Internet trolls descend on Petito case to defend Brian Laundrie

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Some internet trolls have taken an interest in the disappearance and death of Gabby Petito as a way to defend Brian Laundrie — her fiancé and a person of interest in the case.

They’re speculating that Laundrie is himself a victim as well and is being unfairly maligned, and that Petito may have just died from COVID-19. 

Kris Mohandie, a forensic psychologist who has worked for the Los Angeles Police Department as a threat assessment expert, says there will always be people with dysfunctional ideas and a tendency to go for conspiracy theories.

“Once we have people online, on social media, you can get validation for just about anything as extreme and dysfunctional as you can imagine,” Mohandie said.

He said in some instances, there needs to be more regulation on social media platforms.

“Because communities can be created virtually to support, accept and encourage anything — which is why there’s so much — there needs to be regulation of what goes on in these social media platforms. These people need to be shut down,” said Mohandie.

He added that an amount of misogyny often comes along with certain internet communities.

“These are angry and disaffected men who hate women and believe that they’re entitled to have any kind of relationship of dominance related to women,” Mohandie said. “They are a very potentially dangerous group of people.”

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