Trigger warning: This article openly references real shooting incidents, suicide, murder, eating disorders, pedophilia, incest, rape, and child pornography. If you feel that any of those topics will cause you emotional and/or mental distress, please stop reading here.
In this day and age, who doesn’t have a favorite YouTuber?
Over the years, the internet has produced singers, actors, comedians, and even the entire field of game streamers. Think about it.
We live in the only era where people can get paid to sleep. We have people who are famous for playing video games while talking in the most heterosexual male voice ever heard in the history of mankind. There’s even a growing market for literal anime girls streaming games. This is, for better or worse, the golden age of entertainment.
But like traditional Hollywood celebs, internet personalities have their own little scandals. Sometimes that’s as (relatively) small as a stray racist, homophobic, or sexist comment. Sometimes it causes more direct harm in the form of a slander-slinging fight with another personality. Both of these tend to end in a terrible non-apology video about how they “learned a valuable lesson.”
The rare few, though? They result in an actual arrest.
1. Randy Stair AKA Andrew Blaze
Randy Stair started his YouTube career in June 2008 under the pseudonym Andrew Blaze. He named his channel “Pioneer Productions” and uploaded a video that featured himself and a horse head on a stick. The toy, not a real horse head.
About a year after that video, he uploaded a recreation made with another Youtuber and a wooden alligator. This video racked up 118,000 views, giving him his first taste of internet popularity.
Stair doubled down on his internet fame in 2016 with a new channel that he called “Ember’s Ghost Squad.” The channel was home to a fan-made spin-off series based on Danny Phantom, a Nickolodeon animated series about a boy who turns into a ghost.
But the channel wasn’t about Danny himself. Instead, Stair was fascinated with Ember McLain, a ghost in the show that’s heavily hinted to have died of suicide. In his animations, Stair depicted ghosts recruiting suicidal people into the afterlife.
The rest of his videos showed signs of Stair’s worsening mental health and he grew to believe that he could transport himself to this animated world. The next year, Stair shot up a grocery store before committing suicide.
A day after posting a video about his plans, Stair went to the Weis Market grocery store and fatally shot three of his former co-workers. He then committed suicide. The image above shows Stair with the guns he used in the shooting.
2. Ryan Terry AKA Cryaotic
Cryaotic was one of the early popular YouTubers that began his career alongside big names like PewDiePie. He started his YouTube channel sometime in 2006 and amassed a small, steady following of 2.45 million subscribers.
Cry, which is what his name was often shortened to, didn’t keep a consistent upload schedule, making him less popular than many of his peers at the time. Still, Cry was popular in the late 2000s and early 2010s for his horror game let’s plays and horror story readings because of how soothing his voice was.
Basically, he was the Dream or Corpse Husband of the time.
Though Cryaotic and his ex-girlfriend both mentioned throughout the years that Cry’s real name was Ryan Terry, Cry never revealed what his real face was. If you look it up right now, you’re going to see photos of other YouTubers show up instead of his face.
Which is unfortunate considering it was discovered that he was having inappropriate relations with minors in 2020.
The fiasco began in June 2020 when a person who goes by Beanie tweeted about her experiences with Cry that showed he was grooming her up until her 18th birthday. It was also revealed that he pursued a romantic relationship with his ex-girlfriend Cheyenne when she was 16 years old and he was 23.
During their relationship, though, Cheyenne discovered that Cry was having sex on Skype with minors. His friend Scott Jund, the person who shows up on Google if you look for Cry’s real face, was also alleged to have been actively involved with covering up Cry’s actions.
3. Trey Sesler AKA Mr. Anime
In an alternate dimension, Trey Sesler could have been one of the biggest stars on YouTube. As it happens, though, he ended up taking a much darker path.
Trey Sesler went by a number of names online. He began his career as Mr. Anime before later going by Mr. Bryko and LensCapProductions. Sesler quickly became famous on the platform for being one of the first channels to publish anime reviews and for a while, it seemed like he would be one of the key figures of the YouTube community.
As a first mover, Sesler had been one of the YouTubers that carved out a niche for anime fans on the site. One of his contemporaries, Gigguk, is still active and famous for producing anime content.
Sesler could have enjoyed the same career if he hadn’t killed his entire family.
Sesler became increasingly obsessive about the events of the Columbine shooting and as his sanity slipped, he began to plot out the murder of at least 70 people at Waller Junior High. Before shooting up the school, however, he realized that an incident like that would cause his family grief. His solution? Murder them first so they don’t have to live with the knowledge of his actions.
Sesler first shot his mother, a journalist at the local newspaper, after calling her into the garage. While their mother passed quickly, his older brother Mark wasn’t as lucky. Sesler told detectives that he had shot Mark twice in the hallway of their home, causing him to run into the bathroom. Sesler then shot his father twice in his bed. He then double-checked to make sure each one of them was dead.
4. Eugenia Cooney
This one is less horrifying and more just plain sad.
