Thursday, October 28, 2021

Social media fuels Gabby Petito’s story, true-crime craze

MIAMI – The disappearance and near-certain death of Gabby Petito and the police search for her boyfriend have sparked a whirlwind online, with many armchair detectives and others sharing tips, possible visions and theories via TikTok, Instagram and YouTube. are doing.

Whether the attention-seeking frenzy and Internet investigative activities helped the investigation remain unclear, but it has illuminated the gap between social media and the public’s fascination with true-crime stories.

Months before her disappearance garnered more than half a billion views on TikTok, Petito, 22, and boyfriend Brian Laundry, 23, set out on a cross-country road trip from Florida over the summer in a van she’d found boho- Was well decorated. Style.

They documented their adventure on video and invited social media users to follow along on the trip, sharing scenes of a happy couple cartwheeling on a beach, hiking mountain trails and in the Utah desert. Camping.

But they had a fight along the way and returned home alone in the laundry van in September. Over the weekend, a body believed to be Pettito’s was discovered on the edge of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Investigators have not said how he died, but the now-missing laundry has been identified as a Person of Interest.

Social media users have been impressed by the case and are eyeing a wealth of online videos and photos for clues.

Joseph Scott Morgan, a professor of forensics at Jacksonville State University and an officer on high-profile murder cases, said, “It has a lot to do with the cross-country journey they were documenting, social distancing on this grand adventure.” Were going to the media.” And he continued: “They are young, they are attractive people.”

Another source of fascination: A police bodycam video released last week shows the couple after being pulled over in Moab, Utah, in August, where the van was seen speeding and hitting a curb. They got into a fight, and Pettito was in tears, Laundry saying tension was building between them as they had been traveling together for months.

Theories and comments gathered steam on Reddit, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, TikTok and Twitter.

Users have delved into Petito’s Spotify music playlists, laundry’s reading habits, and the couple’s digitally bookmarked trails. One TikTok user reported taking up laundry hitchhiking.

Nation World News Desk
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