The size of Claire Miller's TikTok following exploded to a disturbing degree just after she stabbed her wheelchair-bound older sister to death in February 2021.
The proliferation of social media platforms like TikTok has made millions of people around the world feel less alone. Glimpses into each other’s lives have provided the youth of Generation Z with an extraordinary outlet to connect. For Claire Miller, however, that wasn’t enough — and she allegedly killed her sister for attention.
Miller had amassed an impressive following of around 22,000 on TikTok performing in short lip-synch videos. In reality, however, the 14-year-old spent her days among 550 indifferent students at Lancaster Country Day School. Her home life in the Pennsylvania town seemed even less glamorous, as Miller often felt her 19-year-old sister Helen overshadowed her.
Diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Helen was wheelchair-bound and required constant care. Miller had helped tend to her sister for years before she snapped on Feb. 22, 2021. As reported by the Daily Beast, Helen was peacefully asleep when Miller stabbed her to death with a kitchen knife. Miller then called the police, who arrived as her parents were waking up.
“When I heard about this I was almost instantly upset about it myself over the details that had been related to me,” said Tom Rudzinski, Manheim Township Police Chief. “I don’t know that I have ever been a part of something that is quite as sad as this.”
Claire Miller’s TikTok Following
Born in 2007 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Claire Elaina Miller was raised by loving parents Mark and Marie Miller. While she was a healthy child, her older sister Helen wasn’t as lucky. Helen had cerebral palsy. She spent much of her life in a wheelchair and needed frequent assistance.
Both Miller and her older sister attended the private Lancaster Country Day School. After school, Miller mostly spent her days in the solace of her room, posting videos on her @spiritsandsuchconsulting TikTok account, as reported by The Tab.
Most of these videos were harmless and showed Miller lip-synching to sad pop songs or dancing around her room. Others depicted her jovial father making silly faces, playing guitar, or jokingly acknowledging Miller’s camera. She commonly re-enacted popular anime memes, which her father presumably found somewhat eccentric.
“My dad has to stop opening the conversation with ‘this is just like the gay bar in Japan,'” the caption in one of Miller’s videos read.
Other videos of hers are far more ominous, however. While Miller’s TikTok page was taken down after her arrest boosted its following, users had already captured her footage and reposted it to their own pages. According to the Daily Mail, one of these videos showed a bloody latex glove and a plush giraffe covered in blood.
Ultimately, whether or not Miller took these particular videos herself remains a mystery. But the events of Feb. 22, 2021, are chillingly clear.
Claire Miller Murders Her Sister
It appeared to be a normal Sunday evening when the Miller family said their goodnights and went to their individual beds. It’s unclear how long Claire Miller had planned to murder her sister, if at all, but she crept into Helen’s room around 1 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 22 with a knife from the family kitchen.
Miller stabbed Helen in the neck several times before placing a pillow over her face. She called 911 at 1:08 a.m. and told the Manheim Township emergency dispatcher that she had killed her sister. Police arrived at the 1500 block of Clayton Road within five minutes and found Miller waiting outside.
“I stabbed my sister,” she said.
While authorities initially believed Miller was traumatized as the result of some unknown family accident, they couldn’t help but note her appearance. Miller’s blue t-shirt emblazoned with a cat’s face and checkered pajama pants were drenched in blood. The red snow nearby suggested she had tried to clean her hands.
When Miller told the officers that her dead sister was in bed, police entered the residence. Tragically, Mark and Marie Miller had no idea what had occurred until armed cops flooded the bloody crime scene — and only then did they realize that their disabled daughter had been stabbed to death.
“One of the officers removed the pillow and saw a knife sticking out of Helen’s neck just above her chest,” explained a statement from the police. “Helen’s hands were up near her head and officers noticed a large amount of blood on Helen’s chest and on the bed.”
Police attempted to resuscitate Helen Miller while waiting for emergency services to arrive. Unfortunately, it was far too late, and she was pronounced dead at 4:13 a.m. Claire Miller was taken into custody and charged with criminal homicide. She will be tried as an adult, as the state of Pennsylvania does not consider murder a delinquent crime.
The Aftermath Of Helen Miller’s Murder
As reported by the Patriot-News, Claire Miller appeared in Lancaster County Court on April 16, 2021, via video feed from a state prison in Muncy. Her attorney Robert Beyer told Judge David Miller that she had no interest in a preliminary hearing, allowing the case to proceed without prosecutors having to prove they had enough evidence to charge her.
Miller’s arraignment was scheduled for May 14, but she waived her right to that as well and pleaded not guilty. Her attorney subsequently requested a hearing in order to shift Miller’s homicide prosecution to juvenile court — and filed a notice for a potential insanity defense.
While her school district published a statement of grief in wake of the tragedy, no mourning could possibly match that of Mark and Marie Miller. For those who first responded to the macabre scene themselves, there’s simply no way to process what the parents who lost both of their children in one night must be going through.
“My heart goes out to them, and I can’t even begin to understand or imagine the pain that they feel at this point,” said Rudzinski.
Disturbingly, Miller’s TikTok following exploded by nearly 11,000 once news of the murder broke and her final post scored millions of views — before TikTok removed her account entirely.
Claire Miller faces a potential life sentence or capital punishment if convicted.
After learning about Claire Miller, read about Inejiro Asanuma’s assassination on live television. Then, learn about the murder of 16-year-old Skylar Neese by her two best friends.