After stabbing her sister Helen to death in 2021, Claire Miller pled guilty to third-degree murder and could serve up to 40 years in prison.
By February 2021, 14-year-old Claire Miller had amassed an impressive following of around 22,000 people on TikTok thanks to her lip-synch videos. Offline, however, she spent her days among 550 indifferent students at Lancaster Country Day School in eastern Pennsylvania. And at home, she often felt overshadowed by her 19-year-old sister Helen.
Diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Helen was wheelchair-bound and required constant care. Miller had helped tend to her sister for years before she finally snapped on February 22, 2021. That night, Helen was sleeping peacefully when Claire suddenly stabbed her to death with a kitchen knife. Claire Miller then called the police, who arrived as her parents were waking up.
In the words of Manheim Township Police Chief Tom Rudzinski, “I don’t know that I have ever been a part of something that is quite as sad as this.”
Ultimately, on March 10, 2023, a now-16-year-old Claire Miller pled guilty to third-degree murder and will spend anywhere from 12.5 to 40 years in prison. This is her story.
Claire Miller’s Normal Life Before The Murder
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.
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 February 22, 2021, are chillingly clear.
Claire Miller Brutally Killer Her Sister Helen
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, February 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.
Finally, on March 10, 2023, Claire Miller pled guilty to third-degree murder. Though she was ruled mentally ill, but not mentally disabled, she will spend between 12.5 and 40 years in prison.
After learning about Claire Miller, read about Erin Caffey, the 16-year-old who got her boyfriend to murder her whole family. Then, learn about the murder of 16-year-old Skylar Neese by her two best friends.