Friday, June 1, 2012

Luka Magnotta Digital Trail

Luka Magnotta digital trail, Before Wednesday, very few people would have recognized the name Luka Rocco Magnotta. It wasn’t being uttered at dinner tables, or splashed across the front pages of newspapers, and it certainly didn’t conjure horrible images of bloody crime scenes or dismembered body parts.

Despite this, however, the man behind that name had found a modicum of Internet fame over the past several years; although perhaps not the kind he was hoping for.

Luka Rocco Magnotta’s digital footprints, some allegedly left by the 29-year-old himself and others created by a select group of people from all over the globe who have long believed him to be dangerous, are ubiquitous, often bizarre and sometimes disturbing.

A quick Google search of “Luka Rocco Magnotta” turns up links to chat rooms, Facebook pages, pornographic imagery, YouTube videos, a personal web-site and even an (unverified) Twitter account – all connected to the man who seems to have taken on multiple personas and names as he struggled to build a career as a gay porn star and then became the subject of an international campaign to have him thrown in jail.

A group of people who have spent over a year using Face-book to attempt to track him down and hand him over to police named Magnotta “the kitten vacuumer.”

Animal rights activists around the world mobilized beginning in 2010 to identify him after a video surfaced allegedly showing Magnotta placing two kittens in a plastic bag and then vacuuming the air out, suffocating the animals. Two more videos, also depicting the torture and killing of cats, have also been linked to Magnotta. At one point, a $5,000 reward was offered to bring him to justice.

On Wednesday, as Magnotta’s digital legacy became the subject of intense scrutiny, the administrators of a Facebook group dubbed “Find the Kitten Vacuumer for Great Justice” re-leased a statement.

“We are patiently waiting for more information on the case and have faith in the Montreal police,” it reads. “Members of this group have spent over a year searching for this individual … Information gathered by group members was passed onto the authorities in Canada, and we were informed that they were actively working on locating the person seen in the videos hurting animals.”

The administrators said they would not be commenting further while the investigation is ongoing.

The exhaustive online efforts to locate Magnotta may have fuelled some of his own alleged Internet writings, in which he defends his reputation and com-plains about “cyber stalking” and “media propaganda.”

“I do not feel the necessity to address the specific accusations made in the posts since they are so far from my character that responding to them will give them more credibility than they will ever hold,” reads a post on his website

The square-jawed but some-what effeminate Magnotta, who often appears semi-nude or nude in online photos, has also claimed that others were impersonating him on the Internet, and that “hoax websites are created using my image and name, posing as me to seem more believable in respect to the type of audience these website have.”

In an article on another site purporting to be an interview with Magnotta, the self-styled male model is described as “a James Dean lover and had cosmetic surgery to look like his idol.” The piece claims he had to change his appearance and was nervous to answer his door and phone. Yet another bizarre article, allegedly written by Magnotta himself, describes a six-step pro-cess for vanishing and shedding one’s former identity.

Magnotta has repeatedly complained online about “lies” linking him romantically to infamous schoolgirl killer Karla Hom-olka, who was released without conditions in 2005. On Wednesday, Montreal police said that the two had indeed dated.

A post on Magnotta’s personal Facebook page, meanwhile, reads simply: “Monsters, Demons and Ghosts, they live in-side of us and they are real, and sometimes they win.”