Hunting an internet killer still “knocks our socks off”
The true crime series Don’t F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer absolutely knocked my socks off when I watched it for the first time. A twisted story about internet activists on the hunt for who made a cat killing video for clout turns into a bigger than anticipated investigation for a murderer. Nothing is more frightening than the kitty-kat killer/internet narcissist Luka Magnotta – and I could not look away from my screen until it was over.
The documentary begins with a video called “1 boy 2 kittens,” which showed the first two cats being killed and gained national attention after being launched on the internet. The public outrage caused two cat lovers, Deanna Thompson and John Green (not the author), to form a Facebook group attempting to decode who the murderer was and serve justice for the two kittens.
Here unfolds the internet manhunt to find the kitten-killer. The Facebook group gained traction from many other followers and every step forward in the investigation led two steps back. In one attempt to narrow down a suspect Thompson and Green prematurely convicted the kitty-killer, which resulted in members of the Facebook group attacking the suspect. Thompson and Green tried to backtrack when they realized that they had convicted the wrong person, but pressure from the group caused the suspect to commit suicide – a scene that is very quickly brushed off as an accident but is truly disturbing considering this is a true crime docuseries about murder.
Little did Thompson and Green know that the killer had been watching them all along. The kitty-killer, who was still at large, began baiting the Facebook group through two more cat-killing videos, each more horrific than the last. It is intriguing to see a group of internet sleuths who are much more invested in the case than the general police. Even before police involvement, the Facebook group had decoded the diversionary tactics of much of the initial videos and eventually identified who the killer was. While they continued to identify the killer’s clues, they were always on step behind Magnotta, who only let them know as much as he wanted. Much like many other animal murderers, it was not long before a video appeared of the cat-killer morphing into a full-fledged murderer – the footage containing the pivotal point where Magnotta murders Lin Jun.
This was when police enforcement entered, who almost muddled the story even more and ignored the Facebook group’s advice. Panic ensued when the Liberal and Conservative parties were mailed limbs of Jun’s body. I find this documentary so intriguing because I remember watching the chaos of the limb-mailing unfold on the news as a child. While I didn’t know the whole situation then, it completely blew me away learning the full story 10 years later.
Watching the documentary makes you flip through emotions at a rapid pace, from feeling heartbreak, to anger, to fright in a matter of minutes. Despite the intensity of the docuseries, I watched it all the way through without realizing three hours had gone by. It does a great job of making you question Hollywood (and society’s) obsession with absurd true crime series – which is especially important considering serial killer profiles are often romanticised. Magnotta’s own motives relate to his own selfishness and hurt on his behalf of never finding fame in the film industry. The documentary gives Magnotta his fame and poses a rhetorical question to audiences: why the fuck are we capitalizing on his actions when that’s what he wanted all along?