Netflix has developed something of a killer reputation when it comes to true crime documentaries, and the latest show to capture the attention of audiences is three-parter Don’t F**k With Cats.
The series chronicles the events leading up to a horrific crime in Canada – the 2012 murder by Luka Magnotta of Chinese computing engineering student Lin Jun, and the world-wide manhunt for Magnotta that was carried out by amateur online detectives.
Here’s what you need to know about the real-life case…
Is Don’t F**k with Cats a true story?
Absolutely – although aspects of the story might seem too horrific to be real, and some initially mistake it for a mockumentary drama, everything that is documented in the three-part series is true.
Who is Luke Magnotta?
The name with which Magnotta gained notoriety is not actually the one he was born with – originally he went by Eric Kirk Newman. His parents were still teenagers when he was born in 1982, and later separated, providing two very different stories as to Magnotta’s childhood: while his mother claims that his father was abusive – and even a “proud Nazi” – the father himself, who says he was suffering from schizophrenia, claims that any abuse came at the hands of Luka’s mother’s family.
Luke was homeschooled for much of his childhood, and was then bullied upon attending school for the first time – eventually leading to him dropping out before gaining a qualification. He later spent time in mental hospitals, and was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
Around the time that he changed his name – apparently to reinvent himself – he had been working as a stripper and actor in addition to appearing in porn films, while he unsuccessfully chased acting and modelling work.
Things took a chilling turn around 2010, when Magnotta began to post a series of disturbing videos in which he was seen to torture and kill cats, including suffocating and drowning them. It is at this point that the documentary series joins the story.
What happens in Don’t F**k With Cats? How does it end?
After the videos surfaces, a group of internet users led by Las Vegas-based data analyst Deanna Thomson and John Green from Los Angeles, began a search to find Magnotta – scared that his behaviour could further escalate and become even more violent. This led to a world-wide manhunt, as Magnotta evaded authorities and began to commit more serious crimes.
It culminated in the horrific murder of Lin Jun, whose death Magnotta posted video of online – with the footage also showing the corpse being abused. Magnotta then sent various parts of Lin’s body to institutions including the headquarters of Canada’s two major political parties.
After fleeing to Europe, Magnotta was arrested while reading news stories about his crimes and was convicted of Lin’s murder in 2014, and handed a life sentence. He will not be eligible for parole for another 20 years.
Don’t F**k With Cats is currently available to stream on Netflix