It happened in late April 2018, when a Mustang GT driven by then 18-year-old Cameron Herrin slammed into a young mother who was pushing her 21-month-old daughter across the road. Reports revealed that the mother was thrown at least 40 feet after impact, her daughter and the stroller stationed at least 30 feet beyond that, both ultimately died. The Mustang that was left dented on Bayshore Boulevard, was a physical representation of the lives that it had snatched.
He pleaded guilty of the homicide in 2018 and the 21-year-old street racer, Cameron Herrin was ultimately sentenced to 24 years in prison in April 2021. Despite the fact that he is a criminal, his good looks has incited a twisted and deviant following online especially on TikTok. These twisted ‘fans’ on TikTok sided and sympathised with the killer citing that he is “too cute” to go to prison.
Hashtags #CameronHerrin and #JusticeForCameron even went viral on the day of his sentencing, often with footage of him crying while fans pleaded for him to be given a second chance. Even though some of the videos may be bots that are created to exploit the trend, others appear to be real people who are obsessed with the killer and very much exude hybristophilia behaviour.
The cult fandom has even breached Cameron Herrin’s family privacy with their stalker-like ways. Cheryl Herrin, mother of the 21-year-old criminal, told The Times that the level of support for her son had reached the level of being “almost like an obsession, an unhealthy obsession.”
According to Cheryl, at first, she was thankful for the letters and emails of support after Cameron’s sentencing and it gave her “great comfort” as the letters came not only from the Tampa Bay area, but also from the rest of the US and some countries in Europe. The messages were welcomed until, at some point, the supporters began stalking Herrin’s family and started hacking into Cameron’s fiancé’s social media account.
Cheryl also revealed that some of the fans had called her home in the middle of the night and the family’s personal phone numbers were leaked online. The family now has been avoiding the social media fandom and mentioning of Cameron Herrin online with the exception of a smaller, private Facebook group, Tampa Bay Times reported.
During Cameron Herrin’s sentencing in April, David Raubenolt, the husband and father of the deceased mother and daughter, asked the judge to give Cameron the maximum sentence of 30 years and remarked, “This was a crash, not an accident. Please be aware of that.”
“I can’t get the thought of the entitled monster who killed them. It is critical for you to understand that you’ve created everlasting pain and depths of sorrow,” Raubenolt firmly stated, addressing Cameron.
This is not the first time that such a sickening obsession towards criminals occurred, it happened quite extensively before. Such hybristophilia behaviour should not be justified and the common occurrence should be stopped.