Jeff the Killer
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Jeff the Killer, also called Killer Jeff, is an infamous creepypasta, internet urban legend, fictional character, and image commonly used in screamers. Jeff the Killer refers to an edited image of a pale, noseless, unknown person with black eyes with white and black pupils, a long canine-like smile, in a dark room with laundry hanging in the background. The creepypasta, first created around 2008, suggests that the person in the image is a 13-year old serial killer named Jeff who sneaks into people's homes and whispers "Go to sleep" before killing them with a knife. A user named Sesseur was the first person to create a story behind the image, but his version does not revolve around the person in the image being a serial killer. Instead, a remix version of the story was made more popular than the original, and revolves around how Jeff psychopathically became a serial killer from his insanity.
This image became controversial shortly after it was believed to be of a supposed woman named "Katy Robinson," who had allegedly committed suicide in 2008. This belief started on 4chan in 2005, but after years of extensive research, it was revealed that the images originated on various Japanese message board and forum websites, including pya.cc and gazo05.chbox.jp in 2005. This more famous image, in particular, is also an edited version of another earlier version, called White powder (2) (also called JTK 1), which appears to be an edited image of a person with googly, cartoon eyes and a large smile. The former file name of this image was "prettyFACE.jpg" on 5chan before it was posted onto pya.cc. The more famous version was edited further to make the mouth stretch out and the eyes edited to have white and black pupils.
The first person to create a story around it was a DeviantArt user Sesseur. In the original story, a person named "Jeff" was hauling a gallon of acid into his bathroom to clean his bathtub. Suddenly, Jeff accidentally slipped on a bar of soap, fell on the floor, and the gallon of acid splashed over his face. Jeff's neighbors began hearing him cry for help, and they took him to the hospital. The incident happened while his brother, Liu, was at work. The accident has led Jeff to never look the same way again. The first story does not revolve around Jeff being a serial killer. However, one of the fans of Sesseur, named GameFuelTV, wrote a story about Jeff in a completely different way to the original, such as Jeff becoming a serial killer because of his insanity.
In the fan's story of this creepypasta, a child named "Jeffery Woods" was a 13-year-old teenager who lived in a normal Surburuan town with his parents and his brother Liu. Jeff had thought of the idea of moving into another neighborhood after his father got a promotion, which his family agreed to, and moving on. On his first day of school, while hanging out with his brother, the three bullies approach the two and mug them at knifepoint. Jeff urged the feelings and began fighting them, paralyzing three of them. He and his brother exited the scene to board the school bus for the ride to school. A day later, police arrived at Jeff's home, where the two were accused of attacking the bullies with no manners. Jeff even tried to convince the police that the bullies were mugged, but the police failed to believe him. However, Liu snitched on Jeff by making them believe that he was the one to blame for the whole incident, which drove Jeff into depression and stress. His mother suggested moving into a party to make him feel better. However, Jeff managed to the run up to the bullies, brutally beat him up, and he managed to kill one of them. Then, Jeff lured the two other bullies into the bathroom and began wounding them, but he was doused with alcohol and the bullies set him on fire. He woke up from the coma at the hospital, where he saw his mother informing him that Liu was released after it was revealed that Randy was the one responsible for the incident that happened with his brother After taking those bandages off, he found out that his face had become disfigured from the burns, which has a ghostly pale, but Jeff oddly seemed to like his face this way. After being told to go home, Jeff's mother saw him burning off his eyelids and carving his own face with a smile. This led his mother to tell his father that he had become insane and needed to be killed. Jeff heard this and killed them. Jeff became a serial killer that sneaks into people's home and tell them to "go to sleep" before killing them, such as Jeff going into Liu's room before telling him to "go to sleep" before being fatally killed with the knife plunged into his chest, finishing the story.
History and development
The back-story behind Jeff was first made by DeviantArt user Sesseur, but he was not the author of the story above. Sessuer's story, which was uploaded to YouTube on October 3rd, 2008, was completely different than the one shown above, and suggests that Jeff accidentally spilling a gallon of acid onto his face while cleaning a bathtub, while the more famous version, which was written by a fan of his earlier work, is about the consequence of Jeff becoming an insane serial killer. Jeff's real name in the actual story was Jeffery C. Hodek, rather than "Jeffrey Woods" for that manner. On August 14, 2011, the image was posted to 4chan captioned "Go to sleep"; the caption had become known as Jeff's signature catchphrase.
