Luka Magnotta was a Canadian gay pornographic actor who worked as a model, stripper, and a male escort. He was born with the name Eric Newman on July 24, 1982, in Scarborough, Ontario. Luka was homeschooled for several years and had absolutely no contact with children his own age. His mother was said to be a germaphobe who was domineering and controlling of her children, isolating them from any contact with the outer world because, as Luka would write in a blog post, his mother thought the world was a ‘’dangerous and dirty place’’. It wasn’t until after his parents had divorced and the children were sent to live with his grandparents that Luka would begin attending school for the first time, starting in the sixth grade, where he was mistreated by his peers.

At age 18, Luka was seen several times by community workers in a crisis center complaining that he kept hearing voices inside his head, although health workers initially dismissed this, suspecting he was faking it, he was eventually diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. Once Luka reached the age of 20, he relocated to Toronto where he began his career as a stripper, going by the stage name ‘’Angel’’ or ‘’Luka’’. Approximately a year after that, Luka branched out from his stripping to embark on a modelling career and worked as a male escort. Around this time, Luka began actively visiting a psychiatrist, who revealed his paranoia that police were after him, that people were jealous of him and wanted him out of his home, and admitted to wanting to kill himself.

In 2005, Luka was convicted of three counts of fraud after coercing a vulnerable 21-year-old woman to purchase $16,900 of goods for him and fraudulently obtaining a credit card in her name. In 2008, he auditioned for the reality television show ‘’Plastic Makes Perfect’’ hoping to win more plastic surgery. In it, he reveals he had quite a few cosmetic procedures done on him, including his eyes, nose, and a hair transplant. However, he did not make the cut.

Prior to the murder, he was sought out by animal rights activists for uploading videos online of him killing kittens. One of these videos titled ‘’1 Boy 2 Kittens’’ showed him suffocating kittens to death with a vacuum cleaner.


Luka had begun dating an international student from China named Jun Lin, who was studying to become an engineer. However, the two broke up in 2012 and Jun began seeing another man. This enraged Luka, who, out of jealousy and fury, decided to unleash his wrath by committing an atrocity that would shake Canada to its core.

Luka kidnapped Jun and whisked him away to his apartment where he tied him to his bed frame, letting him linger there for a while. Then, with an ice pick, he began violently stabbing him in the chest until he was dead, then dismember his head and limbs. After sodomizing the headless, limbless torso, he cut off pieces of Jun’s flesh from his buttock using a knife and a fork, and got a puppy to chew on the corpse. Although it is not shown whether Luka consumed the flesh, cannibalism is highly assumed to have occurred. The entire murder was filmed and uploaded online, titled as, ‘’1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick’’ with the 1987 New Order song ‘’True Faith’’ playing in the background.

Afterward, Luka mailed body parts to several schools and political parties. Authorities found that the body parts belonged to that of Jun Lin and labeled Luka the prime suspect. However, by that time, Luka had already fled the country. An international manhunt was launched and Luka was eventually caught in a Berlin internet cafe reading up on articles about himself. Seven police officers barged in the shop and arrested him. He was soon escorted back to Canada.


Luka plead not guilty by reason of insanity for the following charges:

  1. First-degree murder;
  2. Committing an indignity to a dead body;
  3. Publishing obscene material;
  4. Mailing obscene, indecent, immoral or scurrilous material; and
  5. Criminally harassing Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and several (unnamed) members of Parliament.

Luka’s trial commenced in September of 2014, and the process took a total of three months before he was found guilty of all five charges he was indicted on. He was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 25 years.

Gun Myth

Myth: More good guys with guns can stop rampaging bad guys.

Fact-check: Mass shootings stopped by armed civilians in the past 30 years: 0
• Chances that a shooting at an ER involves guns taken from guards: 1 in 5



Mexico: The Shark Fishermen

Shark fishing in Mexico has always been a game for the strongest, the bravest of fishermen. The seas are fickle, the days are long, and the catch itself dangerous. As a result, shark fishermen tend to be tough-minded and not overly fond of outsiders. But their stories are linked to one of the key issues of ocean conservation today. Perhaps more than any other fish, shark populations are seeing an unprecedented freefall. Due largely to the growing demand in Asia for shark fin soup, some shark populations tumbled to 10, 5, or even 2 percent of their historic levels.

But it would be wrong to demonize the people catching them. Some of these fishermen have turned to shark because the other fish they depended on have disappeared. Some have been fishing shark the same way for 100 years. And others are just trying to capitalize on a valuable catch. With this in mind, Dominic Bracco went to live with them in their camps to find out for himself what drives them and what their future might be.

View all the images by Pulitzer Center grantees Dominic Bracco II and Erik Vance for their project ‘Mexico: Emptying The World’s Aquarium’