‘Don’t F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer‘ on Netflix is the latest true crime docuseries that highlights one of the most shocking crimes as we see how the internet plays a role in the creation, and eventual capture of the killer. Luka Magnotta, the person who went down for the horrific deeds, is pushed to the forefront. He gained notoriety for suffocating cats, drowning them, and feeding one to a python. All the while, the grisly videos were recorded and released online to gain attention. Ultimately, Magnotta escalated to killing and dismembering an Asian student while on tape.
When he was brought in for his crimes, Magnotta pointed his finger at Manny Lopez. Manny became a sort of fall guy for Luka, who blamed him for making him commit the crimes. Even the act of videotaping was attributed to Manny, and the docuseries is careful to show how both sides reacted to the presence and influence of Manny in Luka’s life. His mother constantly urges that a closer look must be attributed to Manny, while the online sleuths who helped track Luka down are quick to systematically rule out Manny as the real culprit.
Now, you might be a little confused and wondering about which story to believe. Don’t worry, because we have got you covered about whether Manny Lopez is real, and if he really did convince Luka to commit the terrible crimes.
Who is Manny Lopez?
According to Magnotta, Manny met him in 2010, when Luka was working as an escort in New York. Manny, or Manuel Lopez, was into bondage, threesomes, and videotaping said actions. Naturally, in Magnotta’s line of work, some clients might get out of hand, and Manny seemed to be such a case.
Magnotta also later revealed to Dr. Joel Watts, the psychiatrist who interviewed him, that Manny took away Magnotta’s medication (which he was prescribed due to his mental problems). Manny tried to convince him that the medications were making him more nervous. When Magnotta attempted to explain the depth of his illness and the need for medication to Manny, the latter apparently became enraged and hit him. This sounds like the start of an abusive relationship, which is exactly what Magnotta felt. He grew increasingly fearful of Manny, which is when he tried to move to Miami.
This brings us to the next question of whether Manny forced Magnotta to kill the cats and Lin Jun.
Did Manny Lopez Force Luka Magnotta to Kill?
Considering that Manny was an abusive lover who seemed to have a lot of say in Magnotta’s life, and someone the latter was genuinely afraid of, we must ask ourselves if he might have forced Magnotta to kill. The latter clearly believes that Manny made him kill the cats, even going to the extent of filming it. According to Luka, as seen in Watts’ report, it was Manny’s intention to sell these videos on the ‘dark web’. Notably, when speaking with mental health professionals, Luka used a passive bystander’s sentence about the videos, saying, “it makes no sense the videos were put online.”
Even Magnotta’s mother stated that she believed Manny really was behind the killings and had urged her son to go to the police with the information, but Luka was afraid of what Manny might do to him or his family if he attempted to oust him.
In the case of Lin Jun, Magnotta maintains that Manny phoned him repeatedly while he was with Jun. Ultimately, Magnotta says that it was Manny who told him to kill Jun and cut his body into pieces.
Now that we know who Manny is, and what Magnotta has accused him of, we must ask ourselves, how much of all this is real.
Is Manny Lopez a Real Person?
To determine whether Manny Lopez is a real person, we have to consider two plausible scenarios. Firstly, no traces or evidence of anyone by the name of Manny or Manuel Lopez could be found by the authorities when they were investigating Luka’s claims. Moreover, on the night of Jun’s murder, Luka had apparently not received any phone call. So, yes, by all accounts, Manny Lopez was a creation of Luka’s mind and didn’t exist in reality. To understand how he created Manny, we must look into his fascination with the iconic film of the 90s, ‘Basic Instinct’.
Manny: A Character in Basic Instinct
Luka created several alibis for himself; one of them was K. Tramell. Later, it’s revealed that his fascination with movies and serial killers had overlapped here, to make him borrow the name of Sharon Stone’s character, Catherine Tramell, in ‘Basic Instinct‘.
In fact, the murder of Jun seems to be a homage to the opening scene of the movie as well, with Luka tying up the hands of the victim, straddling him, and then stabbing him with a screwdriver designed to look like an ice pick. Even the glass piece which is at the center of the frame in the movie is replaced by a poster of ‘Casablanca‘ in his video. Moreover, Luka’s message to The Sun, about escalating his killings, is similarly phrased like one of Tramell’s in the film. Luka had said, “You see, killing is different then (sic) smoking…with smoking you can actually quit.” Luka was also quick to point out to a lawyer he approached about help for having killed the cats, that he looked a lot like Michael Douglas (Basic Instinct’s lead actor).
After being arrested, Luka is seen smoking in the interrogation room, and crossing his legs, which is reminiscent of the iconic leg-crossing scene in ‘Basic Instinct’. With so many references to the movie, it seems as though Luka was really influenced by it, and wanted his life to play out like that. In fact, what is not mentioned in the documentary is that he had written a book report in school about Stone and Ava Gardner as well.
The real punch in the gut moment happens when you realize that Luka’s invoking of an abusive ex is eerily similar to Tramell’s own abusive ex in the film and both are not-so-coincidentally named Manny. Yes, as shocking as this might seem, but it is more than clear that Luka imagined Manny Lopez and named him after a character from one of his favorite films.
Read More: Where is Luka Magnotta Now?