In this article:
- Chris-Chan is a relatively famous YouTuber and internet lolcow that has been dubbed the “most documented person” after years of relentless trolling and stalking by anonymous internet users.
- The YouTube and Sonichu webcomic creator has a long history of dubious mental health clouded by suspicions of incest with her own mother.
- Last year, she was arrested by authorities after a recording surfaced wherein she admitted to having incestuous sexual relations with her then 79-year-old mother, Barbara Anne Chandler, who suffers from dementia.
- She is currently on trial for several charges, chief among them regarding allegations of raping her mother.
It’s not uncommon to hear about internet personalities going off the deep end, but Chris-Chan‘s descent into questionable moral territory came to a more dramatic conclusion compared to most of her peers.
The YouTube star first gained popularity online as the creator of Sonnichu, a fanmade webcomic about Sonic the Hedgehog characters that was widely mocked online. Rather than shy away from the attention, Chris-Chan leaned into her newfound (in)famy and interacted with trolls who later dedicated themselves to messing with her personal life.
The constant stress of online harassment and her existing mental health issues led Chris-Chan down a dangerous spiral of delusion that resulted in the internet’s most controversial incest trial of the past decade.
Who Is Chris-Chan?: Meet the Youtuber and Sonnichu Creator Christine Weston Chandler
Chris-Chan is the screenname of Christine Weston Chandler, a 40-year-old YouTuber vlogger who you may have previously heard of as Christian Weston Chandler, the name that she used prior to coming out as transgender.
She first gained internet fame through her Sonichu comics that starred an electric Sonic the Hedgehog original character called Sonichu. The name is a portmanteau of “Sonic” and “Pikachu.”
The titular Sonichu looks exactly as his name sounds, mixing the body of a typical Sonic the Hedgehog model with the color scheme of Pikachu from the Pokemon series.
Though initially created for a high school assignment and as a means of escapism, the Sonichu comics later became a means for Chris-Chan’s imagination to take over her life, especially after trolls on the internet began to convince her that Sonichu was real, further blurring the lines between real-life and her coping mechanisms.
The birth of Sonichu in a computer graphics class was a pivotal moment for Chris-Chan, especially if we consider how she created 16 different volumes of Sonichu before eventually replacing the character with her own self-insert original character.
Chris-Chan shortly launched the CWC’s Sonichu Site! which hosted her Sonichu comics as well as any other ideas she wanted to communicate with what she believed were “fans” of the Sonichu franchise.
The CWC’s Sonichu Site! was eventually taken down by trolls in 2007 after several attempts to relaunch the site failed, forcing Chris to accept help from other “friends” (whether they were actually friends or more trolls is debatable).
But while her online trolls were taking down her site, the debacle drew so much online attention to Chris-Chan that she released an introductory video about who she is and what she believes in.
The video, which can be seen above, is addressed to people in the present (and future) from the United States and beyond. It advises, among other things, for viewers not to drink, smoke, or become queer. It also tells us that Chris-Chan is a “high-functioning autistic,” as she puts it.
Chris-Chan, then only 21 years old, later grew to become a heavy drinker who consumes marijuana and is a transgender woman — everything she’d cautioned against in the video.
It was around this time in the early 2000s that she drew the ire of Encyclopedia Dramatica, a satirical wiki that documents internet cringe and lolcows (basically, internet laughing stocks that are riled up on purpose for laughs), and began her obsession with Megan Schroeder.
She met Megan at The GAME PLACe, a comic and games store in Charlottesville, Virginia, where the two bonded over mutual interests. Chris-Chan interpreted this as romantic interest and began to continuously intrude on Megan’s boundaries.
With Encyclopedia Dramatica’s eyes still on her, Chris-Chan uploaded a drawing of herself fingering Megan. Naturally, Megan cut her off after finding out about the incident, but this only led Chris-Chan to believe that she schemed to have her banned from The GAME PLACe when in truth, Chris-Chan was banned for aggressive behavior that bothered the other regulars.
Chris is said to have threatened her card game opponents with physical violence and would often insult them by pointedly not shaking their hands or, on the rare occasion that she did, by quickly cleaning her hands with a sanitizer.
Regardless of the facts, the damage was done and Chris-Chan’s new friendless life left her open to being taken advantage of by trolls like the Idea Guys, one of the earliest organized groups of trolls to target her.
The Idea Guyspretended to be her imaginary friends and convinced her that her fantasy scenarios, including those related to Sonichu, were real. This later allowed them to extort $6,000 from Chris-Chan after they threatened to destroy CWCville, a made-up city in her imagination.
The Idea Guys’ tactics were so effective that they were able to keep Chris-Chan believing in many of the delusions they created for her up until today.
