Bianca Devins was a 17-year-old girl from Utica, New York, who was murdered on July 14 by a suspected killer who was possibly fueled by a jealous rage. Photos of Bianca’s body were posted on social media after her death by the suspected killer, a 21-year-old New York man identified by his family as Brandon Clark, who also goes by Brandon Kuwaliski. Heavy is not publishing the gruesome photos posted to Instagram or linking to them. The photos remained on Clark’s Instagram page for several hours before they were removed.
Clark was taken into police custody as he attempted to kill himself, according to the Utica Police Department. Police identified Brandon Andrew Clark and Bianca Devins as the suspect and victim on Monday. Devins was a recent high school graduate and was planning to start studying psychology at a community college in the fall, according to her social media posts.
Despite reports that Devins only met and knew her suspected killer online, Devins’ sister says Bianca’s family had also met him in real life and called the suspect a family friend. Police said Clark and Devins met in person for the first time about two months ago. Police called the killing a “possible domestic incident,” WKTV reports.
Devins and Clark had been together at a concert earlier. Investigators are looking into whether jealously led to the killing.
“The belief is that she kissed somebody at the concert and that’s what upset him,” Oneieda County District Attorney Scott McNamara told WKTV. “I have a very hard time understanding how anybody can justify taking another young person’s life because they kissed somebody else.”
McNamara added, “The headline is out there, ‘boyfriend kills girlfriend and posts photograph on social media’ and most people think the investigation is complete and it’s done and over with,” but he said there is still a lot to figure out.
“In this case, a lot of it is background on both individuals. Speaking to people that knew them both,” Utica Police Lieutenant Bryan Coromato told the news station. “Trying to understand their relationship, what the mindset of each person in the relationship was. We’re trying to see if it was preplanned or if it’s something that just happened.”
McNamara told WKTV, “Under the law, there’s something called extreme emotional disturbance. It doesn’t negate the crime, but it mitigates it. What I mean by that is it doesn’t make it so you’re not guilty, it just reduces the level of crime, so it would knock it from a murder 2nd to manslaughter in the 1st degree.”
Utica Police said they received numerous calls about 7:20 a.m. on Sunday, July 14, that led them to the crime scene.
“We got a call from one of the parents that was concerned about some things that were occurring in the relationship at this point,” Utica Police Lieutenant Bryan Coromato told WKTV. “At this point that call along with what occurred is still under investigation so we have nothing further to release at this point on that.”
Bianca Devins’ sister wrote on Instagram, “it wasn’t just an ‘internet boyfriend’ this was a close family friend whom we’ve met and trusted so much. I do not want false information being spread around.”
Utica Police told BuzzFeedNews, “One of the other rumors we’re hearing is that there was a stalking incident. There was a relationship. She met with him willingly. They attended a concert in the NYC area”
The homicide gained local attention Sunday morning because the crime scene delayed the start of the Boilermaker Road Race. But on social media, the graphic images posted on Instagram by the suspect began to spread quickly. The photos have since been taken down from the suspect’s Instagram page, but have been reposted elsewhere.
“The Utica Police Department takes the offenses and claims of Domestic Violence seriously. We seek to be at the forefront in assisting victims and their families and preventing these acts from occurring. We ask the public that if you or someone you know are affected, please contact the Utica Police Department at 315 735 3301 and ask for our Domestic Violence Unit,” Utica Police said.
Clark’s attorney, a local public defender, has declined to comment.
Bianca Devins’ Sister Posted a Tribute to Her on Instagram Calling Her ‘the Best Sister Anyone Could’ve Ever Asked For’ & Her Stepmom Expressed Outrage Over People Sharing Photos of Bianca’s Death
Bianca Devins’ sister, Olivia Devins, confirmed on Instagram that Bianca was the victim of the Utica murder. She wrote, “I hate that I have to write this. I hate knowing you’re not going to ever come back home. You were the best sister anyone could’ve ever asked for. Thank you for always being there for me. Thank you for being the best sister I could ever imagine. Thank you for always protecting me and sticking up for me. I am going to do this for you. Every day I’m going to do my best and I’m going to get through this thing called life and do it all for you. Rest easy, I love you so much forever and always.”
On Facebook, Bianca Devins’ stepmother, Kaleigh, expressed her family’s outrage at people who have reshared the graphic images of Bianca’s death on social media. She encouraged people to not post the photos online out of respect to Bianca’s family.
“It is absolutely disgusting that people are sharing, screenshoting the pictures of Bianca’s (tragic) death!! Wtf is wrong with you people!!??,” she wrote on Monday. “I have seen the pictures. I will FORVER have those images in my mind when I think of her. When I close my eyes, those images haunt me. How about we have some fucking consideration for her Mother, Sister, Step sisters and brother, Step Mother and Step Father, her Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Nieces and Newphews and her friends. How about we have some f*cking consideration FOR HER!!!”
