Three months ago, as I was preparing for a public debate event, I received an email threatening my life.
As a journalist and commentator who lives a very public life, I receive odd emails all the time, and this wasn’t even my first death threat. But this one was different.
It included a link to an Instagram account where I found dozens of pictures of myself with threats to rape and kill me. I saw pictures threatening to kill Ben Shapiro, President Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and one even threatening to blow up synagogues. The man posted photos of various weapons, firearms, and Nazi propaganda.
I immediately panicked and began to cry. Due to the fact that I was set to speak at a public event in a few hours, my employer sent me with a security guard. I have never needed a security guard before. I stayed away from my apartment for a couple of days and then had friends stay with me until he was arrested.
That’s why hearing of the murder of Bianca Devins on Sunday night by a man who she met on the internet sent shivers down my spine. According to various reports, he stalked her, found her at a concert, cut her throat, tried to decapitate her, posted photos of her body online, and attempted suicide.
Devins was just a young girl who enjoyed video games and was an aspiring Instagram personality. She had so much more to live for. That could’ve been me, or any of the other young girls and women out there who have been targeted online.
The internet has created a dangerous culture among some young men. In the darkest corners of the internet, men spew hatred against women in some “incel” — involuntarily celibate — communities and circles. Many of these men blame their lack of success with women not on their own shortcomings, but on women.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a celebrity or not, if a crazy person on the internet sets their sights on you, you could be in danger. Young women often rightfully ignore the advances of men on the internet, but it’s important to monitor them. My stalker emailed me several times before I noticed the death threat, and I didn’t pay any attention. Once I saw something troubling, I reported it, which, thankfully, led to his arrest.
To the young women — or anyone — reading this, please report anything suspicious or troublesome, whether you know the person or not. I can tell you personally, that you are not overreacting, you are simply being safe.
Devins’ life was cut short because of evil. May her memory be a blessing, but also offer us a warning.
Kassy Dillon is the founder of Lone Conservative, an online platform for college conservatives. She’s also a masters student at Pepperdine University.