An online video believed to be linked to a Montreal murder and
dismemberment case has stirred debate about web hosting, user-submitted
content and legal responsibility.
Reports indicate police are weighing whether the owner of
BestGore.com, an Edmonton-based website specializing in gruesome
content, should face charges for hosting a video that purportedly
depicts a naked man being stabbed with an ice pick and eventually
Police believe the chilling video, titled "1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick," may
depict the death and dismemberment of a 33-year-old Chinese student at a
Speculation has abounded about whether website owner Mark Marek can
face obscenity charges for carrying what is thought to be real footage
of a grisly murder.
Multiple reports indicate charges are pending, but Marek says he hasn't heard from police.
"Up to this point, the police have not made contact with me. I
removed the video on my own terms, not on the request by the police," he
wrote in an email to the Canadian Press.
Curious web surfers were able to access the video on BestGore.com
until Montreal police identified Luka Rocco Magnotta as a suspect in the
death of Jun Lin, said Marek.
Police believe Lin is the person who is shown being stabbed and
mutilated in the video. His torso was discovered near Magnotta's
Montreal apartment last week. Police later linked the torso to a severed
hand and foot that were mailed to the offices of political parties in
Lawyer Mark Hayes of Hayes eLaw LLP says, from a legal standpoint, the video is obscene.
"Our laws treat obscenity as being harm-based and there's a lot of
harm in that video, not just to the individuals involved but potentially
to society," he told CTV's Canada AM on Wednesday.
Whether or not Marek should be charged, said Hayes, remains the real sticking point.
According to Hayes, police will attempt to answer certain questions before obscenity charges are laid. These might include:
- How long did the video remain online?
- Was the content being "distributed?"
- What was the webmaster's intent in keeping this video up?
Marek has told CP that he initially thought the video was a bad joke,
and may have been made by someone with access to dead bodies. In a
statement posted to his website, Marek suggested that keeping the video
up allowed BestGore browsers to identify the suspect before police did.
It's unclear how Marek's website received the so-called snuff video,
whether it was submitted by a random Internet user or the creator of the
film. As well, it's difficult to establish when Marek realized the
footage could be real and how long he waited before he disabled it.
Toronto-based lawyer Gil Zvulony, who specializes in matters related
to the Internet, said it may not matter whether what was being shown in
the video actually happened.
"Whether it was real or fake, the depictions are obscene," he told
CTV News Channel on Wednesday. "In my view, keeping it online was
Facing a maelstrom of media attention, Marek has also found himself
defending the overall grisly nature of the content on BestGore.com,
asserting that his website is a "real news" site.
Zvulony, however, isn't convinced that argument applies.
"Free expression is not a definite right, we have all sorts of limitations," he said.
Please Add Comments
Two things here.
1. We live in a free country. This is the type of stuff we all must deal with.
Don't blame an operator of a website for what someone posts on it. Half
the web sites out there have illegal materials on them. Copyrighted and
You want all this sort of stuff gone? Move to china.
really now..every bullying tape on utube,, of and btw guess that
wont stop the cops from using it as evidence after haveing discovered
it online..hmmm , charge the content hosters and use it as evidence,
This doesn't take brains to figure out it's WRONG.
Any crime that is videotaped and aired on the internet MUST be illegal and punishable by jail time.
Ok ok, big deal the video got out there, that's what Luka
wanted. It probably helped to identify him. He also wanted to be
caught. Now he finally has the attention that he has always wanted,
even though he is now notorious, any attention is good attention in his
eyes I feel. Can you say narcissist? The world knew his name and face
for a few days, and when this is all over and done, he will be in
jail.... maybe, maybe not. Brandon Pardi killed a little girl with his
car, and he got a slap on the wrist. Totally unjust! Killing someone is
killing someone and the punishment should be the same. Soon this will
all be forgotten just like the Shafias, unless the media digs it up
again. The justice system in Canada is a JOKE!
BOTTOM OF THE BARREL
Marek doesn't have a moral leg to stand on. If he has a legal
leg to stand on, it's only because our laws are insufficient where the
internet is concerned. He is responsible for the content of his
website, and if videos are posted that "appear to depict" vicious or
gruesome murder, society should obligate him to immediately make such
suspicion known to law enforcement authorities. (We need not concern
ourselves with videos of, say, people driving recklessly, where no harm
results.) As for this website itself, it is not a "news" source, as
Marek defensively suggests, and merely facilitates the depraved cravings
and perverted exhibitive desires of twisted souls. It represents,
perfectly, the dark underbelly of the internet.
This video is available not just on Best Gore (which was taken
down a few days ago) but this video is STILL available on numerious porn
sites and gore sites ALL over the web! What erks me is not the webhost,
but the people who have watched the video and are unphased of the
gruesome content. People are SO desensitized to this kind of gore that
it doesnt even phase them that this is a real person, a real human
beings life being chopped up and defiled!My heart goes out to the family
of this young man, and hope the pain and suffering they are feeling
will soon be bareable.
While this entire scenario is very disturbing, bizarre, and
ghoulish I believe the fact that this video was hosted on a server
captured the entire worlds attention! Without the added attention and
worldwide fascination Luka Magnotta may have been on the loose for a
much longer period of time. Having said that; I also believe that
hosting something so abhorrent for monetary gains or to boost website
popularity is disgusting and disrespectful to the victims of these
crimes/accidents and their families. if its shown that this video was on
his website for his gain only and not to aid in the capture of a
criminal the host should face some sort of discipline
I thought snuff films were banned. How is this video any different?
This guy likes to make himself look important. He assumes
that because of him, people were able to identify the killer and arrest
him. He didn't do a darn thing towards any of it, but wants to claim
fame for it. Give me a break.He didn't know who this killer was as he
thought it was a joke and that it was someone doing this to dead bodies.
How sick is that? Even if it was 'only dead bodies', it was still a
human .. a person who died and to see some nutcase do that to a dead
person is disgusting and most certainly disrespectful. Only after the
discovery of body parts were the police notified of this video (not by
Marek either) and THEY identified him, not Marek.Had he thought as a
responsible person would have, he'd have not posted it, contacted the
person who submitted it and asked about it (just in case it wasn't a
joke) before posting it and still contacted the police. You don't
dismember a dead person's body, especially for entertainment purposes.
He's got one heck of a disgusting sense of humour if he thought it was a
'joke'. It is sick people like him that post things without thinking
that there are other sick people in this world and could copy-cat what
Everyone just ask yourself this: What if it was you being
broadcast across the globe, or even worse yet, your love one, your son,
your wife, your mom etc... and being haunted with these images forever?
can't even put into words what Jun Lin's family must feel right now. I
can only be a voice to try to stop this film from spreading.
There is law and there is humanity. This film is a violation of humanity.
What bothers me about this particular case is that the website
owner actually made money off of the advertising and 'hits' while this
was up. I'd love to see him forced to cut a cheque to the victim's
parents for what the police and those in the industry say he made off of
Flys....should be flies....I know.
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