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Source: Netflix

It's Not Illegal to Watch '1 Lunatic, 1 Ice Pick' — but Why Would You?

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Content Warning: Murder, mutilation, animal abuse

Netflix's new true-crime docuseries Don't F**k With Cats tells the story of the grisly murder of Chinese international student Lin Jun committed in 2012 by Luka Magnotta. But there's so much to this story that makes it completely different and even possibly more disturbing than any other true crime show or movie you have seen.

For several years, Luka Magnotta was known online on "gore sites" for videos in which he killed kittens. There is a whole corner of the internet dedicated to snuff films and real gore, and that's where Luka Magnotta, a Canadian former prostitute and porn actor, finally found fame. These weren't joke videos. Magnotta posted videos of himself actually suffocating kittens and feeding them to pythons, according to The Verge

Then one day, Magnotta uploaded a video called, "1 Lunatic, 1 Ice Pick" to Bestgore.com. 

It was May 25, 2012. The video seemed to depict a real murder taking place. In it, a naked man was tied to a bed frame and repeatedly stabbed with an ice pick and a kitchen knife. He was then dismembered. Magnotta posted the video to the internet, where it found an audience, five days before the authorities became aware of it. He'd been "promoting" the video 10 days before the video appeared online.

Three days after the video surfaced online, Magnotta mailed a foot and a hand to different government buildings in Canada. After a two-week long manhunt, Magnotta was apprehended at an internet café in Berlin, where he was reading news about himself. He was charged with the murder of Lin Jun. Eventually, Magnotta was sentenced to life in prison with eligibility for parole after 25 years. 

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Source: Getty Images

The internet café where Luka Magnotta was arrested

This murder and the phenomenon of online snuff films is the subject of Netflix's Don't F**k With Cats. "1 Lunatic, 1 Ice Pick" depicts an actual murder. Many watched it online before it was ever reported to the authorities. In fact, if you look hard enough, you can still find it online.

Is it illegal to watch "1 Lunatic, 1 Ice Pick"?

You won't be arrested for watching the video, but it depicts a real murder, so I don't know why you would seek it out. It's totally sickening that Magnotta promoted a murder and carried out for an audience online. 

There's no doubt the Netflix series takes on a fascinating subject, but it's imperative to treat this subject with sensitivity. First, this is a traumatic thing that happened to Lin Jun's family. He was the victim of a brutal murder only six years ago. It's got to be hard to see random people getting entertainment value out of their horrible tragedy.

Second, many who are reacting to the show on Twitter have claimed that real footage from the kitten videos is shown without censoring. 

It's so important to consume true crime responsibly. It might not be illegal to watch "1 Lunatic, 1 Ice Pick," but it's not something you should do.