Sneak Peek: Life Online & Death of Bianca Devins
One night last fall, single mom Kim Devins turned off the lights and sat alone, trying to recharge after a long, hectic day.
Kim closed her eyes. He was dying to believe that it was a casual selfie, a group photo, or a picture of happy memories from long ago. But it wasn't. There, glowing in her dark living room, was what she had avoided seeing for so long: an image of the corpse of her 17-year-old daughter Bianca.
"My last memories of Bianca are of her vividly.... So, having to meet her in her final moments was absolutely traumatic and no one knew who she was."
For more than a year, Kim's family and friends followedBianca Devins.' Murder in July 2019, who was protecting her from the horrific photos circulating widely online. The gruesome images normally intended for homicide detectives were captured by her Lyft driver Brandon Clark, who was 21 at the time. Bianca met on Instagram a few months ago and was briefly dating.
After brutally murdering Bianca, Clark posted additional images of Bianca's body after posting the photo on the popular game app Discord. uploaded to his social media. From there, it spread like wildfire to mainstream platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The story received international media attention, mainly due to the repeated sharing of the image online and the viral nature of the hashtag.
Reporter EJ Dixon covered Bianca's story inRolling Stone and after her murder, Bianca's online follower count exploded. Increased hashtags without searching for her name or seeing a photo of her death.
As Bianca's loved ones grieved, parts of the internet responded with morbid laughter. “People were making memes out of images…they were turning them into jokes,” he says EJ.
Frustrated by the sluggishness of social media companies, some online users launched a grassroots campaign to flood hashtags with images of pink skies, rainbows, and Bianca fan art. , tried to drive away the images of death. Search results for .
However, the trauma of losing her Bianca only worsened in the months following Bianca's death. Bianca's family has faced an inhumane tide of vicious online trolls, relentlessly sending hateful messages denouncing her with disturbing photos. Bianca for what happened to her.
"It's horrible. To see people say... my baby, she deserved such a cruel end to her own life," says Kim.
How did this happen? "48 Hours" and correspondent Jerrica Duncan examine"The Online Life & Death of Bianca Devins" . Airs Saturday, August 13th at 10/9c and streams on Paramount+.
"By continuing to share these [images] and trying to get them to Bianca's family, a very skewed need is being met," says behavioral scientist Stephen Crimand. . "It's actually facilitating physical crime... Two years later what they're trying to say is... 'I don't know when it's coming, but I know it's going to happen again.' . This is a kind of psychological terrorism.
According to Crimand, the person most likely responsible for the attack on Bianca's family belongs to a community of online men called "incels." An incel, according to his own definition, is a male over the age of 21 who has not engaged in any sexual activity of any kind for more than 6 months, unwillingly.
A hallmark of this community, if nothing else, was the pathological envy of attractive men called "Chads", a group called "Stacey" of which Bianca was considered Incels believes they are having greater success in dating the most coveted attractive women by. online community.
In March 2021, Brandon Clarke was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to 25 years for life for the murder of Bianca. was sentenced. Clark didn't identify himself as an incel, but he was praised by this dark community for what he did to her. "Mr Clark is a legend," wrote one online user. Another said, "He did the world a favor."
Crimand believes that Bianca's image was deliberately defiled to promote incel ideology and justify violence against women. This kind of hatred is normalized in the misogynistic and toxic world of incel culture.
The community has become the focus of professionals like Crimand. Crimand says the turmoil in his chat room has evolved into a full-blown grievance campaign fueled increasingly by #MeToo. What makes the incel ideology so dangerous, Climund says, is that, like other extremist groups, it is those on the fringes of the movement who are willing to use violence to further or defend their beliefs. I believe
"Incels feel so deceived that they become obsessive... I need to deal with this," says Crimand. "I must fight back for injustice."
Indeed, this violent rhetoric has led to murder. According to intelligence agencies, there have been more than a dozen mass murders in North America, resulting in the deaths of 50 of her people attributed to incel ideology.
"As more and more incel killings have become apparent, there are definitely some extremists within this range of incels capable of killing. Crimand. "That's why it's now perceived as a terrorist threat," he said.
Recently, the United States Department of Homeland Security issued a special advisory stating that the main threat to the homeland is domestic violent extremists, including incels.
To be clear, not all incels are dangerous. But given the consistency of language within the community, the challenge is identifying who poses a threat to idle chatter online. "This is not taking the needle out of the haystack," says Climund. "This is taking a needle out of a pile of needles."
So what can law enforcement do to prevent the next incel murder?
"When you think about prevention," says Climund. “Prevention is creating an off-ramp … perhaps the response is a mental health aid, connecting them with other deradicalized people and making them realize there are alternatives.”166} "When we begin to realize just how much we have in common, it becomes less likely that the other is the enemy, and that the enemy is actually far more similar than we probably know." You find yourself there,” says Crimand.
Bianca's family shares their hopes and their grief into action. They worked with local politicians to pass the "Bianca Law." This is a federal bill that would hold social media companies accountable for allowing violent and graphic content on their platforms. The
family also established a scholarship in Bianca's name. This is aimed at students who follow Bianca's ambition to help young people with mental health issues like the one she experienced.
As Bianca was going through her darkest days and struggling to cope with her own mental health, Kim told her daughter that she would be able to live on. If she fights, Kim says she promised to always be by her side. "As part of honoring Bianca's memory, I will always live that battle.
Thank you for reading CBS NEWS.
Create a free account or log in to
for more features.