The most important one of these was making Chris-Chan believe that a Dimensional Merge would occur that would turn the Sonichu universe and the real-life universe into one reality.
Think of it as Chris-Chan’s own version of the arrival of the Kingdom of God in Christian theology because that’s what it was presented to her as: a Revelations-type event that would finally end her struggles.
She was subjected to a level of trolling that not even celebrities today can imagine. Her trolls have easily made Chris-Chan one of the most documented people alive, particularly because of their wanton invasion of her privacy.
But no amount of regular trolling gets people to believe that they’re dimension-creating deities whose idle fantasies can become real.
Chris-Chan already had a ton of pre-existing mental health issues that were then exacerbated and exploited by her group of online “friends.”
Chris-Chan’s Mental Health: Autism and Signs of Psychosis
Let’s backtrack a bit to Chris-Chan’s introduction where she describes herself as a “high-functioning autistic.” Autism, formally known as autism spectrum disorder, is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is typically recognized for its negative effects on social and communication capabilities as well as its destabilizing effects on mood, but what people rarely know about autism is that it can come with psychosis.
To be clear, this doesn’t mean that all people with autism have psychotic symptoms but that it’s not unheard of for psychotic symptoms to have comorbidities with an autism spectrum disorder.
Psychosis is formally defined as “a period of abnormal perceptions (hallucinations) and distortions of reality (delusions).” It doesn’t take a psychology degree nor a professional license to see how Chris-Chan might fit the criteria for the second half of that definition.
Assistant professors Jennifer Foss-Fei and Eva Velthorst, who both research the intersection between autism and schizophrenia, have noted the difficulties of identifying the early signs of psychosis in children with autism without confusing it for behavior and thought patterns that came together with autism.
However, they did note that people with autism who displayed traits similar to conventionally recognized patterns of psychosis later developed full-blown psychosis within two years of identification. That Chris-Chan was continually being targeted by the internet may have sped up the process and/or aggravated it for her.
Chris-Chan claimed that a babysitter gave her autism when she was a baby because the babysitter would often lock her in a room. She had this to say about it in a video recorded when she was 16 years old:
“I had a babysitter, but, uh, she was kinda’ve a mean babysitter. Anyway, ah, one day she was on her phone and, uh, I came up t—I came up to her, I came up with her, and said something and, uh, she was kinda angry at me, ’cause I interrupted her phone call, AND she locked me in a room fulla noth—n—fulla nothing but toys, and, uh, she just locked me in there, and, uh, I was very lonely, so I just sat there and cried, and… uh that’s how my autism began. Thanks to an evil babysitter.“
Rumors online say that Chris-Chan and her brother were abused by their mother, Barbara Anne Chandler nee Weston, often due to disagreements about Barbara’s hoarding tendencies.
Chris was later taken by her father to Virginia where she continued to study until her mother rejoined them after retiring from her job as a secretary.
Years later, Barbara developed dementia, leaving her to the care of Chris-Chan.
In 2021, an audio recording surfaced online containing what sounded like a confession from Chris-Chan that confirmed her trolls’ suspicions that she was sexually abusing her mother.
Allegations of Incestuous Sexual Assault of Her Mother Barbara Anne Chandler
For people who had followed the Chris-Chan saga for years, the writing was on the wall. Chris-Chan always had a peculiar way of calling her mother using uncomfortably romantic pet names such as “darling.”
Back in August 2016, Chris-Chan had also written a Facebook post telling audiences that she had dreams about having sex with her mother.
Chris-Chan wrote, in defense of an incestuous mother-son pair in Mexico, that: “Anyhow, who among Everyone in this world has not had a dream of having sex with one of their parents? Never acting on them ever, I, myself, Did have dreams of having sex with my mother.“
Even early into what appears to be her psychosis, she was already obsessed with something she called a “Love Quest” for an 18-year-old virgin lover. It’s part of why Chris-Chan was so obsessed with Megan: she saw her as a potential romantic partner.
But back to Barbara Chandler.
A Kiwi Farms user who went by “Bella” was able to gain Chris-Chan’s trust and learn from her that her mother was having “memory problems” that led to odd “assaults” on Chris-Chan’s 79-year-old mother.
The day after that, Chris-Chan was arrested by authorities on suspicions of incest by officers of the Greene County Sheriff’s office.
Where Is Chris-Chan Now?
Judge David M. Barredo ordered for Chris-Chan to be held without bond on August 5, 2021. While being held at the Central Virginia Regional Jail, she was categorized as male, implying she was sent to the men’s jail, despite having had her identity legally affirmed prior to the arrest.
Her latest hearing was on July 28th of this year, nearly a year since she was first arrested. Though very little is publicly known about Chris-Chan, rumors say a grand jury is being put together to discuss the charges against her.