Luka Magnotta (above) was convicted in 2014 of murdering and dismembering his date, Lin Jun, in a Montreal apartment. Yet, his sordid past and alleged fixation with two of Canada’s most infamous killers showed mental issues that went back years before his most notorious crime. In 2005, Karla Homolka, half of the “Ken and Barbie” murder duo, was released from prison after serving a little over a decade for manslaughter. The majority of those who followed the case were shocked and disturbed, to say the least, that she was let out so soon, given how she played a direct hand in killing her own sister and aiding in the rape and murders of two other teenage girls. Magnotta, however, who allegedly had a deep fixation on the “schoolgirl killer” for years, saw Homolka’s release as a way to make a name for himself.
In the mid-2000s, Magnotta was an obscure adult-film actor and escort living in Ontario. Aside from an appearance in the “Fab Boy” section of Canada’s Fab magazine, he hadn’t garnered as much recognition as he thought he should have. Magnotta, a diagnosed schizophrenic, couldn’t bear to think of growing older without being famous. His failed attempts to land parts on several reality shows only served to fuel his desire for fame even further.
With his options running low and no discernible talent (aside from, arguably, his looks) Magnotta saw the internet, coupled with Homolka’s release, as the perfect way to make people notice him. He devised a clever scheme that would bring him the attention he craved so dearly, although it would fizzle out as quick as it started.
In 2007, Magnotta’s plan began to pay off. After spending countless hours creating dozens of aliases on different blogs, social-media accounts, and on YouTube, he started rumors about himself and Homolka. Posing as a different person each time, he would ignite speculation that he was dating her. He then followed up by commenting on his own posts, using additional aliases, to keep the hoax in circulation. Soon enough, the strategy started to work, and the internet was buzzing with mentions of Magnotta and his “relationship” with a convicted killer.
Part of his scheme included denying rumors once they kicked into high gear. Magnotta followed through by calling John Downs from the 640 AM radio station, vehemently denying any involvement with Homolka.
“I am not dating Karla Homolka. I have lost modeling jobs and have been receiving death threats. People are so stupid, because I don’t even know Karla Homolka,” Magnotta said.
Downs, intrigued by Magnotta’s story, agreed to meet him in the lobby at the Toronto Sun headquarters. True to his word, Magnotta showed up and immediately began disputing any involvement with Homolka. He also denied starting the rumors, something that a number of people had already accused him of. Visibly shaken by the accusations, Magnotta said, “My life is spinning out of control. How would you like it if someone linked you to this?”
Meanwhile, Homolka was living in Guadeloupe, France, with her new husband, Thierry Bordelais, and their children. She allegedly said she had no clue who Magnotta was. After reportedly filing a police complaint against the imaginary internet users who started the dating rumors, Magnotta’s short-lived fame began to die down.
Clearly upset that his hoax didn’t go accordingly, Magnotta began to create much bigger and more disturbing plans in his desperate attempt to gain notoriety. In 2010, he became the target of animal-rights groups worldwide after an online video entitled “1 Lunatic, 2 Kittens” showed him allegedly killing two small kittens by stuffing them in a plastic bag, and sucking the air out of the bag with a vacuum hose.
In 2012, Magnotta pulled off one of the most heinous crimes in history when he filmed himself stabbing Lin Jun repeatedly, cutting off Jun’s body parts, tasting his flesh, and performing sex acts with the corpse. He uploaded his video, entitled “1 Lunatic, 1 Icepick,” to the internet. He packaged up Jun’s body parts and mailed them out to different government addresses. One of the addresses included a Vancouver school. Magnotta addressed the package to Homolka’s sister, Lori Valentini.
A stunned Valentini, who had legally changed her name in 1996 after pressure stemming from her sister’s high-profile case, was adamant that she didn’t know Magnotta and had no idea why he mailed the school a body part, addressed to her. She told police she thought that part of her life was over with, but she also admitted that most residents knew that she was Homolka’s sister, despite her name change.
“I didn’t know why I would be dragged into something again that I had nothing to do with,” Valentini said.
In 2014, Magnotta came clean to a forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Marie-Frédérique Allard, and stated that he was indeed responsible for creating the Homolka dating rumors. He said he felt alone during that time and wanted to earn a “bad boy” reputation. He also admitted that it wasn’t the brightest idea and on the surface, made it appear to be a foolish mistake that he learned from and moved on from. Yet, nothing is what it seems with Magnotta.
Today, as he lives in a prison cell at the maximum-security Port Cartier Institution in Quebec, Magnotta reportedly surrounds himself with his own artistic creations: drawings of himself with Homolka. According to an undisclosed friend, Magnotta remains obsessed with Homolka, as well as with her partner in crime, Paul Bernardo, who’s still in prison for raping and murdering at least three girls.
“He is obsessed with her and has said he is hopeful she will visit him in prison. I told him that is not going to happen,” Magnotta’s friend said.
Magnotta is serving a mandatory life sentence in prison for Jun’s murder. He’ll be eligible for parole at the end of 2039. He’s also serving a concurrent 19 years behind bars for other charges related to the killing.
Main photo: Luka Magnotta [screen shot from a YouTube video he allegedly uploaded while he was on the lam]