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5 facts you didn’t know about the murderer from Netflix’s Don’t F**k With Cats

Don't F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer | Official Trailer | Netflix

If you’re into true crime and don’t have a weak stomach, Netflix’s docuseries Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting An Internet Killer should be on your watchlist for the new year. In three hourlong episodes, it tells the story of the race to find Canadian murderer Luka Magnotta, and the group of internet sleuths that first discovered videos online of a young man killing kittens and became obsessed with bringing him to justice.

(Note: This content is not for the faint of heart, and spoilers about the series are included below.)

Thanks to the efforts of Deanna Thompson (aka “Baudi Moovan”), John Green, and an ever-growing Facebook group determined to find “the cat killer,” authorities eventually closed in on Magnotta. Sadly, he still managed to kill a person and post a gruesome video of it online before he was apprehended.

The story of how these self-professed internet “nerds” went about discovering Magnotta’s identity and getting law enforcement involved is truly fascinating. But if you want to dig even deeper, here are five facts that weren’t discussed much (or at all) in this true-crime show.

Magnotta and his father both have schizophrenia

Luka Magnotta’s father is schizophrenic, and received his diagnosis when Magnotta was a young boy of about 11 or 12. He had reported hearing voices and had suicidal thoughts. He takes medication to treat it, including antipsychotics and antidepressants, a fact that was not discussed in the docuseries.

Magnotta’s father says he noticed troublesome behavior in his son, too, saying his son had reported hearing voices. He referred him to a psychiatrist at the age of 19 or 20 and says his son was diagnosed at that time as a paranoid schizophrenic. Magnotta was reportedly on medication as well, though he didn’t always take it.

Early brushes with the law

While it appears from the docuseries that Magnotta only got onto the radar of the internet sleuths when they discovered he was the person behind gruesome videos killing kittens, he wasn’t a stranger to legal trouble. Magnotta was charged in 2005 with impersonating a woman in a bid to commit credit card fraud.

Using a stolen identity, he applied for credit cards and purchased more than $10,000 worth of goods from several stores. He pleaded guilty to three charges of fraud, but got off with a nine-month conditional sentence and one year of probation. He had also amassed more than $17,000 in debt and declared bankruptcy in 2007.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Video of murder may have been more graphic than discussed

While it’s difficult to imagine that the video Magnotta uploaded of the murder of Chinese international student Lin Jun was more graphic than what was described in the docuseries, it might very well have been.

In regard to the video, entitled 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick, the docuseries discussed how Magnotta probably drugged Jun, tied him up, and repeatedly stabbed him with a screwdriver fashioned to look like an ice pick. The docuseries, which controversially showed short snippets of the video, also mentioned that Magnotta filmed the dismemberment of the body. But other reports suggest that there’s an extended version showing acts of necrophilia, cutting of flesh that was fed to a dog (also seen in the video), and even cannibalism. These disturbing details haven’t been confirmed.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Magnotta left notes with grisly packages

The docuseries showed footage of Magnotta shipping off Jun’s body parts, including Jun’s hands and feet, to several governmental offices. But what it did not reveal is that Magnotta also included notes in the packages. The notes in the six packages sent, some of which were headed to schools and were intercepted before arrival, confirmed that he planned to kill again. Law enforcement has not revealed what was written on some of the notes, however, reportedly to prevent copycats.

Named after movie stars

The docuseries touched on Magnotta’s obsession with movies like Basic Instinct, particularly the murder scenes (including one that involved an ice pick). But it did not disclose that his parents had their own Hollywood obsession, which led to his given name.

Magnotta was born Eric Clinton Kirk Newman, and was named after stars Clint Eastwood and Kirk Douglas. He changed his name to Luka Rocca Magnotta in 2006. Through many online posts, including more than 70 fake Facebook pages and 20 fake websites, as well as comments on forums and in online groups, Magnotta also used multiple pseudonyms, including Kirk Trammel (Tramell was the surname of Sharon Stone’s character in Basic Instinct), Vladamir Romanov, and Mattia Del Santo.

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Christine Persaud
Christine has decades of experience in trade and consumer journalism. While she started her career writing exclusively about…
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