'Don't F*ck With Cats' Killer Luka Magnotta Claims 'Manny Lopez' Forced Him To Kill — Does He Exist Or Is He Made Up?

Photo: Netflix
Who Is Manny Lopez? New Details On Luka Magnotta's Claims He Was Coerced Into Killings By Abusive Boyfriend
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Warning: Spoilers ahead!

Who is Manny Lopez? The Netflix documentary Don't F*ck With Cats delves into the twisted tale of wannabe serial killer Luka Magnotta, a man who posted videos of him killing kittens on the internet, which prompted a group of people to create a Facebook group to track him down.

Eventually, Magnotta escalated his killing and posted a video of him violently killing and dismembering a man. An international manhunt ensued, Magnotta was arrested in Berlin and extradited to Montreal, Canada — the country where he's from.

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There, Magnotta was questioned by the police and he brought up a man named Manny Lopez, claiming that Lopez forced him to kill the kittens and Jun Lin. In fact, Magnotta tried to claim to an attorney before he ever fled Canada that a man was forcing him to do criminal things.

However, there's no evidence that this 'Manny Lopez' was involved at all in Magnotta's crimes — and many suspected he didn't exist at all. 

1. Who is Manny Lopez?

In the documentary, Magnotta's mother Anna Yourkin said her son became involved with a man named Manuel Lopez AKA Manny Lopez when he hired Magnotta to be his male escort.

She said, "They were into fetishes, abuse, and they liked to dominate. Around this time, a client was becoming more than a client. More like his keeper. A client by the name of Manny. Luka told me Manny would follow him, he was a stalker, and that [Luka] had moved but he would continually find him. He would continuously say, ‘I have connections, you’ll do what I say.'”

2. Magnotta was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic.

It's worth mentioning that a full decade before he murdered Chinese graduate student Jun Lin, Magnotta was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic when he was 20. He was in and out of hospitals as a result of his diagnosis and remained stable when he stayed on his meds.

During Magnotta's trial, psychiatrist Marie-Frédérique Allard testified that Magnotta went on and off of his medication in an attempt to quiet the voices in his head. She also said that he was terrified of getting fat and he tried to kill himself twice during his teenage years. Magnotta's defense used his diagnosis to try to convince the jury that he was insane. 

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3. Magnotta started talking about Lopez years before the murder.

Magnotta's mother explained in the documentary that her son had started talking about Lopez years before he murdered Lin. She said when she first heard about the kitten killing videos, she felt something wasn't right and asked her son about it. 

“I asked him about the video. He said, ‘I was forced to do it.’ He explained that Manny was selling videos of animals being tortured or murdered on the deep web, and he was making an awful lot of money," Yourkin said.

She also said that at the end of one of the kitten videos someone else's hands were visible at the end of the video. Yourkin believes those are Lopez's hands. 

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4. Magnotta told an attorney about Lopez before the murder.

During Don't F*ck With Cats, the filmmakers interviewed an attorney named Romeo Salta, who Magnotta approached after he had been connected to the kitten killing videos. Salta said that Magnotta complained about Lopez and his abuse a year and a half before Lin's murder.

Magnotta emailed Salta a list of abuses Lopez had perpetrated against him. Magnotta said Lopez strangled him with an electrical cord, stabbed him with a pencil and pen, forced him to eat animal parts and worms, and forced him to have sex with cats and a puppy. He also said that Magnotta sent him emails late at night claiming Lopez was outside his house. 

"He was convinced his life was in danger. No doubt about it, but at the same time he seemed utterly dead emotionally," Salta said.

5. Magnotta claims Lopez took away his medications.

Magnotta told psychiatrist Dr. Joel Watts that Lopez took away the medication he needed to manage his schizophrenia. Magnotta said that Lopez tried to convince him that his meds were making him more nervous.

Magnotta claimed he tried to explain how much he needed those meds and Lopez got angry and hit him

6. Does Manny Lopez exist?

Magnotta took care to lay a trail claiming Lopez was abusing him but authorities were never convinced Lopez was a real person. Salta said he felt like Magnotta believed he had been abused by Lopez, but it may have all been in his head.

The Facebook group that tracked Magnotta after the kitten videos eventually uncovered the truth about Lopez by looking at the aliases Magnotta used. One of them was K. Trammel, a play on Catherine Trammel, Sharon Stone's character in Basic Instinct. In the movie, Stone ties her lover to the bed and murders him with an ice pick, just like Magnotta did. Stone's fiancé in the film was named Manny Vasquez. 

Investigators said there's no evidence that Lopez is an actual person. There's also no record of any late night phone calls to Magnotta's cell phone on the night he murdered Lin, which contradicted his claims that he was taking instructions from Lopez over the phone.

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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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