An incel murdered her Instagram influencer daughter and photos of it spread online: ‘They would tag us in it’

Bianca Devins, 17, of Utica, New York, was murdered in July 2019. But the horror didn’t end there.

Andrea Cavallier
Monday 17 June 2024 23:50 BST
Brandon Clark (pictured left at his booking in July 2019) pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of Instagram star Bianca Devins
Brandon Clark (pictured left at his booking in July 2019) pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of Instagram star Bianca Devins (Oneida County Jail, Instagram)

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Bianca Devins was an anime-obsessed teenager who found purpose and a small following as a mental health advocate – but soon became a target of online attacks. Then her murder went viral.

A new episode of Investigation Discovery’s show Deadly Influence: The Social Media Murders, that premieres Monday, June 17 at 9pm ET on ID (streaming on Max), delves into the Instagram star’s very public murder and trauma her family has endured from seeing “sick people” turn her death into a social media “spectacle.”

Her mother Kimberly Devins speaks out in the episode RIP Bianca about the “devastating” pain she felt over not being able to protect her daughter from her killer – and, even after her death, from the Internet.

Bianca, 17, of Utica, New York, was murdered in July 2019. But the horror didn’t end there.

Bianca Devins, 17, was killed in 2019 after attending a concert in New York City. Photos of her body were posted online
Bianca Devins, 17, was killed in 2019 after attending a concert in New York City. Photos of her body were posted online (Bianca Devins)

Brandon Clark, who she met on Instagram, had slit her throat and then posted bloody images of himself with Bianca’s body on Discord, an online chat service, as well as on his own Instagram page.

Next to the photos, he  allegedly wrote: “sorry, f**kers, you’re going to have to find somebody else to orbit.” When police arrived, he slit his own throat and took a selfie.

But Clark survived and a group of incels — the name given to men who are “involuntarily celibate”, and known for supporting sexist anti-women content — rallied around him, calling him a “legend” and a “hero” who “did the world a favor” in online comments while branding Bianca as “worthless” and “disgusting.”

Clark was later sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison. But the horror of what happened to Bianca continues to haunt her family.

“People posted the picture [of her dead body] under my Facebook profile picture, they would send it to [Bianca’s sister] Olivia and I constantly,” Bianca’s mother said in the documentary.

“They would tag us in it. It felt like as soon as we got one picture removed another one was posted. As a mother, it was very devastating because I feel like I couldn’t protect her from that. I couldn’t protect her from her murder and then I couldn’t protect her from being exploited on the internet.”

Bianca’s mother Kimberly Devins speaks out in new documentary
Bianca’s mother Kimberly Devins speaks out in new documentary (Investigation Discovery)

“At first people who saw the post were incredibly disturbed. But when Brandon survived that suicide attempt, the incel community reared forward and presented themselves in a way that was celebrating Brandon,” Kelly Ruhl, true crime podcaster, says in the episode.

Bianca’s loved ones say her social media accounts became a spectacle, and to this day people are still on her accounts leaving horrific comments.

In a March 2023 interview with The Independent, Ms Devins said she has been dealing with an onslaught of graphic imagery from her daughter’s murder for years.

“It’s just, you know, I never feel like I can let my guard down,” she said at the time. “I’m constantly on guard around social media. I never know when [those pictures] are going to be uploaded… It’s just like you’re re-traumatized every time you have to see that. I mean, that’s my 17-year-old daughter. We have to see her like that. No one should have to continuously look at that.”

Now, nearly five years after Bianca’s murder, the ID episode explores the disturbing reality of how some individuals use social media and online forums to threaten, harass, and even plan violent attacks.

While Bianca’s passion for helping others attracted a massive social media following, it also made her a target for those seeking to cause harm.

Gianna Rosado, one of Bianca’s friends, speaks out in the documentary about her friend being targeted and how her murder was on display for all to see.

“I could still see it in my head, she was just exposed,” Rosado said. “All these sick people can just look at it when I ever they want.”

Horrific comments were posted online in the wake of Bianca Devins’s murder
Horrific comments were posted online in the wake of Bianca Devins’s murder (Investigation Discovery)

Five years later, there are “still “people spamming the comments” of her posts with both “negative” and supportive messages, according to the documentary.

“If we were to go on there right now, the most recent comment would be two hours ago, and that to me is just insane,” Gianna said.

Bianca’s mother has campaigned for years to hold social media platforms accountable. In 2022, Bianca’s Law was signed by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul.

“It establishes the crime of unlawful dissemination of personal images, particularly crime scene photos,” Devins told the New York Post.

“In New York state, if you upload and disseminate graphic personal photos or pictures of a crime scene, that’s illegal. But I’m still advocating it because we need to expand this into federal law. Right now, it’s too narrow to limit it to New York. The only way to hold social media companies and Big Tech companies accountable is to establish a federal law.”

“I never really felt like justice was served until that law was signed because her murderer going to jail doesn’t bring her back,” she added. “It doesn’t take back all the trauma we’ve suffered. But I finally feel like we got a little bit of justice for Bianca. Her name will prevent other families from experiencing what we went through.”

Bianca’s story is one episode of six in Investigation Discovery’s new series which delves into the underbelly of social media, exploring the dark reality of toxic online communities and showcasing the devastating risks associated with viral social media fame.

RIP Bianca premieres Monday, June 17 at 9/8c on ID & Streaming on Max.

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