YouTuber defends autopsy video of 11-year-old Gannon Stauch

Posted at 6:00 PM, July 13, 2023 and last updated 9:22 PM, July 13, 2023


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Court TV) — Two months after 11-year-old Gannon Stauch’s killer was sentenced, a video featuring photos of his autopsy was sold for views on social media.

Gannon Stauch missing person picture

FILE – Gannon Stauch (NCMEC)

Gannon was killed by his stepmother, Letecia Stauch, who was convicted of murdering the child before disposing of his body in a suitcase. A jury found Letecia guilty of first-degree murder, tampering with a deceased human body and guilty of tampering with evidence after she had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. She was sentenced on May 8 to serve a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

WATCH: Stepmother Murder Trial: Letecia Stauch Sentenced

During the trial, which spanned three weeks, jurors were shown autopsy photos showing that Gannon had been beaten, stabbed and shot. Those photos were not released to the public, and coverage of the trial by Court TV and other media outlets excluded the gruesome photos.

In a recent broadcast, a YouTube content creator charged viewers to see the photos, which the content creator had obtained via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the El Paso County Court.

El Paso County prosecutor Michael Allen, who tried the case for the State, denounced the decision to post the images online in an interview with NewsNation.  “It’s outright disgusting and speaks to the lowest of human forms in my opinion,” Allen said.

NewsNation reported that the content creator, Zav Girl, charged viewers $3 to view a broadcast featuring the autopsy photos.

Zav Girl posted a statement on YouTube appearing to defend her decision to post the photos.

I want to address what’s going on right now with the Gannon autopsy/Coroner video I created. Unfortunately this seems to be something where people are very divided on how they feel about it and I’m hearing a lot from both sides. The reality of the situation is that different people feel differently about this. Some people genuinely think making a video including the autopsy photos is bad and I respect their opinion and feelings. Other people, like myself, think of autopsy photos and the coroner discussing/explaining them as interesting and informative and are able to view it all in a more scientific detached way. It’s just one of those things where it depends on the person. I am not adamantly against taking down the video if people are truly unhappy with it, and I will absolutely consider doing that. But right now it seems that there are a lot of other people who are acting in bad faith and creating lies for fun and excitement in order to pit others against me.

I understand some of you have issues with me charging money on my Patreon for the video. If I was charging money for the autopsy files alone or something like that I think I’d see your point. But in this case I spent a lot of time and worked hard putting together a video lining up the coroner’s audio and descriptions along with the appropriate part of the photos she is describing and editing it together to try to make it as informative as possible for the viewer. That is what I am charging for, which I would hope you can agree is understandable.

RELATED: What’s next for convicted murderer Letecia Stauch?

Letecia Stauch mugshot

This May 8, 2023 booking photo provided by the Colorado Dept. of Corrections shows convicted killer Letecia Stauch. (Colo. Dept. of Corrections)

“The statement that they put out sort of justifying it rings hollow,” Allen told NewsNation. “There are other ways to do this. Scientifically, they could have used diagrams instead of using the actual pictures of Gannon’s just completely broken body.”

Al Stauch, Gannon’s father, told NewsNation that the broadcast was “retraumatizing” and described the photos as “evil.” When asked, he said he was unsure whether he would take legal action in response to the photos’ release.

“I am just emotionally and psychologically and financially maxed out from the last 3 plus years of this process. To take legal action – I just don’t know if I have that in me.”