Tag Archives: Luka Magnotta

Magnotta’s Hollywood links

MELBOURNE — Police are investigating murder-suspect Luka Magnotta’s possible links to a cold case involving the celebrated Hollywood sign, pushing this strange crime story into another country of interest.

This development, reported by ABC and the Toronto Sun, will surely explode commentary on social media even more than is occurring right now. (Update: LA police later downplayed any connection between the two crimes.)

It is astonishing how we are linked to this case through social media, just how we were with the Mark Twitchell case and trial. I first heard of this case via Twitter and have been getting regular updates as much through Facebook as I am through reading the newspaper, and my own research.

I’m continuing to write more on this topic, too, including a CNN op-ed piece discussing our  “sick fascination with a death video.”

Seems to have struck a chord with a lot of people.

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Murder feed: Luka Magnotta and Mark Twitchell

MELBOURNE — The police case against fugitive Luka Magnotta has been drawing comparisons to Mark Twitchell, a Dexter-inspired wannabe serial killer whose crimes are explored in my narrative non-fiction book The Devil’s Cinema.

Both were heavy Internet users — especially social media — and were eager self-promoters who ended up documenting their (alleged) crimes.

An element of reality and fantasy had also merged in their lives in very twisted ways. Hollywood fiction likely provided some degree of inspiration for real-life tragedies in both cases. And clearly filmmaking played a central role, too.

Twitchell was far more covert in his killing, however, so this case ventures into different territory on that front. The killer here is seeking out global publicity while Twitchell had global publicity thrust upon him. The motives and techniques used in selecting a victim are completely different as well.

But in any event, both of these strange cases show how a new breed of criminal is thriving in a digital age: the social-media killer.

With rapidly expanding technology that links all of us together instantly, killers are now able to be just as social-media savvy as the rest of us, as I explained in an opinion piece for the Globe and Mail (“Murderers have become online broadcasters. And their audience is us.”).

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