The Crazy True Story Behind Netflix’s ‘Don’t F**k With Cats’

The true crime story behind Luka Magnotta in Netflix’s ‘Don’t F**k with Cats’ is even more screwed up than the documentary.

*Warning this article contains graphic details of crimes that some people may find distressing.*

Those who’ve seen Netflix’s latest crime docuseries Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer will know that what starts as a vile case of animal abuse takes an ever more sinister turn into murder and a manhunt.

Don’t F**k With Cats focuses on web sleuths Deanna Thompson in Las Vegas and John Green in L.A who made it their mission (and seemingly never slept) to catch the guy who was posting videos of himself killing cats online. But the story of Luka Magnotta, the man they spent years trying to find, is so screwed up, it’s hard to believe it actually happened.

Long before the cat abuse videos appeared online, a very different image of Luka Magnotta was filmed. A clip of a young Magnotta from 2007, with chiseled features and bleached tips, shows him auditioning for the Canadian male modelling reality show COVERguy. In it he’s asked to take his shirt off and he obliges while smiling into the camera. He seems just like any other fame-hungry guy trying to make it in the media.

Cut to May 2012 and Luka Magnotta, 29, is making headlines for the wrong reasons.

A mutilated torso has been found in a canvas suitcase near his unit block. Dumped in a pile of garbage bags, investigators also found a severed limb, articles of clothing, two knives, a shower curtain, scissors and a dead dog. Magnotta is the prime suspect in a grisly murder.

Police identified the body in the garbage as Jun Lin. The 33-year-old Chinese national had been in Canada since 2010 studying engineering and computer science. He was described by friends as positive and genuine but also reserved and shy. He was gay but not open with his family, Jun had been in a serious relationship but they’d recently broken up. His best friend Ben Wu had been frantically searching for him and his devastated parents back home in China needed to be told.

Although it’s still not clear how they first met, CCTV footage from May 24, 2012 showed Magnotta opening the door to his apartment block and Jun Lin walking inside. Hours later, in the early hours of the morning, Magnotta was caught on CCTV again. This time he was in the shared garbage room of his apartment block, coming and going several times with items of trash that he was stuffing down a shoot. Horrifyingly, in those bags were some of Jun’s remains. He then posted the remaining body parts to Canadian political parties.

Are you a true crime buff? Check out the nightmare case that still haunts police. Plus, the true crime podcasts that will make you sleep with the lights on.

Hours after Jun’s death, a horrifying video appeared online. Titled: 1 lunatic 1 ice pick, it showed him being killed. Although police investigating the murder hadn’t yet linked this disgusting video with the torso they’d found, there was a group of web sleuths who recognised the trademark video straight away. They’d already been on Magnotta’s case for almost two years since they’d seen the video 1 boy 2 kittens showing a hooded man deliberately killing two cats in a vacuum sealed plastic bag.

“You can post porn, violence, somebody getting pushed down stairs, religious statues being defamed… and nobody gives a crap,” said sleuth Deanna Thompson in the Netflix doco.

“But in this seedy underbelly, there’s an unwritten rule. And rule zero is ‘don’t f*** with cats’.”

Through painstaking work looking at stills of the original cat video and similar ones posted, they identified features in the background of images and using Google Maps, the sleuths were 99.9% sure that the man they were looking for was aspiring actor Luka Magnotta. A narcissist with an insatiable lust for fame, they discovered he’d even created countless Luka Magnotta fake fan sites.

Now the sleuths believed he’d graduated from killing cats to committing murder. But with no real proof, all they could do was contact authorities and nervously watch the news for updates.

But Magnotta was already out of the country. Just two days after the murder, the man who’d once written a blog titled ‘How To Completely Disappear And Never Be Found’ had jumped on a plane to Paris and escaped before police had even found Jun’s body.

When police realised Magnotta was their killer, he went on Interpol’s equivalent of its most-wanted list and a national warrant was issued for his arrest. With his face splashed across European TV, it caught the eye of Kadir Anlayisli who was working in an internet cafe in Berlin. Much to the workers amazement, later that day a man walked into his cafe and he recognised him straight away – it was Luka Magnotta.

Watching over his shoulder while he used his computer, Kadir realised Magnotta was looking at his own mugshot on Interpol’s website. Calling the police, armed guards arrived in minutes and Magnotta was arrested. “You got me,” said the killer.

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During a 10-week trial at Montreal Courthouse in late 2014, witness testimony revealed Magnotta was a troubled child and adolescent who didn’t have friends. As an adult he’d provided escort services for money and he suffered from a severe mental illness.

Magnotta pled not guilty to the terrible acts for which he was charged, with his defence maintaining that his client must be found not criminally responsible for reasons of mental disorder. The Crown set out to prove Magnotta’s acts were planned and deliberate.

After 12 days of deliberations, on December 23 2014 a jury found Luka Magnotta, 32, guilty of first-degree murder and he was sentenced to life in prison.

Afterwards, Canadian law required the judge to ask Magnotta whether he would like to say anything about the trial, verdict or sentence.

“No, your honour,” he replied, in a barely audible voice.

Jun Lin’s heartbroken father, who’d travelled from China to watch every day of the trial, was satisfied with the outcome but disappointed not to see a hint of remorse from Magnotta.

“I had come to see your trial system to see justice done and leave satisfied that you have not let my son down,” said Diran Lin, before later adding, “I had come to see remorse, to hear some form of apology, and I leave without anything.”

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