Luka Magnotta was 23 and years away from becoming the monster depicted in the headlines. The new name was one he chose himself, a sort of reinvention meant to purge bad memories. Luka Magnotta was born Eric Newman in Ontario in 1982. In one case, Magnotta said he needed money for dental work, so the friend deposited $1,200 in his prison account. The new name was one he chose himself, a sort of reinvention meant to purge bad memories. Some friends have sent Magnotta thousands of dollars.