Late last summer, I wrote a short story about a necrophile who fell in love with a man who’s desire was to be buried alive. The story was published that October in the Dark Opus Press anthology, In Poe’s Shadow under the title “Loving the Dead”.
The story opens on a macabre note, letting the reader first know of the narrator’s peculiar affinity for death:
I’ve often dreamed of a love like that, a love that is everlasting, going far beyond what is sung in pop songs on the radio, or shown in glittery lights in the cinema or on TV — a love that transcends death eternal — sinking into the foul abysmal pit, going where sorrow and fair-weathered affections, even fear of the unholy and the unnatural dare to tread-a love that speaks only in whispers and silence, and is a fire that can burn even in the coldness of buried earth. To have the ability to love long after the putrid stench of death overtakes the body, that is the love which I have come to crave.
It is not the first time I’ve dabbled into necrophilia as a theme, nor do I doubt it will be the last. There is a certain kind of romanticism that revolves around the subject once the shock factor is eliminated, or perhaps I’ve just read too much gothic-horror in my lifetime. While I can’t bring myself to ever think of such acts with my loved ones as I am selfish and want that special person in my life to be with me always, I can understand why two willing parties would engage in an act of one killing the other or simulating the act in some sort of kinky roleplay fetish, so long of course it was consensual, such as in the case of Armin Meiwes who found a willing victim over the internet. The term “victim” here is of course applied liberally, as the man Meiwes eventually ate had the desire to be killed and eaten. I’m not even sure one could call that murder as much as it was assisted suicide following sex and self-mutilation and cannibalism.
As a gay man, I find it interesting how many murders committed by homosexual men revolve around necrophilia and cannibalism. We have John Wayne Gacy who would sexually assault his victims following their murder, and Jeffrey Dahmer who would not only eat pieces of his victims, but before killing them would drill holes into their heads and try to keep them alive in a corpse-like state for days. Now another killer has emerged, Luka Magnotta, the infamous individual behind the 1 Lunatic 1 Icepick video where he stabs his bound and gagged boyfriend with an icepick, cuts his body parts off and feeds some of the parts to his dog. One part of the video shows him cutting into the ass of the victim with a knife and fork.
My partner and I both watched 1 Lunatic 1 Icepick, or rather, he watched it and I found myself unable to stomach the majority of the video, turning it off after watching Magnotta display the stab wounds of his now-deceased lover to the tune of New Order’s True Faith. I’ll never hear that song the same way again. I’m not in the habit of watching gore videos, not because I can’t stomach their grotesquery, but because I can’t handle the fact that the person on that screen is actually dead. I feel the vacuum left in the wake of their existence. Perhaps I don’t have as healthy a concept of death as I’d like to believe, but I hate the idea of desensitizing myself to it. I feel death. I feel its horror.
If anything, for the sake of my art, I can never allow myself the dulling of those emotions. I need to feel them so I can recreate them in my work. Because of this, I have a hard time watching these things. I don’t find them entertaining. I don’t think I’m a coward, but I don’t think people who watch them unphased are badasses either. I think that everyone is different, and while some are deeply horrified by 1 Lunatic 1 Icepick, others have been so assaulted by death in their time on this planet that it has ceased to phase them, and then there are those who feel nothing no matter what happens. They are the ones who look at everything as if it was made for them to mock and jeer at, and those are the ones that frighten me the most.
Prior to murdering his boyfriend in Canada, Luka Magnotta had gained internet infamy by killing kittens to Christmas music, throwing them into garbage bags and vacuuming out the air. It was allegedly done for the purpose of giving his modelling and pornography career more prestige and fame. I’m not sure if it was before or after that he tried auditioning for Cover Guy, his statement to the judges sounding like something out of Zoolander. “People tell me I’m really devastatingly good-looking.”
On his main website, the only one still remaining. A wordpress site from the looks of it Luka-Magnotta.com, he has several rants about the treatment he has received on the internet, the judicial system, and media propaganda. They’re all very well put together, though riddled with grammar and spelling errors, and the well-argued though erroneous logic contradicts itself often. It’s very difficult to accept that Magnotta even believes half of the things he is saying. In fact, one might argue that he doesn’t at all, and these rants are made to make him appear not only sympathetic to the public, but also socially and politically aware. He wants us to think of him as being intelligent, attractive, and kind. He’s creating a portrait of himself he’s trying to sell to the world, very much the way many on the internet operate, under the guise of an appealing persona.
The same kind of behavior continues in a now defunct blog-entry that is screen-captured as a PDF here where he defends and confesses his necrophilia and cannibalistic tendencies.
When I was a young child, I used to spend much of my time alone, either in the woods or in
the local œmetery, where there was the grave ofa 19 year old boy who died in the early
half of last century. I felt close to that boy, and would pick flowers in the woods and take
them to his grave.
In 2003, I discovered a mummified corpse ofa young man in a vault, in a church where I was
doing restoration work for a friend. I fell in love with him, and it broke my heart to seal him in
there. I wanted to take him home and look after him.
I day dream about having him here with me. Silly ordinary things like watching TV together,
listening to music, ta king him out for picnics, watching a DVD late at night before taking him
up to bed with me. All very ordinary things, apart from the fact that I want to do them with a
desiccated or mummified corpse.
Idon’t have a problem attracting living men. I’m just naturally attracted to the dead.
The similarities between this confession, and the thoughts of the narrator from my short story are eerily similar, leading me to believe that Magnotta is no more a necrophile than I am. He’s creative and imaginative and can therefore imagine what it might be like to be a necrophile; more so than I do, as he at least has hands-on experience. My boyfriend, who was able to watch the whole of the video agrees with me as even the more sexual aspects of the snuff film didn’t actually feel like Magnotta was getting off on any of it. It was all another performance, a character he was playing for our benefit.
Based off of his blog entries, the act of him sending the severed torso to the police, the way he conducts himself through online interactions, I think that what Magnotta really gets off on is the attention. He lives for the audience to be watched and analyzed. I wonder if he’ll find this blog entry about himself and jack off to it at night, content with the idea that he is finally a household name, looking at himself in the mirror like Christian Bale in American Psycho.
While it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a site that is still hosting 1 Lunatic 1 Icepick, it’s relatively easy to find a video he put together of his badly photoshopped modelling photos. After briefly glimpsing at his more shocking video footage, I found his “modelling portfolio” as equally chilling for one reason: New Order’s True Faith is used in both videos. This leads me to believe that Magnotta feels nothing, and the same energy invested in creating a poorly-done modelling video is the same in killing his boyfriend and eating him. Anything to get an audience’s attention.
He couldn’t get famous by his good looks. He couldn’t get famous by his words. The only thing that ever got him the attention he craved was when he took the life of small animals for an internet audience. He liked it so much he stepped up his game and did something unspeakable, something monstrous.
It reminded me of an indie game created with the RPK Maker 2003 software called Dungeoneers: Beautiful Escape in which you play as a serial killer filming his murders for the sake of an online audience. Your performance is heavily criticized in reviews dependent upon how much suffering and torment you inflict upon your victim and how entertaining it is to your reviewers. Nothing matters but how many hits you get, right?
Luka has been spotted in Paris, France. He hasn’t been too smart about avoiding the public eye. I don’t think he can. Attention is an addiction for him, and it’s not the blood he craves, it’s the spotlight. I hope that this flaw in his methods will prove to be fatal to him, and that he’s able to be caught before killing again.
He will without a doubt certainly try.
Update: Magnotta has been apprehended