There’s A Disturbing Trend Of Online Brian Laundrie Supporters

Poppy Bilderbeck


There's A Disturbing Trend Of Online Brian Laundrie SupportersGabby Petito/Instagram

A disturbing online trend has been started by supporters of Brian Laundrie. 

Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old YouTuber, was reported missing by her parents on September 11, after they had not heard from her for 13 days while she was travelling cross-country with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie. She was later found dead on September 19, in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Park.

Laundrie returned to his family home alone on September 1, but then went missing on September 14. A federal warrant has since been issued for his arrest.

However, despite having a warrant out for his arrest, Laundrie has accumulated a mass of supporters online, who have described themselves as ‘men’s rights activists’.

Gabby Petito (Gabby Petito/Instagram)Gabby Petito/Instagram

Not long since Petito was found dead, a number of Reddit boards and Facebook groups have sprung up in support of Laundrie, The Daily Beast reports.

Groups such as r/FriendsOfBrian have started to become more serious, after initially having started off as trolling. Online supporters of Laundrie have claimed that Petito was instead the abuser, voicing complaints about women always being portrayed as victims in the media, The Independent reports.

The opinions have arisen following the news of an alleged domestic violence dispute that involved the pair prior to her disappearance. On August 12, two Moab police officers responded to a possible domestic violence incident involving Petito and Laundrie that occurred close to Arches National Park.

According to Officer Robbins’ statement, Petito ‘went to slap’ Laundrie, thinking he was going to leave her behind and he ‘pushed her away to avoid the slap’. Despite the heated argument, Robbins concluded in his report that he didn’t believe the incident had ‘escalated to the level of a domestic assault’. Laundrie was sent to spend the night in a hotel, leaving Petito in the van so that the pair could have some space.

Gabby Petito and boyfriend Brian Laundrie (Gabby Petito/Instagram)Gabby Petito/Instagram

Due to such reports, men’s rights activists took to the internet claiming that the reports and reported body cam footage proved that Laundrie had instead been the victim of abuse. They subsequently argued that if Laundrie had murdered Petito, it could have been an act of self-defence.

A user, named OriginalMgtow, stated:

The bloodthirsty vengeful Feminist SIMP mobs of self entitled Narcissistic KARENS would forever point to the body cam video evidence of the cuts, scratches and bruises as total 100% justification for her to end his life.

Another user, named balenciagogo, said that if there was ‘anything to take from this’ that it was that ‘Brian has taught us how to escape an abusive relationship – no matter what it takes’. They claimed that Laundrie had ‘likely saved countless lives’ and they called his actions a demonstration of ’empower[ment]’.

Michael Bouquet, the host of true crime podcast Swords and Scales, spurred Laundrie’s supporters on in a since-deleted Tweet. He said that the chance of Petito having been murdered by Laundrie was ‘highly comical but improbable’. From the podcast’s account, he retweeted another idea that the 22-year-old instead died by suicide. ‘If the cops from @moabpolice had treated Gabby Petito like any MAN who was confirmed/ admitted to having committed domestic assault and arrested her, she’d still be alive,’ it stated. Bouquet retweeted and hashtagged, ‘#Accurate.’

Petito has also been subject to allegations of abuse by other social media users over platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, users of which have targeted her alleged mental instability.

The abuse has reached dark points, with supporters of Laundrie having sexualised Petito and making claims that she got aroused from assaulting Laundrie. Her weight has been mocked, she has been accused of being a Nazi and she was also labelled an ‘attention wh*re’. A hashtag has since been spread round, #MissingWhiteGirlSyndrome, which appears to seek to demonise Petito for the fact that many people of colour who go missing do not get the publicity that her case has.

Incels are a quite small but specific subgroup of misogynists who have a reputation of being violent, and Laundrie’s online fans have since been branded as such.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, please know that you are not alone. You can talk in confidence 24 hours a day to the national domestic violence helpline Refuge on 0808 2000 247.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

Topics: News, Brian Laundrie, Facebook, Gabby Petito, online, Twitter


The Independent and 1 other
  1. The Independent

    The disturbing trend of online Brian Laundrie ‘supporters’ tells us so much

  2. Daily Beast

    Incels, Men’s Rights Groups, and Culture-War Trolls Glom Onto Gabby Petito’s Death

Poppy Bilderbeck
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