She added, “Imagine sitting there, in disbelief and praying to God that this is all some mistake and that your baby will walk through the door any minute. Now imagine seeing those pictures and having everything in you break. Imagine not even being able to yell out and scream or cry because your soul has now just been broken. Instead of repeatedly sharing and it saving these sick pictures, you report them so they can be taken down. And instead you post about what a beautiful young woman she was.”
Her family issued a statement saying, “We are very grateful for the outpouring of love and sympathy we have received from our Friends, Family, Bianca’s Friends and the whole community. Your prayers help to strengthen us through this difficult time. Bianca, age 17, was a talented artist, a loving sister, daughter, and cousin, and a wonderful young girl, taken from us all too soon. She is now looking down on us, as she joins her cat, Belle, in heaven. Bianca’s smile brightened our lives. She will always be remembered as our Princess. Bianca graduated from T. R. Proctor High School this past June and was looking forward to attending MVCC (Mohawk Valley Community College) in the fall.”
The Suspect in Bianca’s Death Was Taken to a Local Hospital in Critical Condition After Police Found Him With ‘Significant Cuts & Lacerations’
Brandon Clark, the 21-year-old suspect in Bianca Devins’ murder, remains hospitalized in critical condition. According to WSYR-TV, Utica Police found Clark on Poe Street about 7:20 a.m. Sunday, July 14, outside of an SUV. He had said he was suicidal and told police he had killed his girlfriend and was going to harm himself with a knife, the news station reports. Police said they were able to stop him and he was taken into custody before being brought to the hospital with “significant cuts and lacerations.”
Officers then found Bianca Devins dead near the SUV. Police said a sharp object was used in the killing, but did not provide any other details, saying the homicide remains under investigation. Police have not commented about the photos posted to social media after the killing. The extremely gruesome photos show Bianca Devins’ covered in blood and apparent stab and slash wounds to her neck and throat.
Police said in a statement, “On Sunday, July 14, 2019 at approximately 7:20AM Oneida County Dispatch received numerous calls informing them that a male individual had posted to a social media site that he had killed his girlfriend, and was threatening to harm himself. It was posted that this occurred in Utica, NY, and as such, The Utica Police Department began an in-depth search for the male and female.”
Police said Clark then called 911 on himself and “made incriminating statements with respect to the homicide. The police statement continued:
He also was alluding the fact that he was going to harm himself. After determining that the calls were originating on Poe St in City of Utica, officers were dispatched to that location. Poe St is a dead end street, which runs east to west from Culver Ave. The street terminates into a wooded area where the first arriving officer located a black SUV with a male lying on the ground beside it. The officer approached this male, and almost immediately, he began to stab himself in the neck with a knife. The officer requested emergency medical care, and the Utica Fire Department arrived soon after.
After attempting to injure himself, he laid down across a green in color tarp that was on the ground some distance away. The officer immediately noticed brown hair protruding from beneath the tarp and inquired as to where the injured female was. The male advised him that the female was beneath the tarp, and proceeded to pull out a cell phone. It was at this time that is believed that the male took self-photographs of himself laying across the deceased female.
Other officers arrived within moments, and together they engaged the male. They were able to disarm the male, and after a brief struggle, they took him into custody. He was then transported to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery. His injuries were severe; however, he is expected to survive.
As more personnel arrived on scene, the investigation commenced. Officers and investigators needed to verify the condition of the female underneath the tarp, and as such, it was pulled back. Once this occurred, it was learned that a young female had suffered extensive injuries to her neck, and was obviously deceased. Numerous items of evidentiary value were located immediately around the body, as well as in and around the black SUV.
Clark was interviewed by detectives on Monday.
According to police, “On Saturday July 13th, 2019 the two had planned to go to a concert together in New York City. Information that we have received is that they in fact did go to the concert, arriving around 7:30PM. They left the venue and proceeded back to Utica sometime after 10:00PM. It is believed that some sort of argument ensued at the venue that precipitated the following engagement between the two. Sometime during the early morning hours of Sunday July 14, 2019 the two arrived back in Utica and proceeded to the Poe St location. The investigation revealed that the argument progressed until the male produced a large, black handled knife, and used this to inflict the injuries that caused her death.”
Clark posted photos of himself, showing his bloody arms and cuts, and a photo next to Devins’ covered body with the caption, “I’m sorry Bianca.” He had earlier shared an Instagram photo while driving saying “Her comes Hell. It’s redemption, right?”
His Instagram account, @yesjuliet, has been deleted.
Police confirmed the photos were posted by Clark. “During this time it is believed that he took and distributed photographs of the killing on the Discord platform. Members of Discord then viewed the images and posts and contacted the Utica Police Department. We can confirm that the images distributed of both the victim and the offender’s injuries are authentic and occurred at the time of the incident. We are actively working with the various social media platforms to address the sharing and distribution of these images,” Utica Police said in a statement.
On Facebook, where Clark uses the name Brandon Kuwaliski, he wrote, “I’m ending it today. I’m sorry to all the family and friends who wanted me to achieve. I love you all.”
