Murder of Bianca Devins

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Bianca Devins
Born
Bianca Michelle Devins

(2001-10-02)October 2, 2001
DiedJuly 14, 2019(2019-07-14) (aged 17)
Cause of deathHomicide 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.[1] Though early online discussion speculated Devins was killed by an online stalker,[2] 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.[3] Utica Police and prosecutors suspected the murderer acted out of jealousy over Devins showing romantic interest in another man.[4][5]

After the murder, the suspect took pictures of the victim's bloodied body and posted it to Discord and his own Instagram page.[4] 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.[6][7] The alleged murderer and his victim had become acquainted via Discord, a chat app, and had apparently become friends before the stabbing.[8] 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.[9] It also brought attention to the issue of perpetrators of violent crimes posting their graphic acts on social media platforms.[10] The crime has been discussed as a case of domestic violence against women caused by toxic masculinity.[11][12]

On July 29, 2019, Brandon Clark, the murder suspect, 21 at the time, pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.[13] 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.[10] 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.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cooper, Kelly-Leigh (July 21, 2019). "Bianca Devins: The teenager whose murder was exploited for clicks". BBC News.
  2. ^ Gold, Michael (July 15, 2019). "#RIPBianca: How a Teenager's Brutal Murder Ended Up on Instagram". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Arnold, Amanda (July 29, 2019). "For Hours, Photos of a 17-Year-Old Girl's Brutal Murder Were on Instagram". The Cut.
  4. ^ a b Dickson, E.J. (July 30, 2019). "Bianca Devins Murder Suspect Pleads Not Guilty". Rolling Stone.
  5. ^ Darrah, Nicole (July 30, 2019). "New York man charged in grisly Instagram murder pleads not guilty, eerily similar family trauma revealed". Fox News.
  6. ^ Lohmann, Patrick (July 15, 2019). "Bianca Devins: Lies, scams, misogyny explode online before facts; grieving family debunks rumors". Syracuse.com.
  7. ^ Cills, Hazel (July 16, 2019). "This Is How You Build a Dead Girl Narrative in Real Time". Jezebel.com.
  8. ^ Jennings, Rebecca (August 1, 2019). "E-girls and e-boys, explained". Vox. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  9. ^ Owen, Tess (July 19, 2019). "The E-girl Community Is a World of Glittery Pink Clouds, Harassment – And Now Murder". VICE News.
  10. ^ a b Wong, Queenie (July 15, 2019). "Instagram's dark side: Grisly photos of teen's slaying spread on social media". CNET.
  11. ^ Dastagir, Alia (July 17, 2019). "Bianca Devins' murder is 'not an Instagram story,' domestic violence expert says". USA Today. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  12. ^ Boyanton, Megan (July 23, 2019). "Don't blame the internet for 17-year-old Bianca Devins' viral murder". Arizona Republic. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  13. ^ Romine, Taylor (July 29, 2019). "Brandon Clark, accused of killing internet personality, pleads not guilty". CNN.
  14. ^ Dickson, E.J. (February 10, 2020). "Brandon Clark Pleads Guilty to the Murder of 17-Year-Old Bianca Devins". Rolling Stone.