Pop Culture with Tatiana

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20 year old Timothy Wilks was horrifically killed last Friday February 5 in the most recent accident in which a Youtuber was attempting to create a viral video.

Timothy was gunned down in the parking lot of Urban Air trampoline park in Nashville, Tennessee after a “fake robbery” prank.

Timothy and a friend were attempting to film the reactions of people at knifepoint. Pretending to rob strangers, Wilks brandished a knife while his friend was filming. They approached a group of loiterers in the car park. One of the members of the group, David Starnes Jr., felt threatened and fatally shot Timothy in self-defense. The group didn’t harm his friend who was filming. The shooter stayed on the scene until emergency services arrived, and told the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department that he acted in self-defense. The police are currently investigating the incident. The police has so far not pressed charges on either Starnes or Timothy’s friend.

What recently happened to Timothy Wilks is unfortunately not the first made-for-Youtube prank to have gone terribly wrong. Youtubers usually receive lots of views with their dangerous and controversial pranks. Many content creators see pranks as an easy path to fame and money, especially in these times of increased internet activity.

Monalisa Perez was 20 years old when she killed her boyfriend and the father of her two children in 2017 in a YouTube stunt gone wrong. The stunt involved Perez shooting a powerful handgun at a thick, hardcover book that he held to his chest in the mistaken belief that it would be enough to stop the .50-caliber bullet. The video of the shooting was never uploaded and was submitted as evidence to law enforcement.

Ruiz’s family blamed Perez for pulling the trigger, and some even suggested she knew it would kill him. But the prosecutor, made it clear the idea for the “foolish stunt” came from Ruiz; that was the reason for the relatively short sentence. Perez pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the second degree in exchange for a 180-day jail sentence.

 

Just last year in 2020, Russian Youtuber 30 year old Stanislav Reshetnikov was allegedly paid $1,000 by a viewer to inflict abuse on his pregnant girlfriend Valentina Grigoryeva, during a broadcast on his Youtube channel.

He proceeded to push Grigoryeva onto the balcony of his apartment wearing only her underwear. This was in Moscow, Russia in December so the temperatures were freezing.

He then told viewers of the stream that Grigoryeva was suffering from an intestinal condition and that he had forced her outside “so that she would not stink”.

He was later seen bringing her back inside unconscious and saying: “Valya, are you alive? My bunny, what’s up with you?

It is not clear how long Grigoryeva was on the balcony before she was brought back in. Reshetnikov continued the broadcast to tens of thousands of followers even after calling for an ambulance.

The camera was still live when paramedics pronounced Grigoryeva dead, and reportedly remained so for another two hours.

in 2018, Pakistina Youtuber Rana Zuhair was was shot and killed while filming a prank video in which he pretended to be a ghost in an attempt to scare people.

Zuhair reportedly approached a family in a park near Lytton Road, Lahore with a white sheet over his head, at which point one of the family members opened fire on him, killing him instantly.

Twin YouTubers Alan and Alex Stokes are facing felony charges for allegedly posing as bank robbers during a series of pranks last year that resulted in an Uber driver being held at gunpoint by police.

The twins dressed in all black and carrying duffle bags, ordered an Uber driver to act as their getaway car. The driver refused to move and was later held at gunpoint by police after a bystander reported the incident. 

Which means they are also facing charges for swatting which means calling the police to falsely report a crime or emergency and lure them to someone else’s location.

Police released the Uber driver and issued a warning to the Stokes twins, who attempted to prank another individual just hours later. 

In 2017, YouTuber Arslan Valeev, 31, from St Petersburg, live-streamed himself dying after he let his pet black mamba bite his hand apparently brokenhearted over the breakup of his marriage.

In deeply disturbing footage, he pleaded with viewers to call his ex-wife as he visibly deteriorated on camera and his limbs became numb.

The actual snake bite and moment of death were not shown, but the blogger – a former zoo employee – allowed viewers to see the bite on his hand.

At the end of the footage, he got up from his chair and staggered off camera, possibly towards a bathroom. He died soon afterwards.

He and wife Ekaterina ‘Katya’ Pyatyzhkina were famous in Russia for running several YouTube channels about snakes and their pet bobcats, with hundreds of thousands of followers.

The Viral Brothers are two Youtuber brothers (duh) from the Czech Republic and they are famous for doing outrageous prank, but they took it too far when they executed their “Machete Massacre” prank.

Imagine heading over to your friend’s house and finding them cut up in the attic. A gruesome thought, right? Well, how about if the killer was still there, brandishing a machete and generally being a maniac? 

This is literally what they did. One of the brothers pretended he had been cut up with a Machete, and the other one disguised as the killer was still there. When their friend arrived to his house, he was so terrified he jumped out his window!

The extent of his injuries were not clear but he jumped out the window of his attic! It could have been fatal. I hate to say this prank is still on Youtube.

Tysen Benz was a victim of a horrible prank (where do children get these ideas?) which was not even for Youtube, it was just amongst middle school friends. Tysen was just 11 years old.

Tysen was at home when he saw social media posts indicating that his 13-year-old girlfriend had committed suicide. The posts were a prank, but the 11-year-old boy apparently believed them.

Moments later, his mother found him hanging by the neck in his room in Marquette, Michigan.

Using a cellphone he bought without his mother’s knowledge, Tysen was reading texts and other messages about the faked suicide and decided he would end his life too.

After seeing the posts about his girlfriend, Tysen replied over social media that he was going to kill himself, and no one involved in the prank told an adult, his mother later told the press.

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