What do you know about Luka Magnotta? Probably less than you think. Listen to S2E3 of killer astrology for the information you didn't see in Don't F**k with Cats.
This episode may be upsetting for some listeners, so listener discretion is advised.
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Hi Everyone, Welcome back to Killer Astrology. I’m your host, Laura, and today we’re coming off of the second full moon of October, which just happened to be on Halloween. The full moon occurs when the sun and the moon are completely opposite each other in the sky, and all of the moon is reflecting the sun’s light. This is a time of bringing things to light so that they can be released, and this particular full moon was special. That’s because the moon was exactly conjunct Uranus, and with the planet of revolution in the mix, you might have experienced new realizations about what you need to let go of, maybe in an unexpected way. For the rest of this week, we have a square aspect between Saturn, the planet of restriction, and Mercury, the planet of communication. This is basically a time where we need to make a compromise between speaking our minds and keeping quiet so we don’t go too far. Seems fitting during election week. This theme will stick around for a bit longer than a typical Saturn-mercury square. It started around October 27th, was exact on halloween, and will be exact again on November 6th. This may affect your communication in your personal life, but will also certainly have an effect on society as a whole Given that it’s election week and the election processes have happened differently than usual, I wouldn’t be surprised if this saturn-mercury square causes a delay in the communication about our election results until the end of the week, maybe around November 7th.
On to our main event: today we’re covering Luka Magnotta, the subject of the 3-part Netflix docu-series “Don’t Fuck with Cats”. This guy is honestly just a complete dickhead who not only hurt animals before becoming a murderer, but also felt the need to videotape his actions and broadcast the torture online for the world to see. I’d like to start at the beginning of his story, but Luka is a pathological liar so I don’t exactly know what the beginning of his story is, save a couple of points that seem to have been corroborated by multiple news sources. The facts are slim, but here’s what we know about how Luka started out:
He was born Eric Newmann on July 24th, 1982 in Scarborough, Ontario, which is a suburb of Toronto, Canada and went by that name until he changed it to Luka Magnotta in 2006. According to CBC news, he was the oldest child born to his mother, Anna Yourkin, and his father, Donald Newmann, who went on to have two more children after Luka was born. Luka was a quiet kid growing up, who likely wasn’t inherently quiet, as we’ll see when we look at his chart, but rather was forced to stay under the radar because of the intense bullying he faced in school.
As a kid, Luka loved classic films and psychological thrillers. His mother recounts in the documentary that he loved basic instinct and even shows the filmmakers some of Lukas old things, which include a Basic Instinct keychain. Even as a kid, Luka had a capacity to take in these dark themes that other kids may have been scared of. Maybe that’s because he had experienced some scarier things in his own life, from abuse or bullying, and related to the films which presented those hard themes in a more artistic way. It’s clear that he felt safe in the arms of his favorite movies, and maybe it’s the deep love he had for films that motivated him to become an actor. Or maybe it was his need for attention.
As an adult, Luka was very very active on social media. He had a lot of different accounts that he used under pseudonyms, and he often wrote blog entries using those fake names. As one of those characters, he apparently wrote on a Psych Central forum that he hated his mother and that she “ruined his life”. This is according to an article by Toronto City News. That same article makes mention of childhood sexual abuse and strange forms of manipulation by his mother, like keeping him in diapers well into his childhood. We don’t know for sure if this is true, but it seems safe to assume that Luka’s childhood wasn’t easy and that his parenting was inconsistent and likely unhealthy. At some point early in his life, his parents separated and Luka went to live with his grandparents. It seems he spent most of his childhood with them, but they also split up when he was a bit older and he was homeschooled after that. However, he did spent at least two years in high school in the rural town of Lindsay, Ontario, where educators and his classmates noticed that he paid a lot of attention to his looks and frequently changed his hair color.
In 2001, presumably once he had left high school, Luka moved back to Toronto and began looking for work as an actor. But acting is a notoriously difficult field to get into, so he had to take other another route to make money. At some point in the early 2000s, Luka began working as an escort. He also started stripping at a club called Remingtons. Then, in 2003, he started appearing in porn. He had a role in four porn films between 2003 and 2004, which probably served as a good way to make some cash and also an outlet for his vanity. But at the end of the day, this wasn’t exactly the career Luka wanted to carry on in long term, and it must not have paid enough to provide the lifestyle he wanted, because he went through additional illegal measures to make money.
