They Were Close Friends and TikTok Cosplay Stars Then They Had a Night Party, and One Friend Fell Down While Her Blood Seeped The Carpet

The tragic case of Helen Hastings

Image by freepik

Helen, Snow, and their five other friends drank vodka and Coca-Cola at their shared home in Houston. At some point in the evening, the friends watched the TV show Gotham.

Snow then unveiled a handgun.

“Oh, do me.”, Helen said.

Snow placed the gun on the left side of Helen’s head. The gun went off. Helen fell to the ground. Blood seeped into the carpet.

Helen Was an Only Child

Helen Rose Hastings was the only daughter of Philip Hastings and Susan Rosenberg.

Helen’s parents were both geneticists at the Baylor College of Medicine. Philip had married twice before. And he had four sons who were older than Helen.

The family lived in Houston, Texas, USA. Helen was a bright and highly intelligent child who spoke in complete sentences when they were just 18 months old.

Helen identified with “they” and “them” pronouns.

Helen’s childhood was packed with many hobbies: swimming, theater, rock band camps, robotics, etc. During breaks, Helen also traveled to places like Oslo, Croatia, and Tokyo with their parents. That opened their mind at a very young age.

By the time they were seven, they were fascinated with Japanese culture. Helen told their mom that they wanted to start an institute for women scientists in Japan.

But high school was unbearable for Helen.

Helen Was Bullied

Helen Rose Hastings with their mother Susan Rosenberg 
Helen Rose Hastings with their mother Susan Rosenberg — Image from

Helen didn’t fit in with their classmates, who often bullied them.

Things got worse for Helen when they identified as pansexual. Helen was bullied when the other students found out about their relationship with another girl at school. They became depressed and, as a result, developed anxiety and an eating disorder.

They kept to themselves and felt like no one understood them.

In addition, they had developed symptoms of misophonia at an early age. A condition that makes one intolerant to certain sounds made by other people, like chewing, tapping, coughing, and huffing.

So Helen found solace in cosplay as a result. One of Helen’s few friends had invited them to a local cosplay convention.

Helen was really captivated by the fun and exciting world. They saw it as an interesting way to escape their sad and depressing reality. Helen fit right in. They became a part of the cosplay world.

They were also talented at cosplay, so they established themselves in no time. Helen acquired a large following on TikTok and Instagram, where they would post their cosplay videos. But their mother was a bit skeptical of Helen’s newfound interest. Nonetheless, she was happy to see her daughter doing well and fitting in.

Helen Made a New Friend

Mary Anne Oliver-Snow, aka “Yandere Freak.” — Images from Instagram

In the cosplay community, Helen met Mary Anne Oliver-Snow, aka “Yandere Freak.”

Snow was a few years older than Helen and identified as non-binary. Snow was also from Houston, Texas. And they had been into cosplay since 2016. Those who knew Snow described them as being troublesome and reckless. Snow did controversial things that most people deemed inappropriate.

For instance, they once posted a video having a cosplay photo shoot at a local graveyard. They sat on the tombstones balancing on them and even dancing on top of them.

That angered many people.

Many followers felt Snow’s actions were disrespectful towards the dead in the cemetery.

In another incident, Snow claimed they had rescued sick kittens and asked their followers for money to help save the kittens. But the kittens were never sick, and Snow had pocketed the money.

Helen and Snow became very good friends.

The two hung out often and sometimes lived together at Snow’s house.

The Police Got a Disturbing Call

On January 17th, 2021, the police received a distress call from a house in Houston. The caller reported someone had been accidentally shot. The person who was shot was rushed to the hospital, where they passed away. It was eighteen-year-old Helen Hastings.

Helen was a freshman at Oberlin University at the time of their death. They intended to study neuroscience, psychology, and art.

The news of Helen’s death was soon posted on the internet. Their family and friends were devastated. But no one knew what had happened exactly.

When the truth finally came out, everyone was horrified. It turned out Helen’s then twenty-three-year-old good friend, Snow, was the one who shot them.

Snow, Helen, and five other friends gathered at Snow’s house for a party where they drank and smoked. The group watched Gotham together and decided to cosplay the characters. Snow announced that they had a weapon just like the penguin character in the series had. So they went to look for the gun in the garage.

Snow brought the gun into the living room, believing it was not loaded.

Everyone started playing with the gun.

One of the friends walked up to Snow and jokingly asked them to shoot at them. Snow raised the gun for a while before putting it down. But things took a dark turn when Helen also asked to be shot. Snow put the gun to the left side of Helen’s head and pulled the trigger.

The gun went off, and Helen fell to the ground, bleeding.

The group panicked. They tried to stop the bleeding with a teddy bear while they called the police. Helen was rushed to the hospital, where they were placed on life support but died two days later.

The Aftermath

Snow was arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter.

Snow told the authorities that the gun belonged to their ex-boyfriend, who had told them that he had removed all the bullets.

Snow also said they also placed the gun on themselves and their other friends the night they accidentally shot Helen. The weapon made a clicking sound when they pulled the trigger three or four times, making them believe it wasn’t loaded.

The other friends were questioned and said they didn’t think the gun was loaded either. Snow was soon released on bail as they await trial. They went back to living their life as if nothing had happened.

Snow remained active on social media, but they never posted something about their friend’s death. They acted like they hadn’t just lost a close friend.

They also went on to make controversial videos, with one that included fake blood splatters in the background and references to violence. That made a lot of their followers upset because they felt that Snow didn’t care about the fact that they killed Helen.

Other followers believed Snow had suffered enough guilty conscience from killing their friend, and they now deserved to move on.

Helen’s mother, Susan, believes that Helen’s death was an accident, but she still has doubts.

“There was some time when these folks were at this house before the police got there. So whatever was gonna happen, they were gonna have their story together.
There are plenty of people she could’ve gotten drunk and stoned with where it would have never gotten to the point of playing with a gun and putting it to somebody’s head.
It just doesn’t matter. Two lives were ruined. Helen’s was taken. And Snow’s life was ruined too.”

Helen’s friends advocated that Oberlin University plant a dogwood tree on the lawn of Burton, where Helen spent her first and only semester. The tree is pink, which is the color that Helen dyed their hair that semester.

*Footnote: Both Helen and Snow identified with the pronouns “they/them.”

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