Before becoming a suspect in a bizarre murder case making international headlines, Luka Rocco Magnotta had a knack for putting off editors with seedy contributions on a Vancouver-based citizen journalism portal.
Magnotta, currently the subject of a manhunt for allegedly killing a person in Montreal and shipping body parts to the federal Conservative and Liberal parties in Ottawa, was a regular contributor to Orato.com.
Even then, a former senior editor (who wished to remain anonymous) said his articles “did tip one off to the fact he wasn’t quite right”.
“His posting caused mostly eye rolling among the editor staff,” the editor recalled. “But as we didn’t want to encourage him, I don’t think we engaged him much.”
Magnotta wrote about being a male model and escort, being discriminated against because of his good looks and about theories of shadow people (whether perceived shapes and movements people sometimes see in their periphery vision are in fact real beings, be it supernatural or people from another dimension).
Staff openly questioned whether Magnotta had fabricated rumoured romantic links to serial killer Karla Homolka “because he wanted to be infamous”.
“I remember us calling him a narcissist,” the editor said. “There was some debate during editorial meetings as to whether we should delete his postings because they were so seedy, but ultimately we did not because he hadn’t done anything wrong besides be weird and creepy.”
Magnotta’s 2007 post on shadow people is still available on the website, but his previous contributions have been lost since a website revamp.
Orato, launched in 2006 and based in Vancouver, features stories contributed by members of the public.