YouTuber slammed for charging people to see autopsy photos of 11-year-old murder victim
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: YouTube/Zav Girl / Fairfax Media via Getty Images
YouTuber Zav Girl has been hit with heavy backlash after posting pictures of an 11-year-old murder victim in a video on her Patreon account and charging people to see it.
Zav Girl, whose real name is not known, is a true crime YouTuber who has earned 88,000 subscribers on her channel, where she says it is 'really important to give victims of these tragic crimes a voice when they don’t have one'.
As part of her content creation, Zav Girl submitted a public records request for photos of an autopsy conducted on Gannon Staunch; an 11-year-old who was murdered by his stepmother, Letecia Stauch, in 2020.
Letecia was found guilty in May of stabbing and shooting Gannon before putting his body in a suitcase. She was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Zav Girl obtained the photos and posted a video about them on Patreon, allowing people to watch if they paid $3 (£2.30).
The controversial video sparked backlash online, prompting Zav Girl to release a statement on her YouTube channel this week in which she said people had been 'very divided on how they feel' about the video.
"The reality of the situation is that different people feel differently about this," she said. "Some people genuinely think making a video including the autopsy photos is bad and I respect their opinion and feelings."
Others, she said, thought the photos were 'interesting and informative'.
Zav Girl said she was charging people to watch the video because she 'spent a lot of time and worked hard' on it, though she added she was 'not adamantly against taking the video down' if people were 'truly unhappy'.
The decision was ultimately made for her when her entire Patreon account was removed.
Among those sharing opinions on Zav Girl's video is Michael Allen, the Colorado prosecutor in Gannon's case, who told News Nation that the YouTuber's actions represented 'the lowest of human forms'.
"Gannon deserved so much more in life from his stepmother and he certainly deserves dignity and respect in death," he said. "And there's nothing about what this YouTuber is doing that provides any dignity or respect to Gannon."
In reference to Zav Girl's explanation for the video, Allen added: "Scientifically, they could have used body diagrams that the autopsy also included instead of putting out Gannon's just completely broken body that reflects the depravity and horror that he had to live through and suffered. It's outright disgusting."
Gannon's father also criticised the video, saying that knowing his son's photos were being viewed in such a way was 'retraumatizing'.
"We just finished the trial just over two months ago. And now we're having to kind of relive some of this stuff and not being able to put it behind us," he said. "The word I use to describe it is evil."
UNILAD has contacted Zav Girl for comment.