Prior to the original backstory video, Jeff The Killer was seen on the account "killerjeff" on Newgrounds, which was created by Sesseur on June 7, 2006, pretending to act as his version of Jeff. In one of the account's news posts, posted on August 10th, 2008, Sesseur stated that he had found the photoshopped image on Encyclopedia Dramatica, and he decided to create a back-story behind it. Jeff was originally supposed to be a game similar to Bloody Mary, where the person must hide in a closet with all of the lights in the room turned off, sit down cross-legged, and repeat the sentence "He's in here with me" three times while turning their head back and forth. After doing this, the person must close their eyes and call out the name "Jeff," so that Jeff will appear in front of them. This can be stopped by standing there and complimenting him; otherwise, the person will have nightmares.
At an unknown date, the original back-story video was shortly deleted after YouTube terminated Sesseur's channel for disbelief of him being the original creator of Jeff The Killer. The Brazilian channel PhenomenonPoltergeist shortly re-uploaded the video to YouTube on January 20, 2014, but the original video was muted, which claimed to have "I Guess You're Right" by The Posies as the background music. Later on, the video with the original audio was finally uploaded to YouTube by user Bob's Brother on an unknown date, but was deleted after the channel was terminated.
As creepypastas became a major fad, many screamers used the image of Jeff the Killer as their segment to scare the viewer, examples including Anne.jpg, Spooky Scary Skeletons and more. The first screamer ever to use Jeff the Killer as a jumpscare image was a YouTube video titled NNN Special Broadcast made in 2007.
4chan controversy and image origin
- See Also: 4chan
The image received controversy after it was rumored to be an unedited photo of a woman named "Katy Robinson," who committed suicide after finding herself being bullied for her weight on 4chan. This started when one post on 4chan, dated April 21, 2008, was written by a supposed brother of Katy Robinson claiming that she had committed suicide after she was bullied for having her picture posted on 4chan. However, some users say the image is actually of a dog with a broken jaw. During Sesseur's interview with ScareTheater, one of the questions involved the origin of the image, to which Sesseur answered by claiming that the image was picture of himself wearing a white latex mask.
The earliest sighting of this image was on the Japanese message board, pya.cc, where the two images (including the less edited and the greater edited ones) were uploaded. These two images are uploaded between September 10 and November 16 in 2005, by users Mr. Malholland and Omega Boruto (Omega Volt). The first image, named "White powder (2)" was a less edited version than the one used for the character of Jeff. The second earliest appearance of the image was on August 2, 2007, when it was featured in a Japanese screamer video titled "NNN臨時放送", which was probably for a horror film project named "Victims of Tomorrow". The image appears at 4:11, before the text "おやすみなさい" appears on a black screen, which translates in English to "good sleep", which is similar in manner to "go to sleep." After finding the image through extensive research, it was found that the woman in the picture was named "Katherine White", who still lived with her two kids. One Reddit user also contacted Katherine through Facebook to ask if she was aware of being rumored to be dead by 4chan users, to which she responded back by threatening those who made that rumor about her death on /b/ with a lawsuit. The image of this woman was originally posted to the site TrueChristian.com on November 17, 2004.
Another story was created to explain the origin of these images, made by a few users on 4chan's /b/ imageboard. The story involves an alleged woman named "Victoria", who was a webcam model on the site Stickam who used /b/ as self-promotion of herself. A /b/ user took a screenshot of her face and posted it to the board with the caption "Am i pretty?". Later, other users on 4chan began photoshopping the image and posting their edited version back as a reply, with one of the users posting the less-edited image with the caption, "Now you are." The woman then found out about the post and quickly vanished off the internet. This Victoria is another example of people who were rumored to be the person in the image. One more rumor suggests the image is of an overweight Japanese girl in a room with hanging laundry who spammed her image across the Japanese image board 2chan (Futaba Channel) in 2004, although this theory has yet to be proven.
The original file name of the less-edited Jeff the Killer image is White powder (2), suggesting the existence of another version which predates the existing two. Some people have speculated that an image known as "Green Eyed Jeff" may be the original, though this theory has been proven false. Investigators where able to track down Mr. Malholland, the pya.cc user who first posted the White powder (2) image on that site, on his Twitter account Miyama. His responses to the investigators questions were:
- "To put it simply, in mid-2005, a cropped image of a video of a middle-aged Asian woman appeared in Japan. At that point [her] face was white. *I edited a little in Photoshop to post to "pya.cc".
- "I remember watching the video only once, but unfortunately I don't have it now. It also doesn't seem to exist on the internet."
- "By the way, the image I found is almost the same as white powder (Pt.2). I just made a few corrections. Therefore, the real creator is another person. and I think the video was indoors somewhere in Asia, but I don't remember."
