The owner of a website that showcases grisly videos says that his site should be praised for helping identify Luka Rocco Magnotta, who is alleged to be in a video believed to depict the stabbing and dismemberment of a man.
In an email exchange with CBC News, Edmonton-based Mark Marek, owner of Best Gore website, said members of his site were able to identify Magnotta days before the discovery of the torso in Montreal and a foot at the Conservative Party of Canada headquarters in Ottawa. A hand was also found at a Canada Post terminal that was addressed to the Liberal Party of Canada headquarters.
Magnotta, 29, is wanted in connection with the discovery of those body parts and the video.
"People should be grateful and thank [the] great job Best Gore did to ensure everyone's safety," Marek said.
"Because the video was made public, Best Gore community was able to identify the [suspect] and report it."
Marek said he doesn't believe the 10½-minute video was sent to him by Magnotta.
"I do not actually run background checks on my contributor so I can’t say that for sure. By the sound of it, I doubt it was Magnotta, but as I said, I neither have the capabilities nor interest in verifying identities of contributors," he said.
"Many would not contribute if they had no option to remain anonymous. But I'm 99 per cent sure it was not Magnotta. No, the tone in which it was sent to me — no, it just wasn’t him."
Marek said the video was forwarded to him on May 25 and posted on the same day. He said it is not known when it was filmed.
He said police have not yet contacted him.
Marek described the site as the "largest reality news website" on the internet that plays an important role in informing people "what may lurk in their neighbourhoods."
"Myself and other Best Gore members are people who don't live with rose tinted sunglasses permanently mounted on our faces. We see the real nature of men on a daily basis so this video was just another example of what we know people are capable of."
He dismissed critics of the site, saying that they feel "threatened when their rose colored world is exposed for not being this cosy warm place they force themselves to believe it is."
He said the website has contributed to making safer neighbourhoods.
"There are literally thousands of people who can attest to that and confirm that the breaking point was their exposure to content on Best Gore. Best Gore exposes the real threats — the drunk drivers, the reckless drivers, the animal abusers, etc. — they are the ones who need to be regulated, not websites that expose them."
But Toronto-based internet law expert Gil Zvulony told CBC News that although he hasn't seen the video, it falls under the Criminal Code's obscenity laws.
'It's a crime to publish that," he said.
Zvulony said he doesn't believe the video would be covered by the "public good" defence.
"The question is, posting it online, does that really further the public good. Couldn't they have simply notified the police?"