In 2004, Luka met a young intellectually disabled woman in Toronto who he convinced to apply for multiple credit cards, and then he stole her identity and used those cards to accumulate over $10,000 worth of debt. Surprisingly, he pleaded guilty to this crime in 2005, but was handed a relatively lenient sentence of 9 months community service and 12 months probation. At the trial, Luka’s defense presented a letter from a psychiatrist who had previously treated Luka, citing mental health issues and an occasional neglect to take his medications. This letter is what prompted the judge to give Luka lighter sentence for his crimes, along with a mandate that he continue to take his medication regularly. But what was this medication for?
As it turns out, Luka had been prescribed antipsychotics and anti anxiety medications, and he had a long history of mental health treatment. He turned 18 in 2000 and in 2001, his medical record begins reflecting multiple visits to crisis services and hospitals citing mental health concerns. After this visit to the hospital in 2001 when he complained of hallucinations but didn’t cite their content, a very adept doctor wrote, according to Global News, “I am not sure what we are dealing with...I have a feeling he is looking for some secondary gain but I don’t know what exactly … I thought I should just [make] a note about this rather bizarre and interesting presentation. I am sure at some stage one of my colleagues will see this young man again and might encounter the same perplexing problem.”
Even with that doctor’s caution, later that year, Luka did receive a diagnosis of schizophrenia and starting living at a group home for people with mental health difficulties. In August of that year, he overdosed on benzodiazepines and then continued visiting various facilities for mental health support. Even though he received a schizophrenia diagnosis, I am very certain that he in fact did not have schizophrenia. I think Luka went into the hospital on most of those occasions knowing what to say to gain the oversight of a doctor and receive the caring support of people who wanted to help him. It was a personality disorder, as multiple doctors testified during his criminal trial. In my experience as a counselor, I can say that in most cases, personality disorders don’t just happen. They are the result of trauma, typically ongoing difficulties with caregivers where their emotional needs were invalidated or otherwise unmet. Not an excuse for publicly torturing and killing animals and people, but still a significant factor in Luka’s presentation.
While all of these mental health concerns continued to arise throughout the years, Luka, in his more public life, was continuing to look for work as an actor and a model. Throughout the early 2000s, he was auditioning for reality tv shows and modeling jobs: the tapes for which you can still find online. All while continuing to dabble in porn here and there. But by 2007, he was struggling financially and actually filed for bankruptcy, stating that he wasn’t making enough money to pay off his debts. He continued auditioning for parts on reality shows like Cover Guy and Plastic Makes Perfect, but he couldn’t secure a role. With rejection after rejection and delay after delay getting in the way of him achieving the jet-setting lifestyle he so desired, things started to get pretty damn weird.
In the latter part of Luka’s 20s, he began seeking fame in unconventional ways. In 2007, Joe Wilmington, a reporter who was working for the tabloid the Toronto Sun at the time, received a call from Luka who presented himself as a popular model who could no longer secure work because of rumors that were circulating about his involvement with Karla Homolka, a Canadian woman who had, alongside her husband, raped and killed multiple children in the 1990s. He was seeking the help of the Toronto Sun so that he could clear his name and set these rumors to rest. But as we would later discover, this was all a publicity stunt. Luka had started those rumors himself, using various personas to craft comments and stories about the subject online.
So the big question here is how did we know about all his online personas? How can we attribute those blog posts written under different pseudonyms to Luka himself? Well if you’ve seen Don’t Fuck with Cats, you know that just two years before Luka finally committed murder, he was being investigated by a group of self-proclaimed computer nerds online, and what they found was absolutely incredible.
On December 21st, 2010, a video was posted online that went viral. It was the video of a young man with long-ish brown hair covered by a dark-green hoodie playing with two adorable kittens on a bed. With a cigarette hanging from his mouth, he bent over the bed and lifted the kittens, transferring them from the surface of the bed and into a plastic vacuum-seal bag, and then, well, sucked the air out of the bag and sealed it shut. The video was called 1 boy 2 kittens and was posted by an account called uonlywish500, with a comment below that said “all haters can suck my huge dick, lol”. As you may imagine, people were infuriated by the asshole who proudly displayed his cat killings on line, and many of those people set out to find him.
