NICOLA Bulley's initial disappearance attracted an inordinate level of interest around the world, but it also sparked a rise in relatively new phenomena – the social media sleuths and psychics.

Everyone is an armchair detective?

The surging popularity of crime shows – both reality-based and fictional dramas – in recent years, has seen interest in real crimes rise alongside, but not many of us would take this interest beyond sharing our thoughts with our family and friends.


Since January 27, when mother-of-two Nicola Bulley disappeared from St Michael’s on Wyre while walking her dog, the “armchair detective” has got up off the couch, with “TikTok” sleuths descending upon the quiet Lancashire community to take it upon themselves to investigate and even search locations.

But it’s not just this case?

TikTok in particular is home to an array of “true crime” communities, where, in some cases, old murders are broken down and discussed, while in others, unsolved cases are delved into and there are also plenty of old true crime documentaries segmented and uploaded to the platform.

What’s the latest situation?

Prior to the discovery of a body in the River Wyre by walkers who alerted police, one amateur TikTok “detective” called “Curtis Cool” had posted footage online over the weekend of him adigging up woodland close to the area where Ms Bulley was last seen.

It comes after?

TikTok user Dan Duffy was arrested and fined £90 for a “public order offence” after posting videos from the search scene, as police tried to crackdown on vigilantes getting involved. The force issued a 48-hour dispersal order at one point to give officers the power to turn away anyone committing anti-social behaviour.

Wyre Council leader Michael Vincent told Sky News: “People have reported being sat in their living rooms in an afternoon watching television and people coming up to the windows, peering in, trying the doors, it’s been terrifying for them.”

TikTok is the main issue?

The Chinese app – downloaded by around two billion people – is a platform for sharing short mobile videos that has already been banned from federal government devices in the United States amid data gathering security concerns. It has been flooded with Nicola Bulley videos, with individuals posting their thoughts and even wild accusations. There are hundreds of thousands of videos of varying kinds, including thousands of “psychics” claiming to be able to interpret the events.

Such as?

One “psychic” called The Animal Whisperer on TikTok, uploaded a video saying she did a reading of Ms Bulley’s dog, Willow, and felt a “tingling sensation” on her shoulder”. Another said wildly that “it happened quick” as, while the media is bound by the law and a code of conduct, it is evidently a total free-for-all online.