Meet Luka Magnotta — Wannabe Serial Killer At The Center Of Netflix's 'Don't F*ck With Cats'

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Who Is Luka Magnotta? New Details On Wannabe Serial Killer At Center Of Manhunt In Netflix Documentary 'Don't F*ck With Cats'
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Have you seen the new Netflix documentary Don't F*ck With Cats yet? It's a fascinating/horrifying look into the hunt for a killer by a group of novice Internet sleuths after they discover anonymous videos of a man killing kittens making its round on the Internet. They formed a Facebook called Find the Kitten Vacuumer... For great justice and set out to find out who the kitten-killer was. 

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Through a series of fascinating twists and turns, the killer's location is revealed to be on the continent of North America, thanks to a pack of cigarettes with a Surgeon General's warning lying on the bed in one of the kitten-killing videos, revealing that the cigs were purchased in North America because the Surgeon General's warning is only printed on packs of cigarettes manufactured in the U.S. Also, by identifying a specific type of vacuum used in one of the videos, the Facebook sleuths were able to determine the model was also only sold in North America as well. While someone might buy cigarettes and travel out of the country, it's unlikely they'd also take a vacuum with them. Eventually, it's discovered that the cat killer is aspiring Canadian model Luka Magnotta. And it turns out, cats were just the first step in his deadly pursuit. Who is Luka Magnotta?

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

1. Who is Luka Magnotta?

Luka Rocco Magnotta was born Eric Kirk Clint Newman in a suburb of Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1982. He is the oldest of three children of Anna Yourkin and Donald Newman. He claimed his mother was obsessed with cleanliness, often locked her kids outside of the house and at one point, put their pet rabbits out in the cold, causing them to freeze to death. In 1994, Magnotta's father was diagnosed with schizophrenia. His parents divorced not long after. 

When Magnotta was 21, he started appearing in porn videos as well as working as a stripper and male escort. In 2007, he auditioned for the Canadian reality TV series COVERguy. His audition tape for this show, which was uploaded to YouTube — and featured on the documentary — is one of the main reveals that led the internet investigators to identify Magnotta as the kitten killer as they were able to uncover hundreds of photos of Magnotta online, leading them down the path towards figuring out where he was living. 

2. The investigation started with videos of him torturing and killing kittens.

A series of videos began to appear online that featured a young man torturing and killing kittens. It wasn't long before a group of people formed the Facebook group "Find the Kitten Vacuumer... For great justice" with the aim of identifying and stoping the kitten killer. In one particularly horrifying video, Magnotta puts kittens in a big plastic bag and sucks the air out of it, suffocating them. In another, he unleashes a python on an unsuspecting kitten. During the investigation, Magnotta created a number of "sock puppet" Facebook account — typically used to conceal the user's true identity — to troll the group trying to figure out who he was. 

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3. He presented himself as a jet-setter. 

When the Internet sleuths identified Magnotta, they found a treasure trove of photos and fan groups online that were dedicated to the aspiring model. Photos all over social media and the internet showed Magnotta posing in a number of cities and countries across the globe. This frustrated investigators, until they figured out that most of the photos were bad photoshop jobs of Magnotta's head pasted onto other men's bodies that Magnotta did himself to gain attention.

4. The Internet sleuths found Magnotta's apartment building via Google Maps street view.

As the hunt for Magnotta escalated, the sleuths were able to pinpoint his exact location, thanks to Google Maps street view. John Greene, one of the members of the Facebook group, noticed a gas station in the background of one of Magnotta's photos. Using Google street view, he located the exact gas station and did a 360-degree rotation of the map to get a look at where the photo was taken. They convince Canadian law enforcement to pay a visit to the address but it turned out they were too late; Magnotta no longer lived there. He had moved on from Toronto. The internet sleuths began to fear that his kitten-killing videos would escalate into something much worse: human-killing videos — and they weren't wrong.

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5. Following the kitten-killing videos, a video called 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick was posted online.

On May 25, 2012, an 11-minute video was uploaded to a Canadian-based website called Best Gore. The video, called 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick, showed a naked male tied to a bed being stabbed over and over with an ice pick and kitchen knife. The murderer then dismembers the man. The New Order song "True Faith" plays in the background during the murder and dismembering. A few days after the video was posted, the maintenance man of an apartment building in Montreal found a suitcase in the alley behind a building that had maggots coming from it and flies swarming around it. Inside the suitcase, he found a torso of a man missing his arms, legs and head, prompting him to immediately call the Montreal police. 

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6. Body parts were mailed to politicians and schools.

Following the discovery of the torso, a package containing a left foot was delivered to the headquarters of the Conservative Party of Canada and another package containing a left hand was mailed to the Liberal Party of Canada. A package containing a right foot was delivered to St. George's School and the right hand was delivered to False Creek elementary school. Both schools are located in Vancouver, British Columbia. After the discovery of the body parts, it was initially believed Magnotta was the victim because his ID was found in a bag near the dumpster that contained bloody sheets and other items from the murder scene. However, authorities later discerned the body was actually a Chinese graduate student at Concordia University named Jun Lin. 

7. How was Magnotta finally captured?

As an international manhunt ensued, Magnotta flew to Paris. An Interpol Red Notice was issued for his arrest. He was found in Berlin after he went to an internet cafe to Google his own Interpol mugshot. The owner of the internet cafe recognized him from a news report he'd seen about the hunt for Magnotta. The police were called and Magnotta was arrested and extradited to Canada. However, no commercial airline wanted him on board, so a Canadian military plane was sent to retrieve him.

8. Magnotta pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

Magnotta pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and claimed he was put up to them by an abusive boyfriend — who may or may not have been imaginary — named Manny Lopez. On April 13, 2013, Magnotta was indicted on charges of first-degree murder, offering indignities to a human body, distributing obscene materials, using the postal service to distribute obscene materials, and criminal harassment. On December 15, 2014, Magnotta was found guilty on all charges. He is serving a mandatory life sentence and will be eligible for parole after serving 25 years.

9. The strange connection between Magnotta's murder and Basic Instinct.

As the Facebook group put the pieces of Magnotta's crime and arrest together, they began to realize Magnotta had modeled the entire incident after the 1992 erotic thriller Basic Instinct starring Sharon Stone and Michael Douglas. In the film, Stone's character's name is Catherine Trammel, who's being investigated for the murder of a rock star. The victim was tied to a bed and murdered with an ice pick. One of Magnotta's aliases was K. Trammel and he tied Jun Lin to the bed before murdering him with a screwdriver modified to look like an ice pick. In the movie, Trammel's fiancé is a man named Manny Vasquez. Magnotta claimed to have been under the control of an abusive boyfriend named Manny Lopez. 

10. Where is Luka Magnotta today?

Magnotta's still in prison in Canada serving his life sentence. He captured the media's attention once again in 2015 when he posted a profile on a dating site for inmates called Canadian Inmates Connect. In his profile, he said he was looking for a white man between the ages of 28 and 38 who was in good shape, well-educated, and financially and emotionally stable. He was looking for a long-term relationship.

In 2017, he married Anthony Jolin, a fellow inmate. The couple got married on June 26. Magnotta's mom, Anna Yourkin, was the witness to the ceremony. The marriage took place at Pont-Cartier prison, where both men are serving their prison sentences. Jolin is also serving a life sentence for murder. He killed a teenager named Kelly Wilneff when she planned to testify against him on assault charges. He shot her 10 times in the head. In 2003, he and another inmate stabbed fellow convict Kevin Whynder to death in a prison shower. 

Amy Lamare is a writer covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.

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