A teacher has been suspended by a Montreal high school after he showed his students a video that police believe shows the murder, dismemberment and sexual assault of a Chinese student, the school board said on Wednesday.
The unidentified 29-year-old teacher showed the video to his students at Cavelier-de-LaSalle high school in the city's southwest LaSalle borough on the morning of June 4. It reportedly happened after the students asked the teacher to show the video, and all students in the class had agreed to view it.
"The Marguerite-Bourgeoys school board (CSMB) and the administration of the Cavelier-de-LaSalle school condemns with one voice the actions of a teacher who made his students watch a video with content that is inappropriate and offensive," the school board said in a statement released on Wednesday. "The incident was taken very seriously by the school and the CSMB."
The school board said it suspended the teacher with pay the same day and is considering further action, including the dismissal of the teacher. "Given the seriousness of the case, the CSMB deploys all necessary measures to make a decision as quickly as possible," the statement added.
Psychologists were made available to students following the incident, although it was not clear if any students had sought counseling.
"He said: 'I'm not supposed to show this. I'll hold a vote. If one person doesn't agree to watch, I won't show it.' Everyone raised their hand, without exception. It was really a unanimous vote," one of the students told CBC News. Another student said it was mainly parents who were upset about the video having been shown to their children.
Luka Rocco Magnotta, 29, who has been dubbed the 'Canadian Psycho' by media organizations, was arrested in the German capital of Berlin earlier this month after a nearly week-long manhunt. He has been charged in Canada with the murder of 33-year-old Lin Jun, a Chinese student who studied at Concordia University in Montreal.
Magnotta is believed to have filmed the murder of Lin Jun and then posted the nearly 11-minute edited video online. The video shows a man, believed to be Magnotta, using an ice pick to repeatedly stab an Asian man who is tied to a bed. An analysis of the room in the video matches photos of Magnotta's apartment, where police found a gruesome crime scene.
The video continues to show the murderer dismember his victim with a kitchen knife before sexually abusing the dismembered and decapitated corpse. One scene appears to show Magnotta eating the victim's flesh and allowing a dog to feast on the torso. Other acts shown in the video are too disturbing to describe in this report.
In addition to the graphic video, Magnotta is accused of mailing body parts of Lin Jun to schools and political parties across Canada. A severed human foot was delivered to the Conservative Party headquarters in Ottawa while another package containing a human hand was discovered at a Canada Post office. It was addressed to the Liberal Party headquarters, also in Ottawa.
A suitcase containing Lin Jun's torso was discovered in a pile of garbage in the Côte-des-Neiges borough of Montreal, some 165 kilometers (100 miles) east of Ottawa. Days later, two packages containing a right hand and a right foot were delivered to two elementary schools in Vancouver. All the remains were confirmed to be from Lin Jun.
In a note along with one of the packages delivered in Ottawa, Magnotta warned he had sent a total of six packages containing human remains, but only four are known to have been delivered. It is unknown if Magnotta was able to post the other two packages, although authorities have said Lin Jun's head is still missing.
Before the murder, Magnotta, who previously worked as a low-budget pornographic actor and model, was already notorious on the internet for other videos. The first known video to surface, published in December 2010, showed a young man placing two small kittens in a vacuum seal bag before sucking the air out of it, leaving the kittens to suffocate. Subsequent videos and photos showed the dead cats in a freezer, their corpses dismembered and the man simulating sex acts on them.
This and other videos, showing cats being eaten by a python and another being drowned in a bath tub, made Magnotta notorious among animal lovers who discovered his real name and launched an online campaign to seek his arrest and prosecution. Several rewards were issued but police seemed to have little, if any, interest in finding the person responsible.