Luka Magnotta, who is wanted by police in connection with the Conservative body part mailings.
Credits: QMI AGENCY
"I am not dating Karla Homolka."
Luka Magnotta is the man's name and the 25-year-old is almost in tears as he passionately makes this point.
Now that declaration alone from someone might not normally warrant mainstream news coverage.
For example if someone came to our 333 King St. E. building and declared "I did not kill JFK" our security guys like John Culbert and Alan Miller would call the hospital and arrange for the person to see a psychiatrist.
And then along comes Luka Magnotta.
You can look up the name yourself on the Internet and you will find plenty of hits. One of the things you will find on Wikipedia is he also goes by Eric Clinton Newman and yet on his Ontario driver's licence it says Luka Magnotta. He said Eric is his birth name but "I had the name legally changed."
Now there have been rumours around for months that the self-described male model and adult film performer, who boasts of having an addiction to cosmetic surgery, has been linked romantically to the school-girl killer.
NO MYTHS HERE
I didn't take it seriously since the mainstream media does not cover urban myths.
But the rules kind of get blurred sometimes in the Internet world that is 2007 where there are just as many websites saying the hijacked airplanes did not hit the Twin Towers on 9/11 as there are credible news organizations who say they did.
Authenticity and the Internet is actually quite a subject since I predict one day somebody will pull a fast one that will make Orson Welles' War of the Worlds scare look like a high school prank.
With all of this in mind I am listening to my radio Wednesday night and an excellent show by AM 640's John Downs about the pros and cons of the Internet and Google and how it has altered the landscape. One of the callers was Magnotta, who seemed clearly upset about what he was describing as an on-going conspiracy to smear his name. "I have lost modelling jobs and have been receiving death threats," he told Downs. "People are so stupid because I don't even know Karla Homolka."
Magnotta, who showed me e-mails of his turning down other requests from other Toronto media outlets, agreed to meet us here at the Sun building yesterday and you can check out the video on torontosun.com. "I want to set the record straight," he said. "I not only have never dated Karla, I have never even met her."
Yet on the Internet it is rampant with discussion about this -- including on some Karla websites and on some gossip sites too. "I just wish it would stop," he said. "I wish they would leave me alone."
The young man was groggy and shaking as he spoke. "I took some sleeping pills and could not sleep last night," he said. "I have had death threats and someone stole my dog."
He says he thinks it's all because of this crazy rumour which, he claims, he has no idea how it got started. "I think it might be from someone in my past," he said. "I have worked in adult films and I have met lots of people."
We offered to get him some medical help but he declined. "I do have a therapist," he said.
Now I know what you are thinking. It has an Internet hoax feel to it. Either way it just shows the power of the Internet and what can be created on there. But what if it is not a hoax and that this human being is in need of assistance as a result of something posted on there?
"My life feels like it is spinning out of control," he said, his lips quivering.
If there is anyone out there who can help this young man I think this might be the right time to do it.
Meanwhile, I telephoned the kid's modelling agency and they did confirm he was on their roster and it did check out that there is lots of Internet buzz about this subject --including some who suggest it was Luka himself who started all of these rumours.
He insists the rumours were not created by him and that he is a victim of a smear campaign. "How would you like it if someone linked you to this?"
He said he's scared to answer his door and is spooked by e-mails and Facebook entries that claim to either be Karla or even her lawyer Sylvie Bordelais, who did not return a call to the Toronto Sun last night.
The latest word on Karla is that she is married and has a child in Montreal and has nothing to do with Luka Magnotta and never did. Hopefully this column today will result in a man getting some help and another crazy urban myth being put to bed once and for all.
It could also serve as another example of just how powerful the Internet really is.