Canadian murderer Luka Magnotta clearly had an insatiable hunger for fame. That hunger became pathological, leading to gruesome videos he posted online of himself killing cats, then a real-life snuff film in which he killed and dismembered a Chinese student in 2012. He looked for validation and clout through bloodshed.
However, Magnotta also sought fame through other means. In the early 2000s, Magnotta — born Eric Clinton Newman in Ontario — worked as a model and actor in low-budget porn. He was a convicted conman by age 22, according to the Globe and Mail. But he also apparently worked full time as a sort of self-publicist, anonymously posting rumors about himself online in order to publicly deny them, according to Maclean’s Magazine.
Magnotta claimed in interviews in 2007 that rumors about him being romantically involved with infamous Canadian serial killer Karla Homolka — one of the so-called “Ken and Barbie Killers” — were being disseminated online. The rumors were ruining his life, Magnotta complained, according to Maclean’s.
Even though Magnotta and Homolka likely never even met, her name would come up during Magnotta’s eventual murder trial, as told in the new Netflix documentary, “Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting An Internet Killer.”
Who Is Karla Homolka?
Homolka was 17 when she met 23-year-old Paul Bernardo in Ontario. They shared some of the same, sadomasochistic proclivities, according to Thoughtco. Bernardo had recently begun his career as a brutal serial rapist and, after the pair was engaged, she started to encourage and participate in his horrific pastime — which would escalate to murder, according to the CBC.
In December 1990, Homolka helped Bernardo drug and rape her younger sister, Tammy. They used a sedative like valium in the 15-year-old’s food, according to CBS, and the girl ended up choking on her vomit and dying during the attack, according to Thoughtco. The drugs in her system went undetected, so her death was ruled an accident.
Over the course of about two years, Homolka would help her husband rape and murder at least three young women, earning them both prison sentences in 1995, according to CBC. The twisted couple would videotape their rape sessions, as well as the murders of their victims.
Fourteen-year-old Leslie Mahaffy was kidnapped by the couple in June 1991. She would endure days of videotaped rape and torture before Bernardo and Homolka finished her off, then chopped up her body and heaved the pieces into a lake, according to Thoughtco.
Just days after disposing of Leslie’s body, the couple was married in an elaborate, expensive ceremony in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, according to Thoughtco.
In April 1992, the couple claimed likely their final victim. Kristen French, a 15 -year-old schoolgirl, was walking in a church parking lot when the now married couple approached her. They took her captive and spent three days raping and torturing her, before killing her and dumping her in a ditch, according to CBC.
A rift opened between the husband and wife in January 1993, when a domestic violence incident led to Homolka fleeing and filing charges against Bernardo. An ongoing investigation led to Bernardo’s arrest on multiple charges about a month later. Homolka had been in touch with police already, and she lawyered up, eventually brokering a deal to testify against her husband in exchange for a lighter sentence on manslaughter charges, according to Thoughtco.
Her 12-year prison sentence was widely panned for being too lenient, and she was released in July 2005, under strict conditions, including that she never contact Bernardo or the families of her victims, according to CBC.
The Magnotta Connection
Two years after Homolka’s release, Magnotta would begin publicly denying the rumors that he started himself about a romantic relationship between the two of them.
During Magnotta’s trial in 2014, a forensic psychiatrist testified that he admitted to her that the rumors were of his own creation. They were a “stupid idea,” designed to create a “bad boy” reputation, Dr. Marie-Frederique Allard testified, according to Global News.
Magnotta’s fixation on Homolka didn’t end with the bogus rumors, either: When he mailed packages containing body parts of his victim, Jun Lin, to schools and political offices, he put down Homolka’s sister’s return address on at least some, according to Global News.
Logan Valentini testified in 2014 that she had nothing to do with the grisly package sent to a Vancouver elementary school.
"I was kind of stunned; I didn't know why I would be dragged into something again that had nothing to do with me," she said, according to CTV News.
In her testimony, Valentini also said that her infamous sister was living in Quebec with a new husband, and that she had recently seen her.
"Don't F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer" is currently streaming on Netflix. Watch the trailer here.
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