Content creators have turned to prank videos as a way to gain followers. The move works, judging by the number of internet celebrities who still post prank videos. The internet is saturated with prank videos. However, instead of trying to find a new way to make them viral, content creators have decided to increase the risk factor by making them more dangerous and outrageous.
Sometimes it works, other times it is a disaster. Unfortunately, Timothy Wilks’s attempt at fame online through a dangerous stunt ended in his death. You can read more about his story here.
Timothy Wilks was captured while making a prank-robbery video
Timothy and his friend were armed with butcher knives in February 2021 to film prank-robbery videos. They wanted to capture people’s reactions when they were held at knifepoint.
They chose to commit their faux crime at the Urban Air Trampoline or Adventure Park parking lot.
The pair approached a group of people in the parking lot, brandishing knives. David Starnes Jr. felt threatened, and retaliated by shooting Timothy. Wilks’ friend was unharmed.
Starnes Jr. was present at the scene until emergency personnel arrived. He told police that he had acted in self-defense. David claimed that he did not know the attempted robbery had been a joke by Yella Beezy.
“I’m sure that the people involved would prefer to characterize it as a joke,” said a local lawyer to WZTV. He summarized the incident. It seems like a serious prank.
Police did not arrest David Wilks or his friend.
Wilks’ grandmother encouraged parents to keep an eye on their children’s internet activity.
Shirley Berry, Timothy’s grandmother, advised parents to monitor their children’s online activities days after the shooting.
Berry claimed that she was unaware Timothy had started a YouTube channel. “As far YouTube stuff, this was something new to me that I got into it,” Berry told. It’s still a mystery to me.
Shirley described Timothy’s soft-spoken nature and stated that he was currently in school to pursue a career as an HVAC technician. She stated that Timothy was viewed as a role model by his younger siblings and cousins.
“I don’t even consider him a man,” Berry stated that he always considers Berry his baby. Berry said, “You have never seen him smile more often than he did.” He was always serious.”
Tennessee’s grieving grandmother insists that her grandson was not a criminal. Shirley insists that she doesn’t want anyone to misunderstand my grandson.
Shirley hoped people would learn from her tragedy and be more aware of the dangers of trying to make a name for themselves on social media. Berry stated:
“If your children are following the same path as his, please take this note to remind you to check in on your children. This is extremely dangerous and must be stopped immediately.
Many content creators died while filming videos that could be dangerous to the internet.
It’s amazing to see how many content creators have lost their lives because of pranks that went wrong.
In 2017, Monalisa Perez, a YouTuber, fatally shot Pedro Ruiz in an unsuccessful stunt. Pedro and Perez believed a thick book Pedro had would prevent the bullet from being fired at close range.
Both had previously tested the theory and it worked. However, Perez was further away and Pedro held a more difficult book. Ruiz was only a few feet away when she fired the fatal shot. The bullet pierced the book and entered Pedro’s chest. It then killed him.
Monalisa was then pregnant with their second child and pleaded guilty to manslaughter. She was sentenced to 180 days in prison and ten years probation.
An 11-year-old boy committed suicide in the same year believing his girlfriend had done it. Katrina Goss (Mother of Tysen Benz) claimed that Tysen’s friend and her friends had created social media posts convincing Benz she had committed suicide.
Katrina said to the New York Post that Katrina pulled a prank to make it appear as if she had killed herself. She also used her friends’ [social media] accounts and other people’s accounts to make it seem like she had killed herself. He believed her and said, “I’m going kill myself.”
Russian YouTuber Arslan Valeev live-streamed his experience of being bitten by a black mamba. The poisonous bite caused him to die.
Rana Zuhair, a YouTuber, was photographed pretending to be a ghost in 2018. Rana, who was wearing a white sheet over his head, approached a family at a Lahore park, Pakistan. Rana was shot by one of his family members, resulting in his death instantly.
Alex and Alan Stokes, also known collectively as the Stokes twins tried to fake a bank robbery video in October 2019. The pair, dressed in ski masks, and carrying duffle bags full of cash, called an Uber but were refused entry.
An innocent Uber driver was held hostage by a police officer who called him a witness. The police eventually released the Uber driver, and the twins were charged with false imprisonment and falsely reporting an emergency. The twins were given a warning.
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Stas Reeflay, a Russian YouTuber, accepted $1,000 from a fan in 2020 to abuse Valentina Grigoryeva. Stas made Valentina wear a scanty outfit and forced her to go outside in sub-freezing temperatures. After multiple attempts to revive Valentina, she died.