and an escort for older men, he ended up courting the girl and would go on to live with her in 2006.
It was her darkest romance.
Magnotta's ex-girlfriend, who wishes to remain anonymous, recalls a date that year in which the two went to see the Sharon Stone film Basic Instinct 2 on opening night. Magnotta insisted they sit in the front row, and she recalls him holding her hand through the scene where a mystery blond woman kills a man with an ice pick.
The online video of the alleged killing at Magnotta's Montreal apartment is titled 1 lunatic 1 ice pick.
Magnotta's ex-girlfriend said he was prone to mood swings at the time she knew him, and was infatuated by serial killer Karla Homolka.
"He talked at length about Karla," she said.
She said Magnotta -- at the time, a year away from filing for bankruptcy -- spared no expense in the courtship, renting limousines to pick her up for dates at noted Toronto restaurants.
It was fun, she said, at least at first.
But their sex life was lousy, she said, because of his river-bottom sex drive.
"He didn't have much of a high sex drive when I was with him, to be honest. I kept begging him for sex, and he would never give it to me. This one time he allowed me to give him oral sex but it only lasted for one minute," she said.
Magnotta wouldn't even kiss her on the lips. He wanted only to hold her hand, take her to the movies and wine-and-dine her at fancy restaurants. When not eating out, she said, Magnotta ordered pizza all the time, and never cooked meals. He always made the sign of the cross before he ate, saying he was raised to be grateful for what was on his plate.
He told her that he couldn't sleep with her because it didn't mean anything special to him; because Magnotta had sex "with old men for money," and because he was dating her, she said, "He wanted to express that kind of love in a different way."
She said Magnotta was "very cold" and would go silent when they argued.
When she dumped him, she said Magnotta insisted they remain friends. She didn't keep in touch and one of the last times Magnotta called her he said he'd had a "bad experience" with a john.
Magnotta invited her on a holiday in Greece, but she declined. "He got mad 'cause he didn't understand why I didn't want to go."
She said Magnotta would get upset over little things.
"I remember, I knocked down a picture frame of himself, and he freaked out on me.
"He was hot and cold. I just thought the whole relationship was... weird, you know?"
Magnotta's ex-girlfriend also said he constantly wanted her to take pictures of him. She said the first thing he did every morning was "market himself" on the Internet.
"He wanted to be famous," she said.
Meanwhile, the Miami Police Department is the latest force searching for ties between Magnotta and an unsolved homicide.
Magnotta, arrested in Berlin following an international manhunt, is the prime suspect in the death and dismemberment of 33-year-old Concordia University student Jun Lin.
While there is no evidence to connect Magnotta to any such crime elsewhere, the brutality of his alleged modus operandi and his extensive international travels have caught the attention of investigators in several jurisdictions.
The latest is a veteran Miami homicide detective, whose department has been trying to solve a three-year-old cold case that shares similarities to the Montreal slaying.
Sgt. Confessor Gonzalez plans to contact Montreal police to explore possible links between Magnotta and the mysterious 2009 death and dismemberment of Guatemalan national Omar Laparra.
Police forces in Los Angeles and Gatineau, Que., have also indicated that they're inspecting Magnotta's recent activity because both jurisdictions have unsolved homicide cases involving corpse mutilation.
-- Postmedia News