Brian Laundrie: The dark themes that permeate person of interest’s digital footprint
Brian Laundrie’s social media accounts are providing clues to his state of mind before the disappearance of his girlfriend Gabby Petito.
A newly uncovered social media account believed to belong to missing “person of interest” Brian Laundrie is being pored over by an army of internet sleuths seeking clues to his whereabouts.
The Pinterest page suspected of being Mr Laundrie’s is also offering new clues into his state of mind in the weeks before his girlfriend Gabby Petito went missing on about 25 August.
Authorities confirmed Ms Petito’s death was a homicide on Tuesday, but have not identified Mr Laundrie as suspect, and he has not been charged with a crime in relation to her disappearance.
The Pinterest account, listed under the name @blaundrie1197, is linked to a profile under the name of Gabs Petito, and another in the name of his mother Roberta Laundrie.
One image being shared widely shows a sketch of ghostly figures, a gravestone, and text scattered throughout which reads “let her go, let her go, God bless her, wherever she may be.”
The quotes appear to come from “St James Infirmary Blues,” a 1943 song from Cab Calloway.
In a separate post, text at the bottom of an image reads: “Don’t try to find me,” and “I have finally escaped my ‘master’s’ wicked clutches. To the others I say: JOIN ME. Bite the hand that feeds you. Vive La Liberte.”
The quote is attributed to a “Pierre”, and the image reportedly comes from a 2006 missing dog poster seen in Oregon, according to The Sun.
Another folder titled “Life Goals” and shared by Mr Laundrie, his mother, and Ms Petito were making plans for their wedding.
The couple got engaged sometime in 2020, but Ms Petito’s parents have since said they had no immediate plans to marry.
Another page titled “Oh Baby” contains ideas for baby outfits and bedroom decorations, and sparked unsubstantiated rumours that Ms Petito may have been pregnant.
The latest post shows the cover of a book titled Burnt Out, how to cope with autistic burnout.
While it’s unknown whether Mr Laundrie was on the autism spectrum, he and Ms Petito told officers attending a domestic disturbance in Utah on August 12 they were suffering from a mental health breakdown.
According to a 911 call, Mr Laundrie hit and slapped his girlfriend in Moab, Utah, on 12 August.
When spoken to by police, she claimed to have instigated the fight and said she had been suffering from anxiety. Attending officer Daniel Robbins said the couple appeared to have been going through a “mental health crisis”, according to a police incident report obtained by The Independent.
Criminologists have pointed out that Mr Laundrie and Ms Petito’s picture perfect presentation of their ‘van-life’ tour of the United States was a long way from reality.
The substantial digital footprint left behind by Mr Laundrie has provided a wealth of material for the online community that has sprung up on social media and on internet messageboards such as the Gabby Petito subreddit, which has more than 110,000 members. They have been obsessively tracking and sharing every development in the case,searching for clues and flooding an FBI tipline with information.
‘An infestation of humans’
On Instagram, Brian Laundrie presents himself as an outdoorsman, a devoted boyfriend, and an artist with conspiratorial leanings.
He rails against being “brainwashed by the media”, about how governments are “evil” and are trying to destroy the planet, and his fondness for pop culture icons like Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk and the creator of the Hellboy comics, Mike Mignola.
The posts are sprinkled with references to nature and leaving behind dark themes; of his admiration for film characters like Joaquin Phoenix’s The Joker, violent video games like Hotline Miami, and a reference to the book Lullaby by Mr Palahniuk, in which a man investigates the death of his wife and child.
On the account named Bizarre Design, Mr Laundrie posted dozens of sketches, travel photos, and references his girlfriend Ms Petito as his “side kick”.
Mr Laundrie wrote often of his disdain for the human impact on the natural world, and of an “infestation of humans” ruining nature on a visit to Zion National Park in August.
He twice references death or dying when posting about his relationship with Ms Petito.
Mr Laundrie sold his artwork on a website called Depop, a fashion marketplace app of a global community buying, selling and connecting”. Most pieces sold for $4 or $5.
He invites people to contact him with any “specific requests/color/size”.
‘Til death do us part’