What makes killers so fascinating and what makes people so fascinated with killers are one and the same question. Luke Magnotta was unknown to the world until Canadian government officials received dismembered body parts, but when he was arrested a week later in June 4th his story and name became infamous. He had made a video (named 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick) of himself killing, severing and eating his victim – the video circulated online leading to an international manhunt, arrest and eventually the celebrity status he had wanted.
This ties in with another of Jean Baudrillard’s theories of globilsation, how the 9/11 attacks were caused by advances in technology rather than religion. Snuff films are supposed to not exist, but thanks to the internet and cheap cameras, people’s ability to film and distribute torture and death has become a whole lot easier.
Plenty of gore and shock sites exist (documentingreality, rotten, goregrish) and contain a lot of sick material that has been collected from real life killings and torture, either from places of civil unrest or drug cartel beheadings. Even to the point where a real snuff video might surface and the users of such sites see it first-hand. One of the earliest sites dedicated to vile content was Rotten.com established in 1996, originally featuring disgusting medical conditions and other accidents. By the 2000s many more shock sites appeared and disturbing video became much easier thanks to advances in internet technology.
In 2009, two Russian teenagers were found guilty of murdering 21 people during a two month spree, whilst filming several of their murders (dubbing it 3 Guys 1 Hammer). Whilst this footage appealed to some people it was ultimately used for their conviction at trial.
Armin Meiwes was a German man who gained international notoriety for killing and eating a voluntary victim in 2001 that he had found on the internet. He filmed himself cutting up the victim and eating various body parts. The video was only shown to journalists and court members and has not yet made its way online – but there are many that anticipate its arrival. The video too secured his sentence, even though the victim was completely voluntary and that he had released those who wer enot confortable with the whole process.
Marek (one of the admins) from BestGore.com states that “Bad guys evolve as fast as the rest of the society, we live in an internet age. It’s only normal that the internet became the communication platform for the perpetrators…You won’t see perpetrators mailing letters with words cut out of a newspaper glued onto it to draw attention to their crimes anymore. [A] new generation of violent people will use the internet as a platform of choice for various purposes.” Violence has always existed, but it’s coming to a point where one’s sick actions can be easily shown to the wide world for a simple celebrity status.
Secret world of the suburban cannibal – http://www.theage.com.au. 2012. Secret world of the suburban cannibal – http://www.theage.com.au. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/01/14/1073877901829.html. [Accessed 29 November 2012].
Snuff: Murder and torture on the internet, and the people who watch it | The Verge. 2012. Snuff: Murder and torture on the internet, and the people who watch it | The Verge. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/13/3076557/snuff-murder-torture-internet-people-who-watch-it. [Accessed 29 November 2012].
William Pawlett, 2007. Jean Baudrillard: Against Banality (Key Sociologists). Edition. Routledge.