Clark’s brother, James Ward, confirmed on Instagram that Brandon was the suspect in Devins’ death. He wrote, “Shoutout to all the people who target someone’s family and blame them for a persons decisions. Nothing better than waking up at 4am to find out your brother killed someone and tried to kill himself, and when you’re trying to understand and comprehend how the person you looked up to, and taught you so much is responsible for such a horrible act, and people proceed to go out and blame you for what he did.”
He added, “So here I am stationed in Alaska for military service wanting nothing more than to wake up and be back home hoping this is some sick twisted nightmare, instead I’m all the way across the country. I’m deeply sorry something like this came from my family and my heart goes out for the family of the victim, but think about when his little sister and brothers find out what a disgusting thing he’s done, and get blamed for it. They’re kids.”
Bianca Devins Was a Model & an ‘E-Girl’ Who Posted on Instagram & Tumblr
Bianca Devins recently graduated from Thomas R. Proctor High School in Utica, New York. She worked as a model and was an “e-girl,” who frequently posted photos on Instagram and Tumblr about video games and anime. E-girls, similar to “scene girls” from the 2000s, are teens and young women who use social media sites to post about “emo-style” fashion, anime and video games, according to BuzzFeed.
She had at least two active Instagram profiles, under the names beegtfo and escty. Friends have also said she was active in gaming and other online communities, including on gamer Discord chats and on 4Chan.
Some on social media have called Devins an Instagram influencer or internet personality, but Devins did not have a large following prior to her death. After she was killed and the story spread online, her account gained more than 40,000 followers, up from about 800. Her family has said that she was not killed by a stalker she met online on Discord chat, but by someone she knew in real life who was also known to the family.
Bianca Devins stepmother wrote on Facebook, “Bianca was a lot of things to so many people. She was young and beautiful and so full of live. She had been through hell and back conquering her own mental illness and she won. She was getting better. Fighting everyday. She was happy. She had just graduated. She wanted to continue her schooling so that she could help people, like her, whom no one else wanted to help. She was so loved and it breaks our hearts not knowing if she ever realized just how loved she was. Even in her deepest, darkest, lowest points, she somehow managed to help so many people who were battling their own demons.”
A family friend wrote on Facebook, “Bianca was a beautiful person, inside and out! She was a such fighter and accomplished what she needed to. She was such a beauty….. gorgeous eyes and bright smile. She could light of the room.”
Another wrote, “I got sick to my stomach and the pics scared me but all I can think is how beautiful and full of life she was and how bubbly and caring she was, she was an amazing person and still is regardless of what happened and I will always remember her for that so thank you Bianca R.I.P”
A Vigil Has Been Planned for Monday Night to Remember Bianca Devins & Celebrate Her Life
A candlelight vigil has been planned for Monday night, July 15, in Utica to remember Bianca Devins and to celebrate her life, her family says.
“Please join us tomorrow night for a candle light vigil in honor of Bianca! We are only asking that no one speaks about what happened to her… But instead join us in remembering the beautiful person she was,” her stepmother wrote on Facebook. “The swings at The Parkway Park. 8pm. (The corner of Parkway and Oneida) Everyone is welcome to bring candles. Let’s light up the park, like she lit up our lives!”
Her stepmother shared messages from friends who talked about Bianca’s life. “THIS is how Bianca should be remembered!! So many people have reached out to our family and we couldn’t be more thankful. Thank you to everyone who has reached out and to those who continue to reach out and share their stories with us. It means the world to us to know that Bianca was able to help change the lives of so many people.”
One friend wrote, “Bianca was the light in so many people’s lives.” Another said, “She was like a big sister to me and she showed me a lot, taught me everything I know, like makeup artistic work. She helped me get through being bullied. Your daughter was a beautiful and amazing person.”
#RIPBianca Was Trending on Twitter as People Reacted to Her Death & the Horrific Aftermath
On Monday, #RIPBianca was trending on Twitter as social media users reacted to her tragic death and the horrific aftermath of the photos being shared on Instagram and elsewhere online.
On Twitter user, Celia, tweeted, “There are SO MANY MEN #onhere that think their harassment & abuse on this website is harmless. They don’t do anything about it &, in fact, many of them encourage it by sharing screenshots of people’s job’s & other personal information like it’s no big deal. IT IS A BIG DEAL.”
Brianna Wu, a video game developer and political candidate, tweeted, “‘It’s just online! Women should ignore the abuse,’ they say. Well, it’s not online anymore. …There’s something deeply wrong with what we’ve built. #ripbianca”
Actor Jimmy Wong wrote, “Christina Grimmie was murdered by an obsessed fan three years ago. Another one broke into Meg Turney/Gavin Free’s home with a shotgun last year. Now, tragically, #ripbianca. Thousands of women die to rejection violence every year. This is a real issue, and we cannot ignore it.”
Rob Gavagan tweeted, “It’s disgusting how much harder women have it in relationships. Dealing with abusers & stalkers affects all genders, but women get the most. They’re almost always the ones who get targeted and brutally murdered due to the absolute horribleness of insane, worthless men. #ripbianca.”
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