Now, I’m not going to go into all the details of this online investigation, if you’re interested I definitely recommend that you watch the Netflix documentary. But I will commend these people who must have had some strong Saturn-Pluto contracts on their pure genius and stamina for their investigation. The two main investigators were Deanna Thompson and John Green, who spent two years digging through Luka’s videos and blog posts to find clues about where he was. It was an anonymous tip that gave them the name: Luka Magnotta, and with that information they stumbled on a treasure trove of online information: fan sites, audition tapes, blogs, and photo compilations on youtube. It wasn’t long before they discovered that every single one of those sites and comments was made by Luka himself under a false identity as a way to feign fame and, presumably to push his acting and modeling career forward through the illusion of having a following.
There is one more thing about this group that is important for our purposes which are to better understand who Luka was. One is that over the two years that they were investigating the cat killer, Luka made multiple appearances in the group, inciting more of their anger by sending them additional footage of his crimes. But he also made them scared. At one point, he sent a video of the inside of the Las Vegas casino where Deanna worked. And this was a clear threat that he had her information, and he had her wondering if her life was in danger.
What the members of this facebook group were seeing was not just that Luka was a heartless narcissist, but that he enjoyed playing games, leaving clues along the way so that others would chase him, whether the clue was liking a specific video about a famous criminal case or posting a new video under an account named for a famous serial killer’s victim. It was away to get attention, toy with people’s emotions, and ensure that he never relinquished control over the people he sucked into his web.
From the very beginning of the amature investigation into Luka’s identity, Deanna’s and John's group suspected that Luka would wind up torturing more animals and graduating to humans, and they were right. After the original video was released, there were three more that were equally disgusting, and then came the video that everyone feared: proof that Luka had graduated to a new level.
On May 25th, 2012, a new video entitled “1 lunatic, 1 ice pick” appears online and shows an unconscious young man laying shirtless on a bed with his wrists tied to a headboard. The video is just over 10 minutes long, and in those 10 minutes viewers witness another young man in a hoodie repeatedly stabbing the unconscious man in the chest with a screwdriver that is painted to look like an icepick. By the end of the video, the victim is dead and his head removed from his body. The facebook group that was investigating Luka received the video right away, and although they told the authorities in Canada about the video, the police didn’t catch on until a few days later.
On May 29th, 10:15, a janitor is in the alley behind the apartment building located at 5720 Decary Street in Montreal, Quebec. He notices a locked suitcase standing upright near the rest of the discarded trash, leaking maggots. He assumes that there is a dead animal inside the luggage, but for some reason still decides to open it anyway. He is horrified when he sees not an animal, but a human torso. He calls the police, who come to investigate, but as a force their attention is divided...because that same morning, they are responding to a troubling call from the headquarters of Canada’s conservative party in Ottowa, the nation’s capitol, where someone had mailed a human foot. Later, they learn that a human hand had been sent to the liberal party, as well.
At the apartment building where the suitcase was found, police also find documents with Luka Magnotta’s name printed on them, along with a movie poster that matches one that was seen in the icepick video, and a wine bottle laced with sedatives. At first, they assume that Luka must be the victim whose body was discovered in such a tragic position, but when they find video of him mailing two packages at a Montreal post office shortly before the discovery of his crimes, they realize that he is, in fact, the perpetrator. But getting him into custody wouldn’t be so easy, and neither would identifying the true victim.
While they were on the hunt for Luka Magnotta, police were searching through missing persons files to figure out who his victim was. It didn’t take them long to learn that Jun Lin, a 33 year-old university student from China, had gone home with Luka on the night of May 24th, 2012 and shortly afterwards was so cruelly robbed of life. He was seen on security cameras entering Luka’s apartment building in a yellow t-shirt at around 10:15PM, apparently having been told that he would be helping Luka make a movie. At 2:06AM, the cameras show Luka leaving the apartment building alone wearing the same yellow shirt that Jun Lin had been wearing just 4 hours earlier. He returned to the building with a plastic bag just 7 minutes later, and admires himself in the hallway mirror before going further inside. At around 2:55AM, police had Luka on video making his first trip to the apartment’s trash room, and wearing the same yellow shirt that his victim had been wearing when they arrived earlier that night. Luke continued making trips to the trash room to dispose of his evidence until about 4AM, very calmly, I should add. In the morning, he sends pieces of his victim to the Canadian political headquarters and then makes his escape to France. Shortly after, he tweeted “je suis en cavale LOL” which means I am on the run. In other words: “catch me if you can”.
