I just watched my first snuff video.
Well, not "technically" snuff: The male murder victim was alive and moving (albeit heavily drugged) at the beginning of the 10-minute clip. And you didn't see him get killed. But he was clearly dead by the time all the mutilation started. And there was a LOT of nasty (and, finally, tediously drawn out) mutilation (to the musical accompaniment of "True Faith" by New Order, which also was featured in the film "American Psycho").
Why I watched: Maybe I was mad because I never could find the Pamela Anderson/Tommy Lee sex tape online. Or see the "Osama bin-Laden dead" photo. Seriously. I always hear about these things but by the time I look them up, all actual video/photos have been taken down. So this time I WAS going to see something forbidden, dammit.
Once I'd found the clip but before I started it, I was wondering how I would react: Would I get physically sick? Would I be outraged? Angst-ridden? Scarred for life?
How I initially came across this creepy clip was through an (I thought) innocuous small headline on Yahoo's News page today: "Canadian porn star killer's victim identified." Just looking for something to read, I clicked on it.
Lots of weird details followed: The killer's name (after changing it a couple of years ago) is "Luka Rocco Magnotta" --- which, I think, is a really great made-up name. (His real name is "Eric Clinton Newman.") He's a sleazy, ageing (29) gay twink who's done some stripping and escorting in the past (hardly a porn "star" -- just an ageing gay club kid who couldn't even make it as a waiter).
But there's more: It turns out he's invented online a whole persona for himself: porn star, model (with 3 self-created websites featuring photo galleries -- TOTALLY like another ageing twink with equally dead eyes that I know), member of the Russian mafia, victim of both the judicial system and online slander... Oh, and he was interviewed by the "Toronto Sun" a couple of years ago bemoaning the "fact" that since he once dated notorious serial killer Karla Homolka, the media wouldn't leave him alone... (He never dated Homolka.) Wait, there's still more... He's also been posting online in recent years various videos of killing kittens, which led to animal rights groups protesting and reporting him to authorities.
AND... He himself posted this snuff video before MAILING THE BODY PARTS to Canadian officials and then disappearing (he's believed to now be in France).
His murder victim was Lin Jun, a 33-year-old Chinese student who was first reported missing on May 24. An Interpol warrant for Magnotta's arrest was issued May 30. I'm sure there's much more to follow. (Shades of Andrew Cunanan, another twink who went on a killing spree in 1997 and famously murdered Versace before killing himself. All of which I followed avidly on CNN, since I didn't have a computer and online access until 2000.)
How I reacted to seeing the Magnotta mutilation clip: No dramatic running to throw up, just an initial extreme mental nausea and mild physical nausea as the thing went on and on and on for 10 minutes, finally actually becoming mundane, as hard as that is to admit. After a while, the flesh-cutting started to look almost like what you'd see live in the butcher section of any supermarket. And then I, not willingly, found myself thinking, "WHY is it taking so long to cut a chunk out of the buttocks?" Even the little dog at the end lapping at the bloody stumps didn't completely phase me; after all, hadn't I already read about such in "Hollywood Babylon" (actress Marie Prevost's fate)?
Even the New Order song shut off halfway through, so the viewer was just left with silence (aside from a couple of sneezes) while the dull ugliness went on and on...
But I'd vowed that I would be tough and watch it all the way through, just to say that I did. And I did. I've now seen a snuff video.
What I wonder about my own psyche: I knew the links to both the human-mutilation and the kitten-killing. I was willing to go see the human mutilation, but not the kitten-killing. And I'm willing to share the horrible human mutilation link here ("1 Lunatic, 1 Icepick"), but not the links to the killing of the kittens.