I made the mistake of watching the Magnotta video. Police hadn’t confirmed that the video was real at that point. They had just released the suspect’s name, the video was a rumor, and I was curious, so I googled it. I found it right away on Wednesday afternoon. It’s awful stuff. I felt shitty after watching it, to say the least. It also made me mad.
And then all this other stuff came out about Magnotta. Most disturbingly, that he was the (alleged) asshole who was torturing and killing kittens a few years ago and posting the videos online. That made me very mad. I’ve blogged in the past about how much animal abuse infuriates me, especially this online bragging bullshit. I had written about the Kenny Glenn case, and it was fairly similar. Well, up until about 2 weeks ago it was similar, anyhow. With Magnotta, the online campaign to identify and locate him was pretty impressive, but clearly it wasn’t taken seriously enough by authorities. And we now know what that can (allegedly) lead to.
The thing is, it’s not like we didn’t know that it can lead to murder. This isn’t a surprise.
For many individuals, animal abuse escalates unless something or someone intervenes. It’s been documented in research and is apparent in many legal cases. Just this year, it was revealed that Tori Stafford’s killer (McClintic) had microwaved a puppy when she was a child. It starts there. And the internet is making it easier for these fucked up individuals to share, to inspire, to brag, and encourage others.
But it’s also making it easier to find them. And people are willing to volunteer their time to do so, as Magnotta’s abuse videos demonstrated.
This asshole killed a bunch of kittens – and judging by a bunch of photos of Magnotta with terrified-looking dogs – he probably killed a bunch of dogs too. And who knows what or who else he’s harmed. It’s time to take it seriously.
Law enforcement, policy analysts, teachers, parents, social workers, peers, random people watching videos on the internet – everyone needs to take animal abuse seriously.
They’re not “just animals”. This abusive behaviour is a serious red flag. Quit fucking around and use it as such.