In a blog post from 2009, Luka describes “How to disappear and never be found” and signs it with his own name. Just a year later, he posts that first video of himself killing those cats. It’s kind of a strange element here that, in my personal opinion points to just how premeditated this whole affair was. Here’s the beginning couple of lines from his post: “When making the decision to disappear, it is very important to understand that this is not a process that can be successfully accomplished overnight. For best results under normal circumstances, a minimum of four months is really necessary to successfully carry out the heroic actions necessary to leave your old life behind. This is certainly not an undertaking to be entered into lightly - be completely sure of yourself before you commit to this.”
I think he wrote that post truly believing that he would one day need to escape, and this was a breadcrumb he was leaving.
About a month before Luka committed his murder, he went to the hospital complaining of hallucinations, like he had done in the past, only this time he named them. He talked about being tracked by the FBI, said that he was being watched, and claimed that other people could hear his thoughts. I think this was one of the motions that Luka put in place as a way to establish a guilty plea, should he be caught. And he did it within 4 months of his escape, as he discusses in his post.
Interestingly, though, he didn’t listen to the advice he lays out in that blog entry. One of the three points he mentions, along with cutting ties with friends and family and getting false identification, is liquidating your assets and avoiding a paper trail by discarding credit cards. But once he is on the run, he uses a credit card at at ATM in Paris, putting police closer on his heels. But even with that mistake, or maybe even purposeful taunt, Luka wasn’t caught in France.
But he was caught! On June 4th, 2012, the attendant at an internet cafe in Berlin is reading the day’s news when a long-haired young man with a French accent walks in and pays for time on a computer. This man looks familiar, and not in a good way. The attendant walks the man back to a computer with the suspicion that he may be Luka Magnotta, the Canadian killer and subject of Interpol’s current manhunt. So the attendant makes a couple trips back to the computer room to sneak peaks at the customer’s screen. And what does he see but an image of Luka Magnotta staring back at him from the Interpol website. He rushes outside and flags down a police vehicle, and within minutes, German forces are on the scene. At 1:37pm Berlin time, Luka Magnotta is taken into custody and promptly extradited back to Canada for his trial. It takes two years, but Luka is finally found guilty of first degree murder in December of 2014 and subsequently sentenced to life in prison.
With all the illusion and deceit put forth by Luka throughout the years, it’s hard to know what’s true and what’s not when it comes to Luka’s identity. But thankfully, we have astrology, and the planets can give us more insight into why he became this monster.
Eric Newmann, now more infamously known as Luka Magnotta, was born on July 24th, 1982 in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada. We don’t have his birth time, which you know typically frustrates me to no end, but in this case, I honestly don’t even care. There is so much obvious connection between this cart and Luka’s story that I don’t feel like we even need the ascendant and the angles, although I wouldn’t turn them down. The information we can gather from just a quick glance at this chart is so glaring it hurts.
Luka has a Leo sun with a Virgo moon and lots of intense planetary relationships. His Leo sun, in true leo fashion is the shining star of this story: at a very intense 0° or 1º depending on his birth time, it draws Luka into the limelight like a moth to a flame. Leo is the home sign of the sun. It’s the sign that the sun has the most affinity for: the sign where it is most free to be itself. And the sun, at its core, is naturally about being itself! Or many more importantly, about feeling itself. Any planet that resides within its own sign in a chart tends to be powerful, because it doesn’t have to project its energies through the screen of another sign. So, couple the sun in its domicile with the sun in an early decree in this chart, and we see the sun holds a lot of weight. IT’s very visible here, and in Luka’s intense desire for attention. I don’t mean to reduce Leo to a sign that is solely conceited and egocentric. I actually love leos; at their best they are friendly and warm and fun to be around, but they are also performers and their shadow side is incredibly self centered. The sun placed in Leo is the main contributor to Luka’s attention-seeking behavior and the expanded size of his ego. Everything he does seems to stem from a desire to be seen, but it goes further than that. Luka doesn’t just want to put himself on display: he wants to jolt people out of their comfort zones. Very far out of their comfort zones for that matter. And what planet is a master at shaking things up? Uranus.
Luka has a powerful early-degree Leo sun that is trine to electric Uranus, which by nature aims to shatter the status quo. A trine is a 120 degree separation between two planets, and it’s commonly understood to be a “good” aspect, but as we see here, that’s not always the case. A trine essentially means that two planets are working together with ease. That the person embodying these energies doesn’t have to try so hard to combine them and use them in their life. Here, we have the sun in its home sign, shining away and showcasing its uniqueness, working with shocking and revolutionary Uranus in Sagittarius, where the planet takes on an air of confidence and an adventurous edge. This is a truly fiery and explosive combination that more intense for Luka than someone else with a sun/uranus trine because both planets are in such early degrees. They’re excited to use their energy, but haven’t mastered tact. But this relationship is made more complicated yet by another exact aspect! Another planet in the early degrees of a sign. This time, it’s jupiter in 1 degree scorpio. Jupiter elevates to all of the qualities of this sun and uranus combination that we’ve already discussed. It makes Uranus even more bold, surprising, and dangerous. Like a bigger, louder, hotter bolt of lightening. And it gives the sun the fuel to shine even brighter, asking it to strive to take up even more space. It’s an overwhelmingly hot and fast combination. A dangerous one. But it doesn’t necessarily explain why Luka’s methods of gaining attention and shocking the crowd were so dark: sexual, manipulative, and murderous. Where did that affinity for the morbid originate?
Well we see in Luka’s chart that in addition to wanting to explode on the scene of life, his capacity for the macabre and disturbing runs very, very deep. This is due to another exact aspect in his chart: that of mars and Pluto.
Mars is a planet of drive and passion, with the archetype is Ares. I’m not referring to the Zodiac sign here, but rather the greek god of War. When we think about Mars, we tend to think of the warrior, like Ares, who rushes into battle without a second thought and with a solitary purpose: to win. In astrology, Mars can certainly carry those traits, but it also has a deeper meaning: that of spirit. Our mars placement describes what fuels us, not just in times of passion and rage and impulse, but as we go about our daily lives. It describes what we live for, what motivates us to stay engaged with life. In the case of Luka Magnotta, we can’t look at mars as its own entity since it’s sharing a degree with Pluto. We have to combine the two planets.
In many previous episodes, we’ve discussed Pluto as the planetary equivalent of the greek god Hades, lord of the underworld. Pluto loves what’s hidden beneath the depths of the consciousness, the things that most of us don’t want to touch. The things that we as a society, and by the transitive property, we as individuals, cast out or disown. One of these things is sex and another, of course, is death. So with this same-degree conjunction of Mars and Pluto in Luka’s chart, we get someone who is fueled on the day-to-day level by those typically cast-out themes of sex and death. We get someone who’s passionate about life because of its interaction with death. And someone with a very strong capacity to face those themes head on.
While his Mars/Pluto conjunction explains Luka’s violent streak, it also says something about his vanity. These two planets are situated together in Libra in Luka’s chart. Libra is the sign of balance, but it’s shadow side brings a heavy focus on beauty. Mars here contributed to the fact that Luka was fueled by looking good, and Pluto here turned that into an obsession. It’s also no coincidence, in my mind, that these two planets are associated with Luka’s ability to kill and that he was focused on looking good while he did it. I can’t help but see the connection between these planetary placements and the video of Luka admiring himself in the mirror before going up to his apartment clean up after his murder. The mirror in this case is Libra, containing within it a man who had just used his Mars and Pluto energies to kill. Another person may have seen that brutal Mars and Pluto staring back at him, and felt a sense of guilt or shame. But in that moment, all Luka saw was his sun, shining back at him in unabashed confidence. This is one of the most disturbing images of this case for me, and it’s what I’ll leave you with today.
Thank you for tuning into another episode of Killer Astrology. I’m going to be moving this coming Saturday and will be pretty busy with that this week. I’m going to try to record an episode for you for next week, but because moving is hectic and time consuming, I might not be able to. We’ll see what happens. Either way, I’ll definitely be back with a new episode on November 15th.
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