Eugenia Cooney is a YouTuber who started her YouTube career after leaving a career in modeling. Cooney had a brief stint as a model in New York, but after being told to stop her online career, she left the field for good to become a full-time content creator.
Cooney first gained popularity with a video titled “How to Ratchetly Twerk” which amassed millions of views not because of her dance moves, but because of her body.
Even back in 2013, Cooney was scarily thin. Though the comments section of the video is disabled today, it used to be full of comments talking about her weight and concerns about the possibility that she has an eating disorder. Cooney remained unfazed and continued to upload videos of herself doing her makeup and showing off her outfits.
Her growing popularity drew the attention of Tumblr’s pro-ana community, a group that actively encourages each other to develop anorexic eating habits and body dysmorphia. Cooney was, and still is, something of an anorexia rockstar. Her recent videos show that she’s gotten even skinnier in recent years despite a brief attempt at recovery from her ED back in 2019.
5. Nicholas Perry AKA Nikocado Avocado
Nicholas Perry, better known as Nikocado Avocado, first began making videos on YouTube as a vegan lifestyle vlogger. Every now and then, he would upload a video of himself playing a violin cover of a famous song. Neither of these types of content would make him popular.
The Nikocado Avocado that the internet knows today was created in 2016 after Perry uploaded a video explaining that he was no longer vegan. If you watch the video and are familiar with what Perry is like these days, you’ll quickly notice that he looked to be at a healthier weight back in 2016. What’s more striking, though, is how level-headed and calm he seemed.
In a video uploaded in 2020, Kiana Docherty posed the question that Perry’s audience has been thinking of in the past months: is Nikocado Avocado’s mukbang diet “frying his brain”?
Docherty discussed the possible mental health effects of Perry’s diet. As a quick disclaimer, because of the nature of Perry’s line of work, the likely reason behind his strange behavior is fake drama for internet views.
That said, studies have shown that a diet of processed foods, trans fatty acids, and calorie-dense yet nutritionally barren food can cause emotional instability and hamper the ability to emotionally self-regulate. You know, the same behavior that Perry has shown in his videos.
6. Christine Chandler AKA Chris Chan
It’s no exaggeration to say that few people in human history have been as closely documented and monitored as Christine Chandler. Sadly, the attention that Chandler has gotten isn’t because of her accomplishments or contributions to her community.
Christine Chandler first introduced herself to the internet as Christian Weston Chandler, a My Little Pony fan from Virginia. She would later come out as a transwoman, changing her name from Christian to Christine. Though Chandler had a relatively typical childhood, it soon became clear that she had autism.
At 12 years old, Chandler discovered a life-long love for Sonic the Hedgehog after winning a $1,000 worth video game shopping spree courtesy of SEGA. What followed was a Sonic renaissance for Chandler. She began creating a bevy of Sonic the Hedgehog original characters, the first being Bionic the Hedgehog, a baseball-playing version of Sonic.
She continued her obsession into adulthood after being expelled from college for posting signs requesting female company. By March 2005, Chandler had created the first Sonichu comic, a fan comic based on the Sonic franchise. She also began uploading her content to YouTube where she was discovered by 4chan, Kiwi Farms, and Encyclopedia Dramatica users.
These communities then turned Chris Chan and her admittedly amateurish art style into a laughing stock. When it became clear that Sonichu was a coping mechanism that contained bits of Chandler’s personal life, she began to amass a follower base dedicated to harassing her.
Over the years, they would proceed to gather information about Chandler who unwittingly doxxed herself due to lack of better judgment. At one point, some members of these forums attended Chandler’s hearing for the assault of a video game store employee. They knew everything about Chandler.
And that included the strange behavior Chris Chan exhibited towards her mother.
Sometime in 2016, she shared a Facebook post defending an incestuous relationship between a mother and her son where she admitted to dreaming of having sex with her own mother.
In July 2021, a 9-minute long audio recording of a phone call made by Chandler was leaked online. In it, she confessed to having sexual relations with her mother who was already 79 years old and had dementia. Following this, Chandler was arrested by Greene County police on charges of incest.
Chris Chan is currently being held at the Central Virginia Regional Jail.
7. Mike Lombardo
Mike Lombardo was a musician that went by “MikeLombardoMusic” on YouTube. At first, Lombardo had a bright future ahead of him. He had earned a degree in songwriting from the Berklee College of Music in 2009 and went on to gain several awards and collaborations. The most notable of these was the title of Master of Song Fu from a songwriting competition and a collaboration with Sara Bareilles.
Lombardo’s Youtube career was just as robust. He gained recognition for his video “Mike Lombardo Smackdown” where he talked about piracy on the internet.
After three years of what felt like an unstoppable rise to fame, Lombardo was slapped with child pornography allegations. Several underage girls had spoken to FBI agents regarding multiple nudes and inappropriate messages sent to them by Lombardo. One of the girls told the FBI that Lombardo would instruct her to masturbate for him via Skype.
Lombardo was sentenced to five years in prison on child pornography charges and was released on August 16, 2018. There have been no further reports on his whereabouts online.