‘Don’t f*** with cats’ is a documentary that you can find on Netflix. This mini-series, consisting of three episodes, is about the murderer Luka Magnotta. When we speak of murderers, we imagine people like Charles Manson with a disturbing persona. This murderer, instead, is a vain man, who wants to be a model and who tries to show a luxurious life online.
Magnotta is a 28-year-old guy with an ordinary appearance. He is slim and rather fragile. In the series, we see his mother as a woman who justifies and covers up his behavior over and over again. She is unable to address what her son is capable of.
It’s interesting how we don’t get to see traces of his father at all. He does not appear in the family photos displayed at her mother’s house. All over the series, Magnotta himself never mentions his father and neither does his mother. And this says a lot.
When a child grows up and one of his parents is missing at home, the child suffers. While some children may find another person to occupy the father figure role, others don’t and find themselves in a more vulnerable situation which can potentially devastate their development. A child without the physical presence of his or her dad will have an impact in his or her life as an adult. They are more likely to develop behavioral problems. This is the way in which they can hide their fears and feelings of abandonment. It is like a protective shield. For example, a child in these circumstances can develop an arrogant, distrustful attitude, have depression, be impulsive, among others. Furthermore, as an adult, it increases suicide rates, depression, stress and anxiety, job stability, problematic relationships, substance abuse, emotional, behavioral, and social problems. It also, typically, increases resentment towards others. I’m sure some of these traits, may have impacted Magnotta’s life.
He wanted to be a model and went to numerous reality show castings. And got rejected. As I said before, he is a clear example of a very vain and narcissistic man. Today this term is widely used but to be diagnosed it is necessary to have a number of symptoms that, at the same time, must occur in different contexts. This disorder ruins any human life. Their style of not having empathy, of being entitled, of being grandiose, arrogant, and superficial makes them uncomfortable but they don’t seek help. They may recognize that they are having problems with their partner, at work, but as long as it does not bother them, they are fine. This is how not having empathy works. These personality traits act, again, as a shield. They are very focused on protecting their insecurities in order to not find themselves threatened. And, naturally, people around them get mentally ill.
Now, what happens when a narcissist goes through disappointment? Disappointment is something that happens to us every day: from not finding a place to park, to wanting to buy a t-shirt and it doesn’t fit, to being call out at work or splitting up with our partner. We may feel disappointed but we keep it together, we go for a walk, we walk out of wherever we are. But narcissists don’t act this way. They interpret disappointment in a self-referential way. They throw a tantrum as a three-year-old would do. They get very angry, very dysregulated emotionally in a very short period of time. They will start screaming with rage and feel victimized at the same time. So… imagine how would Magnotta have felt when he was rejected? We didn’t get to see that part of him in the series, but since he is a narcissist, I’m sure he couldn’t have handled it well.
This is the initial profile we extract from him. He is vain, he gets rejected, he was bullied at school and, due to this, he isolated himself and watched movies. Movies were his escape. He got fascinated by crime but in a person with this kind of traits and personal story, this, couldn’t take him to a good place. He wanted to become the star of his own movie. And since his personality got on well with that of a murderer, he got stuck in it and wanted to reproduce it. In this way, it is no surprise what would unleash then.
Magnotta, in addition to everything mentioned above, is a person who constantly needs and seeks attention. In psychology, people who need attention to feel good about themselves are categorized in a personality disorder known as histrionic. Not having attention gets them very uncomfortable, they will do whatever is on their means to get eyes on them. They consistently use physical appearance to draw attention. Interaction with others is often inappropriate and sexually seductive. And, yes, we know that Magnotta was a prostitute. By analyzing his persona from a psychological point of view, everything seems to fit in a puzzle.
People that fall under these criteria are more focused on how others react to themselves than anything else. They are not in touch with their emotions and how they feel. They don’t have a solid sense of self. And, yes, again, Magnotta was found in Berlin by the police when he was in a cyber café looking at his own photos. He wanted to see how the media was portraying him and what profile picture was chosen by Interpol.
In this way, we can say that Magnotta killed kittens to draw attention to himself. He killed a man with the same purpose. He actually filmed the entire murder scene and posted it online. Which makes perfect sense. He was nurtured by the attention, plus he could take his anger out at the same time. Moreover, rejection and abandonment fueled his behavior.
He got what he considered celebrity status with the murder of Lin Jun. That is why, when captured, he wasn’t showing anger or sadness in his face. Instead, he had a slight smile and a halo of satisfaction that yelled ‘mission accomplished’. Now all the paparazzi flashing lights and all the world eyes were on him.