Unless you are a true crime aficionado, the name Luka Magnotta probably doesn’t ring a bell. In 2014, the Canadian was convicted of first-degree murder for the vicious killing of international student Jun Lin. The gruesome tale was the subject of the 2019 Netflix documentary Don’t F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer. Details of Magnotta’s crimes and capture were a stunning example of truth being stranger than fiction.
Many years later, people remain disturbed by the circumstances that led to Jun Lin’s slaying. Find out about Magnotta’s life and the heinous acts that ended with his conviction. (Trigger warning: this story includes details and descriptions of graphic violence and mental illness.)
Luka Magnotta Was The Subject Of The Netflix Series ‘Don’t F**k With Cats’
Luka Magnotta is a convicted murderer whose life and crimes were documented in Don’t F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer. The three-part series, released in 2019, was one of Netflix’s Top 5 most-watched documentaries that year.
The story follows a network of amateur detectives who work to uncover the identity of a man who murders kittens and posts videos of the killings.
“You can post porn, violence, somebody getting pushed downstairs, religious statues being defamed… and nobody gives a crap,” said Deanna Thompson, a Las Vegas data analyst who led the charge to track the killer down. “But in this seedy underbelly, there’s an unwritten rule. And rule zero is ‘don’t f*** with cats’.”
Thompson and company solved the mystery, but they also ran into a number of issues during their pursuit. For instance, they originally misidentified the perpetrator as a man living in South Africa. He committed suicide shortly after he was wrongfully doxxed and harassed.
And when the cyber-detectives finally and correctly identified the killer as Magnotta, law enforcement authorities were reluctant to act on the tip.
A woman who went by the online pseudonym Dee-Ann took findings to Montreal police. “Again I’m told, ‘It’s just cats,’” she said. “I am showing them that it’s been proven that people that abuse animals can turn into serial killers. And they brushed me aside.”
“What else could I have done?” she asked. “In the end, I told them this guy is going to turn around and kill somebody. And they poo-pooed me.”
“We were really concerned,” added another internet sleuth John Green. “We were saying, ‘He’s going to hurt somebody.'”
Green’s armchair psychoanalysis turned out to be right on the money. Magnotta follows a textbook pattern and eventually ups the ante on his crimes—all while taunting those who are hot on his heels.
Luka Magnotta Was Responsible For The Murder Of Jun Lin
In 2012, Jun Lin, a 33-year-old foreign exchange student studying engineering and computer science at Montreal’s Concordia University, was murdered. Lin had responded to a Craigslist ad in which Magnotta—an amateur porn star and escort—sought a man looking to engage in kinky sex and bondage.
Instead, he became the victim of a heinous crime. He was stabbed and dismembered, and then his body was used to carry out acts of necrophilia. Canadian authorities also believed parts of his corpse were ingested by his killer. An 11-minute video of the murder was uploaded the following day to the shock website Bestgore.com.
Magnotta seemed to purposely flaunt his connection to the crime. Surveillance videos show him dressed in this victim’s clothes; he later told a psychiatrist that Lin’s baseball hat “looked cool.” He also mailed Lin’s severed body parts to elementary schools and political party headquarters. When he was finally apprehended by German police at a Berlin Internet cafe, Magnotta was reportedly busy reading online news articles about himself.
Unfortunately, it was too little too late. According to the National Post, Montana lawyer Roger Renville discovered the snuff film while surfing the internet. He reported it to authorities in both the U.S. and Canada, but he met the same results as those who already reported Magnotta for his kitten videos.
“[A Toronto police employee] told me that what I was seeing was almost certainly fake—that special effects were very good,” said Renville.
“I told him, ‘You have to see the video to determine that.’ He told me my story didn’t make sense and ‘why would a killer film his own crime and then post it on the Internet?’
“I asked him to at least give me an email address and I would at least send him the link to the video and he said ‘no.'”
On June 18, 2012, Magnotta was extradited from Germany and delivered to Canadian authorities. The following day, he pleaded not guilty to five charges: first-degree murder, offering indignities to a human body, distributing obscene materials, using the postal service to distribute obscene materials, and criminal harassment. Jurors were expected to choose one of four possible verdicts: guilty of premeditated first-degree murder, guilty of second-degree murder, guilty of manslaughter, or not criminally responsible (NCR).
Magnotta’s defense argued for the last option, claiming that his schizophrenia accounted for impaired mental function at the time of the crime. But he was found guilty on all charges after a 12-week trial (including 8 days of deliberation). Magnotta was sentenced to life in prison with a chance at parole after 25 years.
“The only element of surprise was how long it took,” Montreal criminal defense attorney Eric Sutton told Vice. “The defense did not sufficiently carry the burden of proving that Magnotta was suffering from a mental disorder at the time of the murder which rendered him incapable of understanding what he was doing…
“There is no question that Magnotta suffers from a mental disorder. But the fact that it’s a personality disorder is almost irrelevant from a legal perspective because the real issue is whether he could understand what he was doing when he murdered Jun Lin.”
Luka Magnotta Had A Criminal Record Even Before The Murder Trial
It’s no surprise that Magnotta had a criminal record prior to Lin’s gruesome murder. In June 2005, he pleaded guilty to defrauding three retail stores for a total bill of about $17,000.
He was also caught impersonating a woman in order to pull it off. One year prior, he met a female online and persuaded her to apply for multiple credit cards. According to court transcripts, his 21-year-old victim had the mental capacity of an eight- to 12-year-old child.
“I know you have your own problems,” Madam Justice Lauren Marshall told Magnotta, “but it is a terrible thing to take advantage of somebody with even bigger problems than you have.”
“Sir, you have got a medical problem, and you need to always take medication. If you do not, your life is going to get messed up,” the judge presciently added.
Magnotta received a nine-month conditional sentence and a year’s probation. But that obviously didn’t deter him. The following year, he was accused of sexually assaulting a woman. According to a lawyer who represented him, the charges were eventually dropped.
Luka Magnotta Ended Up Getting Married In Prison
In June 2017, the Montreal Gazette reported that Magnotta planned to marry fellow inmate Anthony Jolin. The two met over an inmate dating website called Canadian Inmates Connect in 2015. It’s pretty ironic and sinister that “Jolin” is so similar to “Jun Lin.”
Jolin, an armed robber, is serving a life sentence for stabbing another inmate to death in the shower.
Magnotta posted that he was looking for a single white male who was “loyal, preferably educated, financially and emotionally stable for a long-term committed relationship.”
“If you think you could be my prince charming, send me a detailed letter with at least 2 photos,” he wrote.
Magnotta’s mother, Anna Yourkin, served as a witness to the marriage. But according to a spokesperson for Correctional Services Canada, the couple is barred from seeing one another. Prisoners are barred from using the private family visitation area with other detainees, and requests for any type of cohabitation are also denied.
By all accounts, including his own family’s, Magnotta was troubled from a very early age. It’s a terrible shame that he did not receive the help and treatment necessary to potentially prevent Jun Lin’s death.
“A lot of people ask me, ‘Are you upset with law enforcement?'” asked Thompson, who helped link Magnotta to his monstrous videos. “No, I’m frustrated by the system. If somebody would’ve knocked on Luka’s door and just had a conversation with him and done a wellness check, then all of this could’ve been prevented. I absolutely believe that.”
Where Is Luka Magnotta Now?
Thankfully, Luka Magnotta is still serving a life sentence in prison; however, he looks quite different than what he used to look like. Check out the video below from the Toronto Sun, and see his most recent images that are available to the public: