How far do people go to reach fame? In this age of Instagram and influencers, people do a lot of things to get to the top, to get noticed, to get that fame they have been searching for. Some even do cruel crimes to achieve this.
Don’t F$&% With Cats is is a Netflix limited series or, how they used to say before the internet, a TV movie by writer and director Mark Lewis and was released in 2019. It is broken down into four episodes and follows the journey of an online group of vigilantes who want to avenge cats that were tortured and killed in a video on the web. Through their detective work, they find the man responsible and try to notify the authorities of his location, but the police fail to get involved until he commits murder, which was also posted online.
Beware: spoilers ahead
The Breakdown of Episodes
The first episode, “Cat and Mouse,” discusses how the group was founded on Facebook and who were the leaders. It started out as a small group until the second video of the cats appeared and more people joined the rally to find the culprit. They discuss the cats and videos in detail, as they analyze everything in the video from the wall outlet to the vacuum cleaner in the corner.
The second episode is called “Killing for Clicks” and exposes who the culprit of these cat murders were, and his need for fame. The group has to create a smaller private group in order to investigate their suspect, Luka Magnotta, more. They discover his obsession with other murders and films such as Basic Instinct. There are several overlaps between Magnotta’s schemes and Basic Instinct – I will let you dear reader watch this documentary for more information! He was also very obsessed with fame, having fake accounts to bolster his image on YouTube and other platforms. This second episode gives way to his final viral video – the death of Jun Lin.
In the final episode, titled “Closing the Net,” it goes into detail of the murder, him running from the police, his capture, and his court hearing. The original Facebook group is ecstatic that their investigation proved correct with the responsible individual; however, they also express helplessness that they couldn’t do anything more to save Jun Lin, as they saw the signs from the very first cat video.
It was interesting as well for me, a big lover of murder documentaries, that Luka Magnotta was giving clues to this vigilante group (to fill his ego). These clues were related to other famous serial killers’ victims such as the Moors murders in Britain. Because I had watched this documentary prior, I was able to explain it to my boyfriend, but the average viewer might not understand the full significance of these clues since Don’t F%$& with Cats does not go in depth into these other murders.
The Longer Impact
At the time of writing, I am living in Montreal. Once this show went live on Netflix and after two days of people binge watching it, social media blew up. There is a company called MTL Blog, which in the following days after this release, they posted about the series: about the apartment and location the murder took place, about how it is now being rented by someone, etc. The comments were a bit harsh saying that the new renters have no respect. Perhaps the new renters don’t know about the history.
A little information on Montreal, it is actually an island and most activities are in the middle of downtown and other areas called Plateau, Rosemont, Verdun, etc. However, there are a fair amount of Montrealers that live off-island in neighborhoods called Laval and Longeuil. They take public transportation or drive every day onto the island and into the downtown part of the city to go about their daily activities.
This apartment is situated rather close to the middle of everything on the island and is in a pretty quiet neighborhood. I am sure the area does not like this new development in the areas history. I know I would feel uneasy knowing a murder happened so close. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss in situations like this.
It is even further interesting that native Montrealers were not even aware of this crime until the show. However, quite a few of the French expats did know about it. Magnotta escaped to France and was finally captured in Germany. I believe the media was more active sharing the story in Europe than it was in Montreal. Perhaps Montrealers were embarrassed that something like this happened. I cannot say anything for sure, I just found it an interesting note that foreigners knew more than locals.
Now that it has been awhile since the series was released, comments about the apartment has died down and no one really talks about it or the murder anymore. How life is in the age of social media: it becomes viral quick and dies quick. Little did Magnotta realize his fame would be such short lived.
It was said that this documentary just fed into Magnotta’s need to be famous. Personally, I think it is good to share information on murderers – where they come from and the signs leading to their crimes. The more information that is out there the better. But, one man they interviewed was friends with the victim and said now Magnotta is famous, or rather infamous – people will know his name and not the victim.
Truthfully, I have a hard time remembering either name, but this is true. The killers are usually remembered more than the victims. Who remembers the victims of Charlie Manson or Ted Bundy?
So, let me dedicate this article to the victim: Jun Lin. Hopefully, as a society, we can view documentaries and murder news as a way to pay respects to the victim, to know that their memory has not been tossed aside just like their bodies were.
Similarities to Other Killers
I am a big murder-documentary viewer. I love the psychology of it and how people reach the point where they believe killing someone is fine. After watching this, I watched another documentary called The Assassination of Gianni Versace. The murderer here was also like Magnotta, as both were looking to become famous, rich, and highly respected.
To me, it was eerie how similar the two were in personality. From my understanding as well, both had difficulties accepting being gay. Perhaps this also comes from a world that hasn’t quite accepted people who identify differently than the “norm.” This of course does not excuse murder or torturing animals by any means, but it could shed insight into the mindset of the murderers.
A further note, in today’s age of online dating and getting into strangers’ cars with programs like Uber, let us take Jun Lin’s situation as a warning. How both men met was through an online listing on Craigslist. For safety reasons, it is best to meet in public spaces at least once. Unfortunately, as much as we wish it, we cannot trust every single person. Be careful who you meet online. As Magnotta was able to sneak into the vigilantes’ group on Facebook and taunt them with clues, the internet is by no means secure.
This series is definitely worth the watch. It was well put together and leaves viewers hanging onto each episode to the point you have to binge watch it. The actual events are twisted and how the story is told gives you some idea of the horror.
This article was written by a guest contributor
Marinella hails from her travel blog My Open Passport. She is a big fan of film, which was her second degree after Marketing in university. She is a lover of all genres, but tends to get drawn to documentaries, drama, action, and foreign films/series, as she also speaks Spanish and French. Follow her on Instagram | YouTube | Pinterest