The social media activity of a Canadian porn star, accused of killing and dismembering his lover before sending body parts to government offices, is helping police as they embark on an international manhunt.
The heavy internet presence of Luka Rocco Magnotta, 29, is being studied by Montreal detectives to draw-up a picture of their suspect.
The most serious piece of evidence could be an alleged video of the murder, links were posted to Magnotta’s Facebook page and copies are now circulating online after police removed the original.
Speaking after a human foot was mailed to the Ottawa headquarters of the Conservative Party of Canada on Tuesday, Montreal Police Commander Ian Lafreniere said: “This guy was posting a lot of pictures and people are sharing those pictures now all around the world and you have a lot of people looking for him.”
As his name and image spreads, Facebook users have bombarded Magnotta’s page with furious messages. One angry, but insightful post accuses the porn star of simply wishing to make a name for himself.
Analysing some research by the openfile blog, Magnotta appears to be a vain, self-obsessed individual willing to court controversy and use shock tactics to garner attention.
These tendencies are strewn across his personal website, where rambling essays titled “Cyber Stalking” and “Media Propaganda” reveal a sociopathic personality.
He also wrote a guide to disappearing on Digital Journal, which has led police to seek assistance from Interpol as they believe he has now fled North America.
Disturbingly, there are also allegations on his Facebook page accusing him of once filming himself killing cats. According to National Post, Magnotta was the subject of an investigation by amateur online sleuths in 2010, who were disturbed by the videos.
The group found that many of Magnotta’s photos were uploaded with embedded information containing the make and serial number of the camera, which matched photos of a suspect holding two kittens before they were killed.
Commander Ian Lafreniere said he believes it is Magnotta in the videos and the sustained online amateur hunt has now become a very physical professional one, as sparked by the gruesome murder.
Magnotta’s alleged crime and subsequent manhunt has been met by a flurry of social media activity. Analytics from both Google and Twitter show the sudden, exponential interest and discussion of the story.
Macabrely, however, it also marks the first time when a high-profile crime has been accompanied by a social media ‘campaign’ – possibly organised by the perpetrator.
YouTube users, well aware of the Magnotta’s self-indulgent personality, have made several suggestions that he is possibly commenting on videos about himself, now, while still on the run.
If he is guilty, he would have most certainly uploaded the original video of the murder – pointing to the first time the world has seen a social network savvy killer. Hopefully this desperate need for exposure will also be the reason for his quick downfall.
When asked what the motive for the murder may have been, Commander Lafreniere told ABCNews.com: “Besides being a weirdo, I don’t know.”Tags:Canadian Killer, Luka Rocco Magnotta, Porn Star Killer