Murder of Bianca Devins
Bianca Michelle Devins
October 2, 2001
New Hartford, New York, U.S.
|Died||July 14, 2019 (aged 17)|
Utica, New York, U.S.
|Cause of death||Homicide by stabbing|
Bianca Michelle Devins (October 2, 2001 – July 14, 2019) was a teen from New Hartford, New York, who was stabbed to death in Utica, New York on July 14, 2019, after attending a Nicole Dollanganger concert. The case gained international interest as images of Devins' mutilated corpse were shared on the Internet.
Initial reports focused on depictions of Devins as a social media star, though later details suggested media coverage may have exaggerated the teen's notoriety as follower counts prior to the virality of images of her death indicated a modest following. Though early online discussion speculated Devins was killed by an online stalker, Oneida County prosecutors believe Devins was murdered by an individual she had met online, who to some degree had a real world relationship with her. Utica Police and prosecutors suspected the murderer acted out of jealousy over Devins showing romantic interest in another man.
After the murder, the suspect took pictures of the victim's bloodied body and posted it to Discord and his own Instagram page. Images of Devins' corpse were widely shared on social media, with the hashtag #RIPBianca. The photos gained traction on 4chan where many users mocked her death, saying she "deserved it" and praising the killer while depicting Devins as a manipulative young woman. The alleged murderer and his victim had become acquainted via Discord, a chat app, and had apparently become friends before the stabbing. The murder sparked news attention to violence by young, Internet-obsessed men, and the concepts of "orbiters", a term referring to young men with unrequited crushes, and "e-girls", a general term applied to young women with a considerable online presence. It also brought attention to the issue of perpetrators of violent crimes posting their graphic acts on social media platforms. The crime has been discussed as a case of domestic violence against women caused by toxic masculinity.
On July 29, 2019, Brandon Clark, the murder suspect, 21 at the time, pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. The same day, Facebook terminated Clark's social media accounts and added images of the murder to a digital fingerprint database to prevent further distribution. The hashtag #yesjuliet was also blacklisted, while the Discord server that shared the corpse photo was terminated. Devins, a recent high school graduate, was a student at Mohawk Valley Community College with the goal of getting a degree in psychology. On February 10, 2020, the accused changed his plea to guilty.
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- Gold, Michael (July 15, 2019). "#RIPBianca: How a Teenager's Brutal Murder Ended Up on Instagram". The New York Times.
- Arnold, Amanda (July 29, 2019). "For Hours, Photos of a 17-Year-Old Girl's Brutal Murder Were on Instagram". The Cut.
- Dickson, E.J. (July 30, 2019). "Bianca Devins Murder Suspect Pleads Not Guilty". Rolling Stone.
- Darrah, Nicole (July 30, 2019). "New York man charged in grisly Instagram murder pleads not guilty, eerily similar family trauma revealed". Fox News.
- Lohmann, Patrick (July 15, 2019). "Bianca Devins: Lies, scams, misogyny explode online before facts; grieving family debunks rumors". Syracuse.com.
- Cills, Hazel (July 16, 2019). "This Is How You Build a Dead Girl Narrative in Real Time". Jezebel.com.
- Jennings, Rebecca (August 1, 2019). "E-girls and e-boys, explained". Vox. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
- Owen, Tess (July 19, 2019). "The E-girl Community Is a World of Glittery Pink Clouds, Harassment – And Now Murder". VICE News.
- Wong, Queenie (July 15, 2019). "Instagram's dark side: Grisly photos of teen's slaying spread on social media". CNET.
- Dastagir, Alia (July 17, 2019). "Bianca Devins' murder is 'not an Instagram story,' domestic violence expert says". USA Today. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
- Boyanton, Megan (July 23, 2019). "Don't blame the internet for 17-year-old Bianca Devins' viral murder". Arizona Republic. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
- Romine, Taylor (July 29, 2019). "Brandon Clark, accused of killing internet personality, pleads not guilty". CNN.
- Dickson, E.J. (February 10, 2020). "Brandon Clark Pleads Guilty to the Murder of 17-Year-Old Bianca Devins". Rolling Stone.
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