Mollie Chambers

While aimlessly scrolling through my Netflix recommended, I stumbled upon a title that caught my attention, “Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer.” As a cat-lover myself, I was curious as to what exactly this docu-series was about, and boy was I in for a ride. 

Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer” details the internet’s manhunt for Luka Magnotta, following his involvement in several disturbing videos posted online.

Magnotta’s first two videos entitled “1 boy, 2 kittens” and “Python Christmas” were posted in 2010 and featured disturbing scenes of cats being murdered and tortured. As if these videos weren’t bad enough, in 2012 Luka uploaded his final video entitled “1 lunatic, 1 ice pick” which documented the murder of Jun Lin. To make matters worse along with filming the murder, Magnotta also mailed Jun Lin’s body parts to two Vancouver schools, as well as to the Conservative and Liberal parties in Ottawa.

Prior to Jun Lin’s murder, after “1 boy, 2 kittens” was uploaded, the internet went on a frenzy trying to figure out the identity of the hooded man in the video. This uproar caused former U.S. soldier Ryan Boyle to form a Facebook group entitled “Find the Kitten Vacuumer for Great Justice.” This purpose of this group at the time was to investigate the identity and whereabouts of the unidentified kitten killer and potentially stop another incident like this from taking place.

After a few months of investigating the group got an anonymous tip, thought to be from Magnotta himself, that the man in the videos was Luka Magnotta. After finding the killer’s identity, the group repeatedly reported their findings to the police only to be ignored. 

While the contents of Magnotta’s videos were disturbing, the most disheartening element of this series for me was the fact that Jun Lin’s death could have been avoided. I believe there were many early signs of Magnotta’s dangerous tendencies that were ignored by those around him, and which ultimately cost Jun Lin his life. 

Magnotta’s Prior Conviction 

In 2005 Magnotta impersonated a woman to commit $10,000 worth of credit card fraud. However, Magnotta’s shopping spree was short-lived and he was ultimately convicted on one count of impersonation and three counts of fraud.

Magnotta’s lawyer was able to shorten his sentence by presenting a medical report showing Magnotta’s extensive psychiatric issues getting him a 9-month conditional sentence and a year of probation. This was on the condition that he would seek counseling and regularly take his medication.

The documentary makes it clear that no one in Magnotta’s life helped him cope with his illness, which could have attributed to Jun Lin’s death years later.

Another interesting element of Magnotta’s first conviction was that the woman he was impersonating was a close friend that he had met online. While the woman was 21 years old when the impersonation took place, court documents show that she had the mental capacity of a child.

I believe Magnotta sought out a vulnerable person online who he could take advantage of, which showcases Magnotta’s manipulative tendencies — the same ones he used to take advantage of Jun Lin. 

Wannabe Celebrity 

Several years after being charged with fraud, Magnotta’s life took a drastic turn. Suddenly it seemed like all he cared about was being a celebrity. He changed his name, for no apparent reason, from Eric Clinton Kirk Newman to Luka Magnotta, a more “celebrity-esk” name. 

After this sudden name change Magnotta became a self-proclaimed plastic surgery addict. He began getting copious amounts of surgeries and was seemingly obsessed with looking perfect. 

Magnotta then launched his own modeling career and began auditioning for dozens of reality television shows, notably all of which he was denied from.

This drastic personality shift raises major red flags for me. The tendencies Magnotta was exhibiting were bizarre and I wish someone in his life would have caught onto them. I believe if someone attempted to get through to him at this point in his life, Jun Lin’s death could have been avoided. 

Internet Addiction 

During his youth, Luka Magnotta worked as an escort, stripper and porn actor. While working in these industries, Magnotta used the internet to meet the majority of his clientele. Every aspect of his adult personality revolved around the internet. 

Circling back to Magnotta’s wannabe celebrity status, he even posted fake fan videos of himself online to make him appear more famous. Personally, I think these videosare hilarious and some of them can still be found on YouTube today. 

Magnotta’s need to present the most appealing version of himself online is something I can relate to. While I can’t say I’ve ever made a fan video for myself, I understand feeling the need to conform to society’s standards when posting on social media. However, Magnotta’s sudden obsessive behavior towards his online persona definitely raises some red flags for me. This shows that he is the type of person who will do anything to keep any form of internet fame. 

I believe that Magnotta knew uploading “1 boy, 2 kittens” would give him the internet fame he wanted, and once he got that he craved more. He knew the videos of him torturing animals contained the right amount of shock value to keep people talking about him. Magnotta’s past behaviors showed that he was willing to push the limits until he got as much attention as he could, which ultimately ended in Jun Lin’s murder. 

Taking into consideration Magnotta’s dangerous tendencies prior to Jun Lin’s murder I do believe his death could have been avoided. I wish Magnotta had had someone in his life would could have seen the red flags before things got out of hand. However, Luka Magnotta’s actions are inexcusable and I am glad that, in the end, justice was served for Jun Lin and his family.

Mollie Chambers is a freshman majoring in journalism and electronic media. She can be reached at mollcham@vols.utk.edu.

Columns and letters of The Daily Beacon are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Beacon or the Beacon's editorial staff.

UT Sponsored Content