Netflix’s upcoming documentary, "Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer," is going to make your skin crawl.
The film, set to drop on Dec. 18, follows the stomach-turning story of the Canadian animal abuser-turned-murderer Luka Magnotta. Starting with a viral clip of himself suffocating two kittens with plastic bags and a vacuum, Magnotta embarked a series of increasingly twisted publicity stunts – culminating with him hacking up a bound sex partner on camera, then mailing the body parts to elementary schools and political institutions.
Magnotta – born Eric Clinton Newman — of Scarborough, Ontario, had his first run-in with the law in 2004, when he scammed $10,000 off a mentally handicapped woman he’d befriended by applying for credit cards in her name, Rolling Stone reports.
Magnotta began his career in the adult entertainment industry around the same time. At 21, he began stripping at a Toronto nightclub and acting in low-budget gay porn, according to the magazine. He would later earn extra cash as a male escort, charging $150 a day on a rent-boys website, according to the Toronto Sun.
Magnotta was obsessed with the way people saw him. He loved doing modeling work, according to the Canadian magazine Maclean’s. A self-described “cosmetic surgery addict,” he auditioned in 2008 for the Slice network program “Plastic Makes Perfect,” Canada’s Global News reports.
“I’ve had my nose done. I’ve had two hair implants like I said before. And I’m planning on having muscle implants in my pecs and my arms,” a 25-year-old Magnotta told the show’s producers.
But Magnotta’s fixation on image wasn’t just limited to his body. He wanted to be famous. He posted long, rambling blog posts about himself on numerous sites, likely inventing a persistent rumor that he had a romantic past with the serial killer Karla Homolka, according to Maclean’s. In total, he created at least 20 websites devoted to himself, Rolling Stone reports.
But rumors and phony fan pages can only go so far, and Magnotta soon began taking more creative measures to boost his own fame.
On Dec. 21, 2010, a video with the title “1 Boy 2 Kittens” appeared on YouTube. In it, a man with an obscured face can be seen placing kittens inside a vacuum-sealed bag, then turning on the vacuum to suffocate them, the National Post, a Canadian newspaper, reports. A subsequent video shows the man rubbing the kittens’ dead bodies against his genitals.
The clip struck a nerve and sparked deep outrage, with dozens of internet users joining forces in hopes of tracking the kitten killer, according to Rolling Stone.
Over the coming months, Magnotta continued to post videos of himself killing cats, according to the National Post. In one, he feeds a four-month-old kitten to a Burmese python. In another, he tapes a kitten to a broom handle and drowns it in his bathtub.
Finally, in 2012, journalists from the British publication The Sun tracked down Magnotta in London. After they asked him about his alleged animal cruelty, Magnotta sent them a letter.
“In the near future you will be hearing from me again,” Magnotta wrote, according to the National Post. “This time, however, the victims won’t be small animals. I will, however, send you a copy of the new video I’m going to be making. You see, killing is different than smoking... with smoking you can actually quit. Once you kill, and taste blood, it’s impossible to stop.”
On the night of May 24, 2012, Concordia University student Lin Jun responded to a Craigslist ad Magnotta had placed for a man who wanted to engage in bondage, according to the Montreal Gazette.
The next day, a 10-minute video titled “1 Lunatic, 1 Icepick” appeared online. In it, a man in a hoodie straddles the nude, bound body of Lin. Lin’s throat has already been slit, but the man is repeatedly stabbing Lin’s chest and thighs with an icepick while “True Faith” by New Order plays in the background. The man then dismembers the body and gets a dog to lick at the wounds, according to o.canada.com, a Canadian news source.
Authorities reported that a longer version of the video also included acts of cannibalism, according to Rolling Stone.
After mutilating Lin’s body, Magnotta mailed body parts to institutions across Canada. He mailed a hand and a foot to two Vancouver elementary schools, and the other hand and foot to Canada’s Liberal and Conservative parties, according to Canadian newspaper The Star. Lin’s rotting torso was found in a Montreal dumpster, and his head in a public park, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, a Canadian news outlet, reports.
An international manhunt began for Magnotta, who was ultimately arrested in Germany while Googling news stories about himself, The Star reports.
Magnotta was sentenced to life in prison, with possibility of parole after 25 years.
"Don't F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer" streams on Netflix starting Dec. 18. Watch the trailer here.
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