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What happened to Ryan's sister from Black Ink Crew?

Black Ink Crew’s Ryan Henry has faced some tough challenges in his life which we don’t see on the show, such as losing his older sister Nova.

Black Ink Crew follows the daily lives and drama within a tight knit set of staff working at tattoo shop, 9MAG. Throughout the seasons we’ve heard some crazy stories from the crew, but also some sad ones too.

Ryan Henry is amongst the cast of Black Ink Crew, and his sisters story was one of the most shocking the show had seen. Reality Titbit have found out what happened to Ryans sister, and explored how Ryan dealt with the tragic incident.

Black Ink Crew: New York | Season 8 Official Trailer | VH1

Black Ink Crew: New York | Season 8 Official Trailer | VH1

What happened to Ryan’s sister?

Ryan’s older sister Nova Henry sadly died on the 24th of January 2009. She was murdered in her own home, along with her 10-month-old daughter Ava Henry.

Nova and her daughter Ava were shot in front of her son, Noah. 3-year-old Noah was able to identify the killer as Nova’s ex-boyfriend Frederick Goings and in 2013 he was sentenced to life in prison.

Ryan opens up about his sisters death

Ryan described Nova as ‘the glue that held the family together’. Henry also said:

“I only had the close knit five of us and for us to lose a big staple of that you know everybody is scrambling trying to deal with their pain. You know I just put my head down and hit the road running on tattooing”

Ryan’s way of dealing with his sisters death was by focusing on his work, but he felt that this meant he had turned his back on his family. During an episode of Black Ink Crew he opened up with his mother and sister explaining that he couldn’t be what Nova was to them.

Black Ink Crew: Ryan’s family explored

Ryan has a close family that consists of his mother (Yolan), father (Keith), and his sister (Jill). Both his mother and sister have featured on Black Ink Crew along side Ryan.

Jill keeps her life private, however Yolan has 12.8k followers on Instagram, and posts updates on her life regularly. Keith is also active on Instagram, and regularly posts photos showing off his children and grandchildren.

He’s extremely close to his family, and shared a photo on his Instagram last month of his new tattoo, which was a portrait of his mother. Ryan also has a son called Mason from a previous relationship with Rachel Leigh.



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Brooke is a PR and Brand Communication student at Leeds Beckett University. She loves all things social media, writing, and anything which allows her to be creative.