The Internet was hunting Luka Rocco Magnotta long before the murder

Mainstream media, on the other hand, are giving him the exposure he always wanted



Is there anything we can do to stop a homicidal idiot from attaining his goal of worldwide fame?

Alleged killer and manhunt target Luka Rocco Magnotta (a.k.a. Vladimir Romanov, a.k.a. Kirk Newman, a.k.a. several other witless porn-stud aliases) seems to have dedicated his young life to the hollowest of dreams: fame for its own sake, fame by any means.   Today, he has achieved it. His pouty, surgically altered face is inescapable, accompanying hundreds of quickly turned around news items, including this one, all about a man few knew or cared about until he became a murder suspect.

The Globe and Mail reports today on Magnotta’s online history, an extensive trail of empty self-promotion including a vanity site, a number of Facebook profiles, porno performances, animal cruelty videos, troll-baiting comments and self-spread rumors about his relationships with celebrities–at least one of these seems to have been true: Montreal police have confirmed that Magnotta dated serial killer Karla Homolka (are there specialized talent agents who arrange these romances?).

UPDATE/CORRECTION: The Gazette reports that Montreal police have backtracked on their confirmation: there’s no proof of a Magnotta/Homolka relationship. Was the original police confirmation based solely on Internet rumors that Magnotta himself may have started, or were reports of the confirmation erroneous to begin with? Will update once this is clarified/confirmed.

When having sex on camera and with a murderer failed to result in James Dean-level fame, Magnotta is alleged to have courted attention by filming himself killing kittens. A Facebook group sprung up to identify the man behind a 2010 “Vacuum Kitten Killer” video, who is believed to be Magnotta, and point him out to the authorities. Members of the group claim that they tried to alert police repeatedly to Magnotta over the past 18 months. The notorious online image board 4Chan (the birthplace of both LolCats and Anonymous), which has a history of cyber vigilantism against feline abusers, reportedly raised $5,000 in reward money for anyone who would identify the vacuum cat killer. But there’s no indication that either of these efforts ever caught up with Magnotta.

Whatever Internet fame the kitten-killing videos generated, the “body parts” killing has now undoubtedly dwarfed it.

If Magnotta is indeed behind the “1 Lunatic 1 Icepick” video linked to the gruesome murder, there seems to be a decent chance that his primary motive was attention. The sexual defilement of the victim, the mailing of body parts to political parties–all of it seems cribbed from bad movies, and not driven by erotic compulsion, radical political conviction or psychopathic obsession. Even the title of the snuff film is derivative–from a promo porn video that went viral a few years ago.

In today’s National Post, Christie Blatchford, looking for someone to make her feel morally outraged, chooses the anonymous commentators who are blase and cynical about the posting of the murder clip. She extends culpability to the Web itself, which “emboldens psychopaths.” Sure, she allows, the Net can fuel revolutions, but it also “nourished” Magnotta. Maybe it did, but Internet fame was just a snack. Thanks to journos like Blatchford, who not only watched the video but who recounts it in gory detail to her readers, Magnotta is now feasting.

I am aware of the problem with decrying Magnotta’s media attention in a piece about Magnotta. My justification is no better than anyone else’s: This is newsworthy, it’s what people are interested in, and it won’t go away if I refuse to cover it.  It also won’t go away because we, journalists, neglect to post or link to the materials we write about, even though they are instantly available by Googling keywords that we provide.

We in the media are defenseless against hacks like this. After years of trying in vain to get famous through the Internet, Luka Rocco Magnotta, if he is guilty, has suddenly achieved global infamy by appealing to the tabloid sensibilities of old media. It worked.

Jesse Brown is the host of TVO.org’s Search Engine podcast. He is on Twitter @jessebrown

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The Internet was hunting Luka Rocco Magnotta long before the murder

  1. Why on earth is Blatch blaming the Net??

    Long before the Net was even thought of there were rapes, murders, serial killings, cannibalism etc….and all were covered by the media of their day.

    Today we can track these people down faster thanks to the Net….and the media and authorities need to start paying attention to people who kill animals online.

    • I think he is saying “through the Internet” because that is where he has posted his videos… He does say that this story appeals to “the tabloid sensibilities of old media”. He’s not denying that the media has always covered stories like this…

      • Oh I wasn’t blaming Jesse, I was blaming Blatch for blaming the Net!

  2. Am I the only one that see’s this clown isn’t actually famous? It’s just natural human nature for people to want to seek thing’s out that we know will sicken us to the core, It’s not like it’s enjoyed or praised by anyone. He is a very sick individual, but yes long before the internet we had sickos like Bernardo, Dahmer..and I am sure Robert Pickton wasn’t surfing the web on a daily basis.. But I do agree it can give a sicko a platform, but the authorities will catch him and he will rot in a cell forever and more than likely be locked up 23 1/2 – 24 hours a day….. not what I look at as being famous by any means, it’s just being known for all the wrong reasons.

    • This incident just adds to the fact that here in Canada we have more than our share of assholes, jerks, and outright psychos.

  3. This is the most gruesome case I have ever read about. I think this man was brutalized as a child, in the basest and most humiliating way, hence his profession. Imagine the abject humiliation and debasement he endured as a gay porn underling, where people treat you like a dirty toilet or a spitoon. Beyong disgusting. Absolutely wretch inducing filth abounds, in living color. Couple this with socipathic tendencies and a steady diet of filth and violence, and the influence of the free internet options, and the world gets this. He obviously wants to be caught, as he mailed the evidence of his murder to corporate offices.
    My guess he will kill himself before capture. A blessed relief for all.

