Netflix’s Don’t F**k With Cats Tells the True Story of One of Canada’s Most Infamous Murderers
Luka Magnotta committed horrifying crimes—and sparked an international manhunt.
Netflix is pumping out gripping true crime documentaries like there’s no tomorrow, and the streaming service’s latest offering is the three-part series Don’t F**K With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer. The docu-series tells the story of one of Canada’s most infamous crimes, the murder of Lin Jun. Lin was killed by Luka Magnotta, who courted internet infamy before the murder by circulating videos of himself killing kittens. Here’s what you should know about the man who became the subject of an international manhunt.
Who is Luka Magnotta?
Magnotta was born Eric Kirk Newman to teenaged parents in 1982 Toronto. His parents later separated, and have offered divergent accounts of his childhood. In the book she later co-authored about her son Magnotta’s mother Anna Yourkin described his father as a “proud Nazi” and an abusive husband and spouse. Testifying during his son’s trial, his father, who described himself as suffering from schizophrenia, pinned the abuse on Magnotta’s mother’s family.
His mother remarried, but described her new husband as being abusive as well. Homeschooled until his middle school years, Magnotta was reportedly severely bullied when he eventually attended school with other students, and later dropped out before earning his diploma. He spent time in mental hospitals and lived in a group home. During a hospital visit while he was still a teenager, Magnotta said he was experiencing hallucinations, and was later diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
In one of his first documented crimes, Magnotta was convicted of fraud in 2004 for misusing a friend’s credit card and amassing around $17,000 dollars in charges. He began pursuing an unsuccessful career as an actor and model, while working as a stripper, escort and appearing in pornographic films. As part of what his sister would later describe as an effort to “reinvent” himself, he legally changed his name to Luka Rocco Magnotta.
In 2010, Magnotta began posting online what eventually became a series of three disturbing videos. In them, he suffocated or drowned kittens, and filmed another cat being eaten by a large snake. This is where Don’t F**k With Cats begins its story—the series documents internet sleuths’ search for the man in the videos, which turned into a world-wide manhunt after Magnotta escalated his crimes.
In 2012, he murdered Lin Jun, a 33-year-old computer engineering student from China, and released video online of himself killing Lin and abusing his corpse. Magnotta dismembered Lin’s body, and mailed his feet and hands to the headquarters of Canada’s Conservative and Liberal Parties as well as to two elementary schools.
He then fled to Europe. Magnotta was eventually apprehended in an internet cafe, where he was discovered reading news stories about his crimes. In 2014, he was convicted of Lin’s murder, and sentenced to life in prison. Magnotta will be eligible for parole in 20 years.
Where is Luka Magnotta now?
Magnotta is serving his prison sentence in Quebec’s Port-Cartier prison. In 2017, he married another convicted murderer inmate.
In the Netflix series, police investigators and amateur web sleuths alike theorize that Magnotta—who was reportedly fascinated by serial killers and a fan of films like Basic Instinct and American Psycho—committed his crimes out of a perverse desire for notoriety and fame. And Magnotta has become infamous: A poll of newsrooms found him named Canada’s 2012 Newsmaker of the Year, a designation that sparked controversy.
Lin Jun’s family traveled from China for Magnotta’s trial, and his father Lin Diran offered a heartbreaking victim impact statement. “In one night, we lost a lifetime of hope,” he wrote. “I had come to see your trial system to see justice done and I leave satisfied that you have not let my son down. I had come to learn what happened to my son that night and I leave without a true or a complete answer. I had come to see remorse, to hear some form of apology, and I leave without anything.”