Anna Yourkin, the mother of convicted killer Luka Magnotta, released a memoir on her son’s notoriety in 2018. She appears in the new Netflix docu-series about her son, Don’t F*ck With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer. Yourkin now lives in the Peterborough area in Ontario, Canada, near Toronto, according to a local newspaper.
Magnotta’s name at birth was Eric Clinton Kirk Newman. His father and Yourkin’s ex-husband, Donald Newman, said they named their son after Kirk Douglas and Clint Eastwood.
Yourkin released her memoir, My Son the Killer: The Untold Story of Luka Magnotta & 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick, with the help of co-writer Brian Whitney, on November 6, 2018. She has described her relationship with her son “estranged,” but has also said in interviews that she will always love him.
Here’s what you need to know:
Yourkin Calls Herself a ‘True Crime Enthusiast’ in Her Author Bio
In her author bio for the publisher Wild Blue Press, Yourkin writes, “I enjoy writing, creative art, music, martial arts, traveling, boating, cooking, gardening and nature. I am also a true crime enthusiast, I have spent a lot of time over the past 4 years studying the minds of criminals.”
In that bio, Yourkin confirms that she has four other children besides Magnotta, and has seven grandchildren. She writes,
I never completed high school but I did however earn several untitled degrees in the field of life. I am strong willed, curious, passionate and determined to a fault at times. I am young at heart and I enjoy life to the fullest. I informally counsel many people in need and I advocate for inmates in the correctional system.
According to Newman’s testimony at Magnotta’s trial, Yourkin left school in order to raise her and Newman’s children. Newman said they had a “happy time” at first, but later acknowledged that they both had alcohol problems, Yourkin’s particularly related to vodka.
Newman also talked about how their children were often isolated because of their moving. He said of Magnotta, “He did not [have friends]; he was isolated. No schooling, no friends of any kind.”
Yourkin, on Her Son’s Conviction & Crimes: ‘This Is Not Who You Should Be Looking For’
Yourkin maintains that her son is innocent of the crimes he has been convicted of, even though he pled guilty and is now in prison. In an interview with Global News 640, a Canadian news site, Yourkin said, “I’ve come to terms with the fact that my son was accused and convicted of first-degree murder. But the aftermath is very hard to deal with.”
Yourkin said that her son is still “loved,” further explaining, “Who the person my son son is, and has always been to me, he’s a wonderful human being.”
Later on in the interview, she said, “It wasn’t a question of forgiveness, I unconditionally love my son. I know we have a bond that can work through anything. So we did.”
Yourkin did not appear as a witness for Magnotta’s defense during his trail, but she did speak to Netflix about the experience. When authorities announced that Magnotta was a wanted man, Yourkin said her heart “sank.”
“It was like I lost my footing in the world,” she said.
To Netflix, when asked if she believed the argument that Magnotta committed crimes to seek fame, she said this was the “furthest thing from the truth.” She then suggested that people should be looking for the “puppet master,” a man named “Manny Lopez” that Magnotta has since blamed for his actions. There’s no proof that Lopez is exists.
A psychiatrist at Magnotta’s trial disagreed with the notion of Lopez being a real person, and instead referenced Lopez as a voice in Magnotta’s head. Magnotta’s schizophrenia diagnosis was a central part of his defense.
Magnotta’s Upbringing & Childhood Was One Colored by Abuse, Family Members & Friends Say
According to Yourkin’s book, Magnotta grew up homeschooled, and eventually moved out of his home to live with his grandmother at 16 years old, because Yourkin’s boyfriend, called “Leo,” was allegedly emotionally and physically abusive to him.
Magnotta’s parents were only teenagers when they had him; Yourkin was 16 years old, and his father, Donald Newman, was 17 years old. The pair would go on to have two more kids together, Conrad and Melissa. Per the book, Donald would eventually be diagnosed with schizophrenia, and the pair separated for good when Magnotta was 10 years old.
Newman has since described his son’s childhood as “troubled.” At his son’s murder trial, Newman, then 50 years old, said that he himself was an alcoholic schizophrenic. He said of Yourkin, “She was very clingy. She wanted to have total control over them.”
Newman further alleged that Yourkin was terrified of germs, and that she wouldn’t let their kids use public bathrooms throughout their childhood. He also claimed that Magnotta’s grandmother was abusive as well.