Well, Luka Rocco Magnotta’s life on the run came to an abrupt end this week in Berlin. After allegedly killing a very unfortunate exchange student from China and before Canadian officials knew any of the crimes were committed, Magnotta flew to Paris where he could ‘disappear’ into Europe or beyond.
Europe’s geographic reach spans about 10,180,000 km2. An estimated 740 million people live within the continent — (give or take a few million), or about 70 people per km2. So, how do you find one relatively non-descript individual in this vast area? This is where I tip my hat to the global law enforcement community.
It is the ability of organizations such as INTERPOL and international police forces to quickly exchange sensitive information between jurisdictions and the global media that leads to fugitives being captured. And all the while, the agencies need to ensure they don’t compromise the integrity of the investigation or people’s rights.
When you stop to consider it, it’s quite an effort to get different countries with different laws, different histories and different motivations to agree on a format for information exchange for the greater good.
Luka thought he could disappear. He fled Canada on May 26. It took the international law enforcement community less than a week after beginning their global manhunt to arrest him in Berlin — apparently before he could kill again. A policing job very well done.