Luka Magnotta’s cat videos, though widely disturbing, were critical pieces of evidence for internet sleuths to use to track down Magnotta over the course of two years, from 2010 (when he posted his first cat video, “1 Boy, 2 Kittens”) to 2012, when he posted 1 Lunatic 1 Icepick, the video in which he murdered Chinese student Lin Jun.
Magnotta was eventually arrested in 2014. He was charged and convicted of first degree murder, among other charges. He is now serving out a life sentence in prison for his crimes. His crimes, and the effort that tens of thousands of internet sleuthers like Deanna Thompson and John Green made to track him down, have been memorialized in the Netflix docuseries Don’t F*ck With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer.
This article is for people who want to understand Magnotta’s horrific cat videos without having to watch the videos themselves. This article does not link to the videos at any point. Readers should be warned that the videos are still circulating around on the internet.
Here’s what you need to know:
1 Boy 2 Kittens Video, Explained
The 1 Boy, 2 Kittens video was the first video Magnotta posted to the internet. It was posted by Magnotta under the alias “uonlywish500,” on December 21, 2010.
In the video, Magnotta strokes a pair of kittens, then proceeds to suffocate them. Following the release of the video, Magnotta would go on to post photos of him with the dead kittens, his face blurred out. This photo and video would prove to be hugely useful to internet sleuths, who scanned the images for clues.
Magnotta would later post another video in which he appears to play with and stroke the dead kittens. It was in this video that internet sleuths were able to find crucial pieces of evidence that allowed them to hypothesize that Magnotta lived in North America: a pack of cigarettes with a Surgeon General’s warning, and a vacuum made in North America.
Bathtime LOL Video, Explained
Magnotta’s next horrific video was posted to YouTube under the name “Jasminethecat666” on Dec. 2, 2011. It was called “Bathtime lol,” and in the video Magnotta proceeds to drown a kitten while music plays in the bathroom.
Thompson said of the video, “It was, to this day, probably one of the worst videos I’ve ever seen…the desperation in this cat’s face that…it’s hard to describe. It’s haunting.”
Python Christmas Video, Explained
Magnotta posted the Python Christmas video on the same day that he posted the bathtime LOL video: on Dec. 2, 2011. However, he posted this video to Live Leak, as well as YouTube, under the username “Leslie Anne Downey.” Downey was a victim of the serial killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley in the 1960s.
Green noted that the video seemed to be holiday-themed, with Magnotta wearing a Santa hat and with “The Little Drummer Boy” playing in the background.
Thompson noted that this was the video that made the internet sleuth group “pay attention again.”
Naturally, many viewers and internet sleuths have wondered what the ethical implications are of paying attention to these videos at all. Some people have condemned Netflix for creating the docu-series to begin with.
Thompson addresses this moral quandary at the end of the series, posing the challenge to the viewer. “This documentary is exactly what [Magnotta] would want,” she admits. “But if it stops someone else from doing the same thing again and police take more notice the next time a Luka Magnotta comes along, then it’s worth it.”
READ NEXT: 1 Lunatic, 1 Icepick Video, Explained