Caught on Camera

BV alums participate in extreme prank video, go too far for fame

Rachel Lock, Web Editor


You’re tackled to the ground, a bag yanked over your head as the assailant constricts you with duct tape.  

There’s a thud as you’re tossed into the trunk, the squeal of tires drowning out any muffled sounds you could make. That doesn’t stop you from trying — your voice soon turns hoarse from the unheard shouting.  You kick against the trunk, struggling to somehow get free as unimaginable panic sets in.  

This isn’t supposed to happen to you.  There has been a mistake — you’ve done nothing to deserve this.

A drive of 20 minutes.

You wait, terrified, unsure of what will come next.   

The bag is finally removed to reveal your best friend.

On his knees, helpless, a gun to his head.

You’re shouting, fighting with all your might against the tape binding you to the chair — your front row seat to a merciless execution.

You can’t bear to realize the unthinkable — that you are helpless to stop what is about to transpire.  You could be next, but not before witnessing a person you love be murdered in front of you.   

A final desperate plea — “He’s everything I have.”

A gunshot.  

You scream, crying as paranoia takes over only to be told by your friend, rising from the ground as if coming back to life, that it was all a prank.

A prank that he was in on.  

A prank for a YouTube channel.

For subscribers.

For likes.  

All arbitrary, an unmemorable claim to fame that won’t last — especially not longer than the suffering overtaking you from this betrayal.  

“He’s everything I have.”

Those are the words you used to describe the person who did this to you.


I’m sure by now you’re familiar with these events, the events in Sam Pepper’s highly controversial “Killing Best Friend Prank” video. YouTuber Sam Pepper who was aided by Viner Colby Brock pranked Brock’s Vine Partner and best friend of five years Sam Golbach.

The video has received extremely negative backlash via comments and tweets, causing the vine duo to upload several videos and social media posts trying to explain the prank’s message.

In addition, Pepper has received a death threat from the hacker organization Anonymous and there is a massive petition circulating to have YouTube remove the video (which they have refused to do).

I don’t understand why this has caused so much hype — what’s not to love about a disturbing video of a young man’s grief?

I mean, he’s visibly distressed and the prank went to extreme lengths — even going as far as to tie him up in the trunk and drive for 20 minutes. And that realistic looking weapon? What about the bag over his head and being bound to a chair? Brock’s execution style pose was particularly effective, don’t you think? Don’t forget the possibility that Golbach could have injured himself or have deep emotional scars from the trauma.


I find it quite disturbing that this is Pepper’s idea of a harmless prank not to mention how well executed the prank was.  The kidnapping was highly realistic and it seemed all too easy for him to plan this out.  

Especially with all the cases of teen shootings in the media, it is unacceptable to treat kidnapping and murder as jokes. Even in a desensitized age, it is frightening to think young adults were willing to go this far to play a joke on someone without even flinching.  Shock factor is a common tactic used by internet stars and in the media, but this goes far beyond that and verges into torturing a young man on camera.

Frankly, it is flat out sadistic.

But the worst part of it all is that Brock was in on it, that he was more than willing to do this to his best friend. I cannot even begin to imagine how it must have felt to be put through that betrayal.

The quest for fame is not worth this.  Sure, the Viners now have tons of media coverage but at what cost? It is said that any press is good press, but I’ve heard many people turn away from the duo for their participation in Pepper’s video.

The fact that the two are BV alums makes it hit even closer to home.  

We saw them in the halls together.

We heard the news of their vine account’s popularity exploding.

We listened to physics teacher John Holloway’s countless jokes about their throng of pre-teen female fans.      

And finally, we watched as Sam saw his best friend die.

In Golbach and Brock’s latest apology video, they claim the video brings people together and that “it’s really really cool to see [fans] saying they’ve never been closer to their best friend”. It sends the message they try to relay in all their videos —“life is short and appreciate what you have.”

Yeah, the way to do that is to kidnap your best friend and post his reaction as you are shot before his eyes for over 4 million viewers to witness.  

In short, this is the definition of taking it too far.

All we can hope for is that these young internet stars have learned a valuable lesson — know where the limit is, don’t cross a line you can never uncross and most of all, value loyalty.

Don’t exploit what matters most to you on the internet for a moment in the spotlight.