48 HOURS: THE MOTHER OF A WOMAN WHOSE KILLER POSTED IMAGES OF HER DEATH ON SOCIAL MEDIA SPEAKS OUT IN HER FIRST NATIONAL TELEVISION INTERVIEW
“THE ONLINE LIFE & DEATH OF BIANCA DEVINS”
THE SEASON PREMIERE OF CBS NEWS’ TRUE-CRIME SERIES “48 HOURS”
Saturday, Sept. 18, 10:00 PM, ET
Bianca and Kim Devins; Steven Crimando and Jericka Duncan
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Bianca Devins, 17, was a popular social media figure who was murdered by a friend in Utica, N.Y. The killer posted images of her lifeless body online, which went viral. Making matters worse, the images were sent to Devins’ family. In her first national television interview, Kim Devins opens up about the loss of her daughter and the attacks on her family, in the season premiere of 48 HOURS: “The Online Life & Death of Bianca Devins,” to be broadcast Saturday, Sept. 18 (10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network and streaming on Paramount+.
“I remember just standing up and saying, ‘No, it’s not her’… stomped up my stairs saying, ‘It’s not her. It can’t be. It’s not her. It’s not my baby,’” Kim Devins tells correspondent Jericka Duncan of seeing the images.
48 HOURS and Duncan take viewers inside the disturbing true-crime case and report on why what happened in the aftermath of Bianca Devins’ murder has behavioral scientists and the intelligence community concerned.
“Social media was a huge part of Bianca’s life,” says Kim Devins. “And online, she could be whoever she wanted to be.”
An image of Bianca Devins’ body first appeared on the social media platform Discord on July 14, 2019. At first, friends thought it was a fake because it was not unusual for people on the platform to post disturbing images to get a rise out of others. That thinking changed when Brandon Clark, who had been out with Bianca Devins the night she died, called 911. Before hanging up, Clark told the dispatcher where they could find him on a dead-end road. Responding officers placed Clark under arrest and found Bianca’s body under a tarp. By the time police could get to Kim Devins, someone had already texted her family the horrible photo.
While the family grieved the loss of their daughter, the images of her body spread across multiple social media platforms.
“Unfortunately, extremely violent and disturbing images … can circulate wildly on social media, and a lot of social media platforms don’t have the infrastructure in place to prevent that from happening,” says reporter EJ Dickson, who covered the story for Rolling Stone.
Online trolls also relentlessly sent her family the photos and cruel memes.
Steven Crimando, a behavioral scientist, called the messages sent to Devins’ family “a form of psychological terrorism.”
Along with the photos, there were hateful messages blaming Devins for what happened.
“A very twisted need is being met by continuing to share these and trying to get these to Bianca’s family,” says Crimando. “It actually furthers the physical crime.”
Duncan and 48 HOURS investigate the death of Bianca Devins, the case against Clark, and Devins’ family’s fight to hold social media companies accountable for violent and graphic content that they allow on their platforms.
48 HOURS: “The Online Life & Death of Bianca Devins” is produced by Jonathan Leach. Nancy Kramer is the executive editor. Judy Tygard is the executive producer.
Follow 48 HOURS on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Listen to podcasts at CBSAudio. Stream 48 HOURS on Paramount+.
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