House of Mystery Radio/Inside Writing

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BRIAN WHITNEY - LUKA MAGNOTTA

In 2012, the Canadian Press ignited a firestorm of criticism by naming killer Luka Magnotta as its “Newsmaker Of The Year.” But while the recognition was questionable for its sensitivity, there’s no doubt that few people had captured the public’s attention like the young murderer and internet sensation.


A male escort and sometimes model, Magnotta had earned his notoriety by videotaping himself stabbing Chinese student Lin Jun to death with an ice pick and dismembering the body, before posting the video online. After mailing Jun’s hands and feet to elementary schools, he then led Interpol on a manhunt that ended when he was arrested at an Internet café in Berlin where he was reading news stories about himself.


An international celebrity in a macabre sort of way, with a legion of fans, Magnotta was brought back to Canada, convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to prison. During this time, Anna Yourkin, his estranged mother, troubled by Magnotta’s abused childhood and her role in that, reconnected with her killer son.


Despite his internet fame, Magnotta never agreed to any in-depth interviews. Now Magnotta has given award-winning journalist and author, Brian Whitney (RAW DEAL, THE SHAWCROSS LETTERS) an exclusive look inside the mind of this “social media” killer. Joining Whitney to tell this unique true crime story is Anna Yourkin. The book also contains exclusive photos provided by Yourkin.

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10/15/2020

PICTURES OF THE ABYSS - ANDREW FIRTH

In the early years of the twentieth century, London was a city of opposites. The affluent west of the city was prosperous and wealthy, but in contrast the east was an area of poverty, crime and disease. Life expectancy was low, and the streets were filled with the homeless, the destitute and the sick.When the American author Jack London ventured into the East End in the summer of 1902 to research the hopeless living conditions so typical of the area, he was to witness such sights as the cramped living conditions in shabby Frying Pan Alley, the revolting menial tasks that inmates of the Whitechapel casual ward carried out to pay for a dismal bed and a frugal meal of bread and ‘skilly’. In his book “The People of the Abyss”, a written account of his experiences, he relayed the tale of Dan Cullen, a resident of one of Whitechapel’s municipal dwellings, whose worsening health had forced him to move into the old Temperance Hospital, near Euston station. Jack had witnessed the sorry sight of the homeless sheltering under Tower Bridge and others trying to sleep by the steps of Christ Church in Spitalfields. He had tasted coffee and tea that was close in appearance to dirty dishwater and bore little resemblance to anything his readers might have drunk, and he had seen desperately hungry men and women pawing their way through the filthiest of meat scraps outside a butcher’s shop in Aldgate. In short, he had, if only briefly, lived the life of one of the people of the abyss, and had witnessed the horrendous life that circumstance had forced them to endure.As well as his vivid written descriptions of the East End, Jack London also photographed a considerable number of evocative scenes to complement the text. These well-known images have been frequently reprinted over the years, often to illustrate books about Jack the Ripper and the East End in general.