Eleanor Neale, born on January 24 1999 in Yorkshire, England, is a YouTuber known for "true crime" content. Eleanor joined YouTube in 2016 and started out posting makeup tutorials, but got limited traffic until she released a video about the disappearance of Suzy Lamplugh. This video was so successful that she switched her focus to true crime permanently. She is currently represented by Matchmaker, an agency for influencers. As of September 2022, she has a following of 2.38 million subscribers on YouTube, many of whom are young teenagers.
Eleanor has trouble sticking to a posting schedule, and often starts videos with a rambling apology for its being late. On several occasions she has announced a week/month of themed content; and then abandoned it halfway through.
She almost exclusively covers solved murders, as this is what brings her the most views. In the past she discussed more unsolved cases and other types of crimes such as kidnapping or sexual assault. The cases Eleanor discusses tend to be very recent and therefore more sensitive, although she does sometimes ask viewers to be respectful.
Many of her videos are poorly researched and just regurgitate Wikipedia or a documentary. She does not always fact check her sources. Eleanor stated in 2021 that she now hires researchers, but this doesn't seem to have improved the quality of her work. If she is just having people read Wikipedia for her rather than doing it herself, it's not really research.
Eleanor often says she doesn't know something basic that she could easily find out from Google - whether general knowledge, or something about the case like what town a crime took place in. She also demonstrates ignorance of basic legal concepts such as how probation works, or the difference between a life sentence and a whole life order in the UK. In one video she did not know what a Miranda warning was called.
One of her earliest true crime videos was about the disappearance of Alissa Turney (now a solved murder.) Alissa's sister asked Eleanor to take down the video
because it contained factually incorrect information that Eleanor had taken from news reports. She later worked with Alissa's sister to re-make the video. Even if Eleanor was unaware that her sources were not accurate, it doesn't appear she has learned much from this incident about the importance of research.
While her videos include content warnings, these are not always adequate to let the viewer know what they are about to watch. Some videos (most notably those about paedophile Peter Scully, and the murder of Junko Furuta) go into harrowing, very graphic detail that's not suitable for her young audience. None of Eleanor's videos are age-restricted to prevent under-18s viewing them.
Since 2020, Eleanor has been focusing on cases involving people of colour, in order to show her support for Black Lives Matter. Although her intentions are good, due to her cash grabs and lack of research it comes across as using the deaths of people of colour (including racially motivated murders) for clicks.
Eleanor had an almost 2-month absence from YouTube and social media between June-August 2022. This led to speculation from her fans about what happened to her, one of her staff reportedly stated Eleanor was having a "mental health break." She has since said that she may discuss the subject on her side channel.
Unprofessional and insensitive behaviour
Eleanor's videos begin with her saying her catchphrase "so today's video ...", announcing what case she's going to cover. A title card displays, which initially had a knife sound effect but now has the sound of a prison cell door closing. Eleanor launches straight into a cheerful sponsorship ad and then abruptly switches to the content warnings or the story itself, creating a jarring tonal shift.
You can’t possibly be serious making videos on knife crime etc and having a knife sound effect as your intro followed up by an ad for shower gels and then saying “if you’re triggered by domestic violence click out of this video now” like girl none of that goes together and you’re coming across super money hungry and disrespectful.
In each video, Eleanor recites a disclaimer saying that she doesn't intend offence to anyone affected by the events of the case. This has become a joke/meme among her fans, which is encouraged by Eleanor, and she has herself made fun of her disclaimer on TikTok.
Eleanor has an unpleasant habit of treating the cases she discusses as if they are fiction/entertainment. She has said that her interest in true crime comes from watching crime dramas when she was growing up; there's nothing wrong with this, as long as she remembers that she's talking about the death of a real person. She talks about some cases in an overly-sensational manner and exaggerates or misrepresents facts; something she has criticised in others (saying she found a documentary about the murder of Dee Dee Blanchard to be too sensationalised.)
She has released TikTok "teasers" of upcoming content, and shared an Insta story
inviting fans to guess her next "case." This is not at all respectful given the subject matter. When discussing murders, Eleanor's behaviour often indicates a lack of respect, such as:
- Inappropriately cheerful and excited tone when introducing the case
- Interjecting personal opinions about what she would have done in this situation / what she thinks is reasonable
- Looking at herself through the viewfinder
- Self-promotion e.g. talking about her job, social media, makeup, or merch line
- Mentioning irrelevant details just for shock factor
- Making faces
- Ending videos on "cliffhangers"
- Telling viewers to stay tuned for the next part of the video if they want to hear the gory bits
- Criticising the sentence an offender received, despite her obvious ignorance of the justice system and why we can't throw away the key for every murderer or rapist.
