MONTREAL – The father of murdered Chinese student Jun Lin says he has been able to feel the compassion and kindness of Montrealers, despite not speaking English or French.
Diran Lin said people have recognized him on the street, with some coming up to embrace him.
“Some warm-hearted people just hugged me and wanted to comfort me,” Lin said Monday, six days after a jury found his son’s killer, Luka Rocco Magnotta, guilty of first-degree murder.
“While we can’t communicate by language, we can communicate by heart,” he said through an interpreter. “I understood what they were trying to say.”
During the several months he has lived in Montreal while attending Magnotta’s trial, Lin received cheques and notes of support from people, with some of the communication already translated into Mandarin.
Lin said he will travel back home to China in January, but promised to return to Montreal despite his son’s murder and dismemberment in the city in 2012.
“I will come back,” he said. “To me, most of Canada is good, even though this happened to me.”
The emotional strain and anguish that Lin has suffered since 2012 was apparent on his face.
His eyes looked tired and and he spoke slowly and softly, during the hour-long question-and-answer period in his lawyer’s office.
Lin began to cry and shake after he said his hair had turned white since his son’s death.
He said he quit his job back home in order to attend the entire trial, which began in late September. Lin had also attended the preliminary hearing in 2013.
He expressed satisfaction with the guilty verdict, even though he found the trial long and the Canadian justice system slow.
“Generally speaking, the Canadian legal system is good,” he added.
Lin said he was relieved that Magnotta was found guilty and received a life sentence. However, the Lin family did not get full closure because they still don’t know why their son was murdered.
He called Magnotta a “beast” and said he wanted to know why the killer took his son away.
Daniel Urbas, the lawyer who helped the Lin family navigate Canada’s legal system, said his client also wants Magnotta to apologize.
“The father came here to honour his son, to find out why (he was murdered), and to seek justice,” Urbas said.
“He has had justice —Canadian justice — but he would like a true version and a complete version (for why his son was killed). And from the mouth of the accused, an apology.”
Urbas said his office has so far collected $15,000 in donations for the Lin family, but he would like Canadians to donate more through the website his firm created, linjunfamily.com.
“This (fund) is going to be taking care of the family for the rest of their lives,” Urbas said. “The money is to replace — literally — the support Jun Lin could have done had he been alive.”