- "Brightness was clarified by level correction. It's a minor edit. I hardly remember what filter mode I used."
- "It was 15 years ago, so I don't remember it, but it's "http://shitaraba.com" or others... However, since "http://shitaraba.com" is BBS, only someone made it was posted. The BBS has closed."
- "By the way, this image was posted on various bulletin boards as a surprise image. This image was going around as a Japanese meme back then. *The original story is a crop of an Asian (Japan?) Video, but I think no one probably remembers it. Then, good night again!!"
- "At least I couldn't find the video. I remember the woman in the video coming up to the camera."
- "Someone edited the cropped image of a video. This image was posted on various BBS as a scare image and spread in Japan. The reason why this image spread was that it was suddenly posted on various BBS and it was a scare image, so I think it left a strong impression on everyone."
- "There was no fixed name. For example, some people called it "いつもの画像", (usual image) "オバQ", and so on. I'm sorry, but this is the end of the reply to this tweet so that the message exchange is not cluttered."
Mr. Malholland suggests the image originated from an unknown video, and that Jeff the Killer is a highly photoshopped image of a woman. He claims the image was already photoshopped when he found it, and he slightly edited it further and posted it to pya.cc, meaning he created the White powder (2) (JTK 1) version, but not the original photoshop (JTK 1). Someone else took his edit and turned it into the famous Jeff the Killer image (JTK 2). For now, the complete origins of Jeff the Killer remain unknown, this alleged video remains lost, and the search continues.
- Newitz, Annalee. “Who Is ‘Jeff the Killer’? and Is His Picture Haunted by a Real Death?” Gizmodo, Gizmodo, 16 Dec. 2015, https://gizmodo.com/who-is-jeff-the-killer-and-is-his-picture-haunted-by-1016241494.
- Gobbo, Lorenzo. “Jeff the Killer – Leggenda Creepypasta o Fenomeno Reale?” Horror Stab, 12 Mar. 2021, from https://www.horrorstab.com/storie/creepypasta-ita/jeff-the-killer-leggenda-creepypasta-o-fenomeno-reale/.
- Cotter, Padraig. “Who Is Jeff The Killer? Creepypasta's Evil Villain Explained.” ScreenRant, 21 June 2019, screenrant.com/jeff-killer-creepypasta-villain-origin-explained/.
- Wilkinson, Chase. “6 Terrifying Creepypasta Stories That Need Movie Adaptations.” CBR, 30 Nov. 2021, from https://www.cbr.com/creepypasta-stories-that-need-movie-adaptations/.
- Cotter, Padraig. “Who Is Jane the Killer? Creepypasta Character Explained.” ScreenRant, 17 May 2019, screenrant.com/jane-killer-creepypasta-origin-explained/.
- III, Fernando Alfonso. “4chan Hunts down the Origins of an Internet Horror Legend.” The Daily Dot, 1 June 2021, https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/4chan-x-origins-jeff-the-killer/.
- Houston, Madison. “From Legendary Horror Icon to Internet Meme: Jeff The Killer.” Nerdvana, 1 Mar. 2017, nerdvanamedia.com/sci-fi-fantasy/legendary-horror-icon-internet-meme-jeff-killer/118341/.
- [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhPpcvD01Ok&t=90s "Interview with the Creator of Jeff the Killer"] December 12, 2015 - via YouTube.
- [Jeff the Killer - new image origins? "https://www.reddit.com/r/creepypasta/comments/bd5wzp/jeff_the_killer_new_image_origins/"] - u/[deleted] on Reddit.
- [https://archive.4plebs.org/x/thread/23477917/ "Finding the unedited image of "Jeff" (Oldfag Edition)"] 28 Sep 2019 - Anonymous on 4chan.org
NOTE: The following links contain potentially scary images!
- Miyama's White powder (2) (JTK 1) edit: web.archive.org/web/20180118092048/pya.cc/pyaimg/pimg.php?imgid=17882
- Screenshot of current earliest upload (earlier JTK 1): linkpicture.com/q/July242005JTK.webp
- Earliest version of JTK: web.archive.org/web/20051025223113/gazo05.chbox.jp/occult/src/1123087197322.jpg
- More famous image used for the character of Jeff (JTK 2): web.archive.org/web/20210618155920/pya.cc/pyaimg/pimg.php?imgid=20716
- Original story with no audio: youtube.com/watch?v=5RSDIIEoLkA
- Learn more: youtube.com/watch?v=aVAie3i18SA
If you recall ever watching such a video, as Mr. Malholland described, or have any helpful information, please let r/OriginalJTKImage know or reply in the comments.