She also makes comments during her videos that come across as quite insensitive, even victim blame-y or with the benefit of hindsight. E.g. in one video Eleanor discusses a murder that happened when the victim was left alone because her date stood her up. Eleanor sagely interjected that this wouldn't have happened if the date had gone ahead. Thank you, Captain Obvious.
She initially declined to take down one of her videos
despite being contacted by the family of the victim mentioned therein (but later removed it.)
She captioned a "sexy" selfie post with a song lyric about Luka Magnotta
, who tortured and killed animals and murdered a man. Is this wise for someone who makes her money from crime videos while claiming to respect and speak up for the victims?
Eleanor has expressed frustration that, because YouTube has been known to terminate the accounts of people discussing school shootings, she can't cover them on her channel. It should be obvious why YouTube won't allow it, and as someone with many teenage fans, Eleanor should understand this. (Oddly, she has said that this means she can't make a video about the 2014 Isla Vista shootings as she would have liked. This mass murder did not take place at a school, and other true crime YouTubers have discussed it without getting their channels shut down)
In some videos she has encouraged her followers not to interact with CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services - the name for NHS services dealing with mental health for under-18s.) While she has a right to express her opinion or discuss her own experience of CAMHS, it's the only option for those whose parents can't afford private treatment. Effectively, she's encouraging a number of teenagers not to get help at all, which can be very dangerous.
Each of Eleanor's videos contains a sponsorship announcement at the beginning. She announces the sponsor in a chirpy fashion that's not really appropriate for a video about someone's murder or disappearance. Other true crime YouTubers have found more respectful ways to incorporate ads or sponsors. Eleanor doesn't seem to ever say no to a sponsorship offer - likely because YouTube demonetises some of her videos.
Most of Eleanor's sponsors are brands like Audible, NordVPN and Hello Fresh that will sponsor just about anyone. She does not mention her sponsors on her other social media, and it is questionable whether she actually uses most of the things she promotes. At least one company she has worked with does not ship to the UK - while Eleanor has overseas fans, it's a bit disingenuous of her to say she "loves" this sponsor and regularly buys from them.
Eleanor has a few regular sponsors whose product/service is not suitable to promote to her teen-oriented fanbase:
- NordVPN: This is a reputable service, but fairly expensive and using a VPN can be risky because the provider can see all your internet traffic. It's not something that teenagers should be encouraged to buy.
- Function of Beauty: A brand that sells customisable skin/hair products. They have had numerous complaints about hair loss after using their products, and even the company website acknowledges this. When promoting Function of Beauty, Eleanor displays a shampoo and conditioner they sent her but it's obvious from the transparent bottles that she is not using the product.
- Games that include in-game purchases. It is not recommended, and sometimes prohibited, for under-18s to play these as it has been linked to gambling addiction.
With the exception of a streaming service for true crime documentaries, pretty much all her other sponsors have nothing to do with her channel content. Ask yourself if you'd want someone shilling VPNs, groceries, audiobooks, games, phone cases, shampoo, or activewear while talking about the murder of your loved one.
Eleanor splits most videos into two or three parts even when the content would fit into one. This gives her more clicks, and allows her to use a new sponsor for each video. She received enough criticism over this that she posted longer videos for a while, but has now gone back to the two/three-part format for most "cases." The separate parts often have unrelated titles and thumbnails so that it's not obvious what corresponds to what - directing the viewer to browse through more of her videos. Eleanor says she must
do this so she can "tell the victim's truth"
. Somehow, others on YouTube manage to cover the case in one video.
She uses clickbait-style titles that can be inaccurate and / or insensitive. For example, a video on the death of Ciara Grimes (a woman who was killed by her violent ex-partner) was initially titled "The House Party Murder"
- sensationalising what is ultimately a tragic case involving domestic abuse. The fact of Ciara being at a party when she died is incidental. Eleanor re-named this one, but many more similar titles are still up. Another example
She has an overpriced, very generic merch line
) whose proceeds seemingly all go to Eleanor herself. The website doesn't even mention who she is or link to her channel.
Eleanor sometimes uses her channel for fundraising or awareness. She once helped a charity raise donations by sharing its GoFundMe during her video (although it would have helped to put that at the beginning of the video rather than the end.) In a video about the murder of Tashan Daniel, she discussed the issue of knife crime and linked to an appeal by the victim's family. However, she does not do this often - unlike, say, Kendall Rae who focuses on the fight against sex trafficking. Many true crime YouTubers are aware that their content is based around the death or suffering of real people so they use their platform to benefit charities or to raise awareness of serious issues.
