Most people had never heard of Luka Magnotta… until a severed human hand and foot were mailed to Canadian government officials. But by the time the 29-year old alleged killer was arrested in an Internet café in Germany less than a week later on June 4th, his name and back-story were infamous. Magnotta had apparently made a video of himself killing, dismembering, and eating his victim. The video had circulated online, leading to Magnotta's identification as the suspect, an international manhunt, and ultimately, the mainstream celebrity he'd always craved.

Snuff films were supposed to be an urban legend. And yet, it turns out, now they're real. Thanks to the Internet, peoples' ability to film and distribute murder to a mass audience has never been easier.

The audience congregates on gore sites (also known as shock sites) like,, and The members of these sites, which are hosted in Canada and the US, respectively, scour the Internet for videos of true-life killings, maiming, torture, and abuse, and post them for millions of fellow gore seekers.

Considering the states of unrest in places like Syria, Mexico, and the former Soviet Union, the sites and their users have a lot to choose from. You'll find entire topics devoted just to Mexican drug cartel beheadings, for example, and surprisingly intimate footage taken from dashboards with camera phones, that make you feel as if you're right there in the car with the Zetas as they're gunning down rivals.

But amidst the videos of accidents, drug violence, bombings and executions, an occasional video of private citizens killing other private citizens for kicks pops up. So when the Magnotta video debuted, most gore site users were less shocked than you might think. After all, they'd been following his career all along.

Warning: the referenced sites, videos, and links contain graphic content of torture, gore, and violence. Surf at your own peril.