Who was Brian Peppers and when/how he died?
Born Brian Joseph Peppers on the 1st of November 1968, in Toledo, Ohio USA, Brian Peppers is a sex offender-turned-internet personality, perhaps best known to the world as one of the few people that have become a meme – a trending type of entertainment, in the form of funny images or videos. Brian surfaced on the web on the 26th of March 2015, on a 4chan-like site ytmnd.com, which is short for “You’re The Man Now, Dog”. His pictures have been somewhat popular in the underground of the surface web ever since, although his existence is now almost forgotten; Brian passed away on the 7th of February 2012, at the age of 43.
The MythIt all started when a picture from the Ohio sex offenders registry surfaced online, and the users of ytmnd.com were quick to assume numerous things about the picture, most of which were far from the actual truth. Nevertheless, these allegations stuck, and Brian became the laughing-stock of practically the entire internet at the time. Also, back in 2015, the expression ‘meme’ was rarely used, and Brian Peppers was known more as a ‘fad’ instead. One of the most popular assumptions about Brian was that his picture was photoshopped, due to the facial deformation that gives him quite an unusual appearance. The website snopes.com was quick to live up to the debunking task, as that is what the site generally focuses on. The employees of the domain made contact with the Ohio Attorney General’s office and asked about the legitimacy of the image that surfaced, to which the exact reply was ‘This is an accurate photo of this offender.’ At this point, the internet at least had an idea of what was going on – a man with a deformed face was charged with attempting to commit Gross Sexual Imposition (2907.05), which specifically refers to unauthorized hand contact with another individual’s body parts.
After snopes.com employees managed to obtain a few of Brian’s yearbook pictures, it was confirmed that his face did actually look like that, except less deformed at an earlier age. This meant that Brian had a disease that made his body unlike a normal human’s, most likely a degenerative bone disease or a syndrome, such as Crouzon syndrome or Aperts syndrome. There is also the fact that the right part of Brian’s wheelchair can be seen in nearly all of his online pictures, meaning he was unable to walk and had to be taken care of in a nursing home. This raises the question, how come someone with such a heavy disability can at the same time be a sex offender? To this day, the question remains unanswered, but the memes continued either way.
A few months after the original image had surfaced, as well as Brian’s yearbook pictures some time later, provided by the people that went to school with him, a certain ytmnd.com user created a whole website filled with pictures and videos featuring Brian’s most famous internet picture with a number of captions, often photoshopped onto another background, with another usually feminine person in the image, followed by a caption such as ‘BRIAN NO!!!’. Due to his unusual appearance coupled with the said charges, Brian’s caption images took the internet by storm. As is the case with memes in general, most of those who share them don’t know the actual backstory, and so, Brian went from a paralyzed individual with serious physical issues and molestation charges to a terrifying stalker and disturbingly eerie shady individual that seems to want to molest everyone near him. Of course, overreacting is 50 percent of the humor in almost any situation, but the internet tends to forget that there’s an actual person behind all the humor.
From his online obituary, it is known that his parents’ names were Bert Mahlon Peppers, who died in 1991, and Joyce C Eggert Peppers, who passed away in 1998. Other than that, it doesn’t look like Brian had any siblings. It is unknown what school he went to or whether he ever matriculated and went for a college education. He was buried in the Ottawa Hills Memorial park in Ottawa Hills of the Lucas County in Ohio.
The Supposed TruthAs Brian himself nor anybody close to him ever shared anything about the incident that had him listed as a sex offender, various users of ytmnd.com came up with their own ideas as to why this happened. One of the most popular beliefs is that Brian never really intended to grope anyone. This allegation implies that Brian simply pulled on a nurse’s dress, or other clothing or body parts in order to ask for medical attention of sorts, at which point the nurse got the wrong message and fled in panic. The only confirmed fact here is that he was convicted of assaulting a medical worker, although the actual details of the entire incident will likely never be known. Ultimately, there was another ytmnd.com user who claimed to be his brother, stating that Brian was unable to move most of his body, due partly to alcohol abuse that followed the internet’s apparent slander, adding that Brian had blood clots across the majority of his body. In the end, this user was proved to be the supplier of a false backstory, as he (before Brian actually died) posted that ‘Brian had left this world in the early morning’, and lastly he added ‘in a time machine lol’. This user had a lot of ytmnd.com aficionados fooled for quite a few months before he finally revealed that he was joking!
Brian Peppers was a person who was unfortunately adversely affected physically and mentally from birth, and appears to have lead an unhappy and misunderstood life, alternately loathed and feared from childhood until his passing at the age of 49 in 2012.