Youtube stars can make some serious bank in todays society, and sometimes that draws in people who want attention for all the wrong reasons.
Multiple online superstars have had run-ins with the law over the past decade, and for a spectrum of reasons. While some 'fell in love' and had inappropriate relationships with underaged fans, others went out on full-blown, bloody rampages that ended in catastrophe.
Here are 11 Youtubers who have had run-ins with police, and found themselves either dead or behind bars:
1. Elliot Rodger
Infamous 22-year-old Elliot Rodger went on a vicious killing spree in Isla Vista, California on May 23, 2014. Rodger fatally stabbed three males in his residence, before shooting another three females in front of a sorority house in town – two of the women were killed, one injured. He fatally shot a man at a local deli, and injured 13 others during fire-exchange with police officers.
Rodger ultimately ended the horrific night in Isla Vista by shooting himself inside his wrecked BMW.
The day before Rodger's rampage, he posted a Youtube video explaining why 'it had to come to this.' He described that being a virgin, girls turning him down and popular kids ignoring him at school, had become too much for him to bear.
"You've forced me to suffer all my life and now I'll force you all to suffer. I've waited a long time for this. I'll give you exactly what you deserve. All of you.
All you girls who rejected me and looked down upon me and you know, treated me like scum while you gave yourselves to other men. And all of you men, for living a better life than me, all of you sexually active men, I hate you. I hate all of you.
I can't wait to give you exactly what you deserve. Utter annihilation (laughs)."
2. Trey Eric Sesler
Trey Sesler was an anime and videogame Youtuber under the username 'lenscapproductions.' His videos were viewed millions of times, and he posted a total of 323 videos.
On March 20, 2012 he killed his father, mother and brother in his Waller, Texas home. Writing was found all over the walls; expressing love for his family and things like, "God forgive me, for I cannot forgive myself." The bodies of his family had been shot multiple times.
He later admitted to police he killed them because he did not want them to know about his upcoming 'Columbine inspired' massacre. Him and a friend had planned on shooting up a high school.
He was charged with capital murder.
3. Pekka-Eric Auvinen
Pekka-Eric Auvinen, known as the 'Youtube Killer' had a small following on Youtube, but had over 100 videos uploaded; many of them bashing religions across the board.
On November 7, 2007, 18-year-old Auvinen walked into Jokela High School in Tuusula, Finland and shot nine people, killing eight and injuring one. Twelve others were also injured by flying shattered glass or sprained ankles during the chaos.
Auvinen ended his rampage by shooting himself in the head, and later dying in a Helsinki hospital.
4. Jared Lee Loughner
Jared Loughner posted disturbing and bizarre videos on Youtube over topics of religion, mind tricks, government, and a currency he designed. While his following was small, his view counts are high (though its hard to see how many of the views came before his horrific act).
Loughner became a mass murderer on January 8, 2011 when he shot and killed 6 people in Arizona. He shot and severely injured U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, his original target. Other victims included Chief U.S. District Court Judge John Roll, as well as a nine-year-old bystander, Christina-Taylor Green.
In August 2012, Loughner pled guilty to 19 counts of murder and attempt of murder and he was sentenced to life, plus 140 years, in federal prison.
5. Mike Lombardo
Youtube musician Mike Lombardo was arrested in 2013 for possession of child pornography - presumably sent to him by underaged fans and found on his computer. Lombardo plead guilty and received just five years in prison, versus 20 years, the statutory maximum. He is now a registered sex offender.
6. Curtis Lepore
YouTuber and Viner Curtis Lepore dated fellow Viner Jessi 'Smiles' for a few months back in 2013. Both were extremely successful and the internet was obsessed with their new relationship. I remember personally watching them meet for the first time online – the world was in love with them and there was a trending hashtag to prove it.
However, things took a turn for the worst in August of 2013, when Lepore was charged for raping Jessi. Jessi told authorities she was hit in the head on accident while filming a vine, and feeling dizzy, fell asleep. She woke up to Lepore raping her.
The next day, following Lepore’s arrest, he was released on a $100,000 bail. In February, Lepore plead guilty and only served 24 days of community service.
7. Kandee Johnson
Make-up artist and 'guru' Kandee Johnson faced two criminal charges regarding her 13-year-old son back in 2010. Her first charge was for child endangerment, after her then 12-year-old was found home alone – while she was on 'a business trip in LA.' Police said her home was borderline unlivable, with dishes and old food covering the surfaces of her home.
The second charge came in May of 2010 for not making the same son attend middle school. Prosecutors claim Johnson received half a dozen letters from the school notifying her of truancy and his excessive absences.
She plead guilty in exchange for her initial endangerment charge to be dropped, and Johnson's guilty plea landed her 90 days in the slammer.
To make things worse, Johnson asked for (and received) thousands of dollars from her fans to pay for the court and lawyer fees she was facing – to which many believe was much more than she even needed.
In fact, when her smaller request was fulfilled, she requested even more. She lost a lot of her following due to accusations of scamming money from her subscribers and fans.
8. “JinBop” Zhao
"JinBop" Zhao was arrested by federal officials for engaging in sexually predatory behavior, including enticing a minor to travel with intent of sexual misconduct, toward a 15-year-old fan of his Youtube channel. Investigation found Zhao had partaken in illicit online behavior with the minor for several months.
Zhao was also accused of producing and receiving child pornography.
9. David Rock
David Rock is Youtuber who used to record shenanigans that took place on his farm, located in Canada, and uploaded it to his 92K subscribers. In fact, at one point, he had a contract with Youtube which paid Rock $15,000 a month.
However, in 2009 Rock's dirty criminal record was exposed and things began to crumble for him.
Fans found out Rock had pled guilty to not one, not two, but seven charges of sexually exploiting children. Rock admitted to recording video footage of two teenage boys while encouraging them to masturbate.
He claimed he suffered from undiagnosed manic depression, which has since been treated for, and that minors aren't allowed on his farm without adult guardians. However, this wasn't enough to convince most of his followers to stay, and his account was eventually deactivated due to 'violating YouTube's Community Guidelines.'
10. Brandon Carter
Fitness Youtuber Brandon Carter was arrested on sixth street in Austin, Texas for a staged fight with fellow Youtuber Connor Murphy. The two planned on pretending to fight for a few minutes, then break out into dance.
However Austin police saw the fight and tackled the two the ground to prevent it from escalating, unaware that it was staged.
Murphy was let go, but Carter was arrested for 'resisting arrest.' Footage of the arrest showed differently – proving Carter was completely complacent.
Carter remains in jail three months later – and no one knows why.
11. Charles Ross
YouTube prankster Charles Ross was arrested for 'battery' in 2013 for giving wedgies to strangers in public. Yes, you read that right. For wedgies.
Ross had given a series of random wedgies outside of a movie theatre in Florida, when a 20-year-old victim decided he was going to press charges. The Mantee County Sheriff’s Office arrested Ross and detained him for the night. He was released the next day on a $750 bond.
In 2017, he was arrested again for stealing stop signs.