    • You are totally wrong on this topic. The actions of this gentleman does not indicate that was abused during childhood. This belief is a myth!History – Starred

      • This comment was deleted.

        • He wasn’t abused according to public knowledge. In fact, he had tried on several occasions to hurt his own family. On one of those occasions, he lit fire to his parents house. His family lived in fear of him, and have not been in contact with him since the arson attempt a few years ago.

          He is probably sociopathic and narcissistic. It’s clear from all the self aggrandizing he puts him self on a pedestal. At first when I heard the dismembered body parts were sent to Political Headquarters, I though maybe it was a political agenda, but now in hindsight, it was for media attention. What better way to get the attention of not only a single country, but the entire world, then to kill, sexually assault, and dismember a person, post the video on the web and then send the body parts to the headquarters of the leading political parties of the country?

          He was known to Animal Right Activists in the Country as the Vacuum Kitten Killer. Most sociopaths with violent tendencies start killing and torturing animals first, then escalate later to human killings. The police were notified about the animal deaths which were also videotaped over 18 months before the Murder last Friday. He is becoming increasingly violent and with the severed foot sent to the Conservative Party Head office, there was a not, notifying the authorities he would be killing again. You can only imagine that with his next kill, if not caught, he will be pushing the envelope even further, and we can expect something more terrifying to show up in the media.

          He does not want to be caught, he craves power. The power to hold the country in suspense while they wait to hear what will happen next, the power to control the media and it’s content, and you can even see it in his killings. He does not only want to kill a person, he wants to assume total power over them. In life and in death. The tying up of his victims to render them completely helpless, and the sexual assault to their corpses to degrade them further, long after they have died, to the final “rape” and humiliation when he dismembers their bodies, making a complete and public display of their final moments.

          Investigators have released to the public he had posted on the internet that over six months ago he wrote an on-line journal that described in six steps how to disappear. He stated that you must give yourself at least 4 months in order to do this successfully. The Victim Jun Lin (also his romantic partner, whom he had dated four the 4 month previous to the murder), was I believe, a long term planned victim for Magnotta. He moved into the Montreal Flat, where the murder occurred, 4 months in advance, chose Jun Lin because he was an international Student, giving him even further leverage through the media on an international level. He developed what Jun Lin believed to be a romantic relationship, in order to affect his murder even that much more devastatingly. How could you truly take from a person everything they are? How could you not only physically destroy them but emotionally and spiritually as well? What could be worse than knowing you are going to die, only to find out it is at the hands of a person who you care about and trusted?

    • Psychopathy likely has nothing to do with one’s upbringing. There is no reason to feel sympathy for them; they don’t feel any for us. In fact, that instinct we have to humanize them and sympathize with them is exactly what they prey on.

    • How? You do realize that the human species have done FAR worse in the past. If anything we are evolving. This act is considered an abomination today. 500 years ago KINGS would do something similar to this to criminals (Hung, drawn and quartered), and people would watch and cheer as a form of entertainment. Go back further to the age of gladiators. I could go on and on.

  4. Suddenly everyone’s a psychiatrist.

  5. This comment was deleted.

    • Unless this is meant to be sarcasm, you’re as dangerous as he is.

      • You’ll find people deliberately trolling just about any subject under the sun these days. Even garbage like this.

    • …and if we lynched the wrong guy?

  6. Time to revisit the capital punishment debate?

    • No.

  7. How did this laddie support him self.
    Media hacks don’t dig deep enough.
    Hey scribes anyone can describe crap on the carpet BUT HOW DID IT GET THERE???

    • He was a rent boy, and he started going crazy when he started losing his looks, used his rent boy money for plastic surgery, etc.

      Warning: Before you go to the recced website, please finish reading this entire comment and FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS or be scarred for life.

      Encylopedia Dramatica have an article on Magnotta long before the foot mailing, on account of the kitten killing. In addition to ED’s offensive language though, the article had long been full of NSFW nudes of Magnotta’s pencil dick, and now, as of today, snapshots from the ice prick video too. Avoid seeing the pictures. What I did was scroll slowly and then blocked the picture series box with a book while I scroll pass it, but really, I’m an idiot, either get an app that block all photos so you could read the text, or do this:

      Make your browser window very small, too small to see anything gross, just big enough to put your cursor in.

      Enter address of the article (google it up).

      Click the small space, Ctrl + A (select all), now paste that in NotePad, a basic text-only program that all computers with MS Office should have. If not, paste the contents in like, an online textbox such as this one that wouldn’t carry the pics over? Remember to copy and paste over that with something else, so you don’t Ctrl + V the content onto Word or Paint the next time you use that.

  8. Not only has the vacuum kitten killer been a serial cat killer for YEARS, he had actually bragged that one day he would kill a human. Did the police listen? Nope.

    In Vancouver, there is another cat killer, I hope he’s caught before he moves onto humans.

    Srsly, I can’t believe this. Kenny Glen was a jerk and I’m glad he got arrested, overjoy that Dusty was rescued, but at least Glen was a youth, and Dusty survived. This creepo killed and tortured cats for years and threatened humans and he didn’t get partyvanned at all? So lame.

  9. I hope the gay community issues a statement, another gay killer cannibal rapist kills again

  10. Apparently Magnotta has been using his CELL PHONE in Paris. What an idiot. He’ll get caught in no time.

  11. The writer in me makes me neglect Magnotta in this article and appreciate such a well written piece.

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