One video discusses a case where data from a fitness app was evidence in catching a killer who had murdered the victim whilst she was out for a walk. Eleanor tied this in with a sponsorship message from Gymshark where she gave tips on personal safety. It's good advice, but did she need money from an activewear brand to do it? Her channel has nothing to do with fitness. In context of the video, it came across as borderline victim blaming.
Eleanor lives in central London and, from a now-deleted home tour she shared, it's evident her apartment costs at least £2000 a month in rent alone (excluding bills, council tax etc.) This may explain her eagerness for clicks and sponsors.
Content other than true crime
Eleanor started out on YouTube posting makeup tutorials, and sometimes still posts videos about beauty/lifestyle or things like a tour of her new home. In support of LGBT rights, she shared a video in which she came out to her mother as bisexual on camera; which was well-received by her followers. She has a side channel she created for general content in a bid to launch herself as a more mainstream influencer.
In 2020, she took part in "Locked In", a Big Brother-
style web show where YouTubers shared a hotel room and got voted out. She also appeared on the Happy Hour podcast in April 2020, the hosts have stated they feel that having her as a guest did not go well.
Responses to criticism
Eleanor has generally not responded well to criticism of her work or to people questioning whether some of her behaviour in her videos is appropriate. Photos to be added.
She stated on 11th January, 2022 that she had been "fat-shamed" on an online forum and this risked encouraging eating disorders. We don't know if she was talking about Tattle but would like to point out that, with the exception of a few posts questioning whether she'd had weight loss surgery, her thread otherwise focuses on her videos.
Examples of disrespect, poor research, etc. in her videos
2014 Colchester murders = The thumbnail
for this video is designed to look like the man pictured, who was one of the victims, is the killer.
Ana Kriégel = Eleanor gave a sensationalised account of this murder with little regard for the fact that it is recent and deeply affected people in Ireland. She repeatedly mispronounced the name Kriégel, saying that different news reports gave varying pronunciations (not true.)
Bianca Devins = This video originally had the title of "'E-girl' Murdered By INSTAGRAM STALKER", later amended to "Murdered By Her INSTAGRAM STALKER." It also contains a number of inaccuracies. Bianca Devins' family have said that they do not want her to be remembered as an "e-girl" and asked that people not make inappropriate speculation about the case. However, her mother has commented on the (amended) video to say that she finds it respectful and the main facts are correct.
Elaine O'Hara = In this video Eleanor giggles while talking about BDSM and when discussing the fact of police finding sex toys in Elaine O'Hara's home. The video's content warning for mentions of suicide may not be adequate, since it features Eleanor discussing individual suicide attempts in detail.
Harry Uzoka = Eleanor released a video about the murder of Harry Uzoka despite his family stating publicly that they do not want any more public discussion about his death.
Hayley Jones = Eleanor used the clickbait title of "Murdered For Changing Her Facebook Status." When the victim's family asked her to remove it
, Eleanor initially blurred pictures featured in the video but did not take it down. However, it has since been quietly removed from the channel.
Helen Bailey = A video about the murder of the author Helen Bailey contains inaccuracies that Eleanor took from the documentary What the Killer Did Next
John Wayne Gacy = Eleanor states that Gacy dressed up as a clown to commit murders. In fact he occasionally performed as a clown for children. Given that there's so much coverage of the case (including a Netflix documentary a few months before Eleanor released her video), it's surprising she would get this basic fact wrong. She also incorrectly names one of the victims.
Joy Morgan = Multiple members of Joy Morgan's family have commented
to say that it is very poorly researched and they were upset by the video.
Rachel Nickell = Eleanor discussed this case over three videos. Most true crime YouTubers mention upfront that Colin Stagg (incorrectly suspected of the murder and charged) was innocent and the real killer was caught years later. Eleanor doesn't mention this until the end of her second video, in order to keep the viewer in suspense. This is an example of her treating real murders like entertainment, and may give viewers the false impression that Stagg was the killer if they don't watch the whole thing. She also refers to the actual killer, Robert Napper, as the "Green Chain Ripper" (implying he was a known, prolific serial killer.) He is actually believed to be the "Green Chain Rapist" who was suspected of several rapes along the South East London Green Chain.
Randy Stair = Eleanor received criticism for referring to Stair (who may have been a transgender woman) as a man. In the video she came across as suggesting that it's suspicious or inappropriate for an adult to have cartoons as a hobby. Giving personal opinions like this is unprofessional, and probably not a good idea given that some of her adult fanbase will enjoy cartoons.
"Woodchipper Murder" = Eleanor mispronounces the name of the victim in the case throughout the video.