Fake News: Florida Millionaire Serial Killer

Fake News: Florida Millionaire Serial Killer

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Florida Millionaire Arrested After Authorities Discover Over 700 Bodies Buried In His Backyard

NAPLES, Florida – Jerry Richards, 73, was arrested this week at his home in Naples, Florida after a neighbor spotted?

empirenews.net

The phenomenon of ?Florida Man? has become a widespread joke and meme across the internet. The stories shared in the news and on social media of crimes portrayed by ?Florida man? have been tales of wild heathenism that leave people wondering if they are true. In the case of the article about Jerry Richards, the millionaire serial killer who was burying bodies in his backyard in Naples, Florida, users in the social media world wondered the same. Could there actually be a prolific serial killer living in Naples, Florida? On June 30, 2018, the Empire News website shared this story about the Florida Millionaire serial killer who buried 700 bodies, and it quickly spread throughout social media platforms. According to that article on Empire News, Jerry Richard?s neighbors saw him burying a body in his backyard, and they promptly called the police. When the police arrested Jerry Richards, he claimed to have 700 bodies buried throughout his property. The article even quotes a Naples Police Captain Robert Thomas as stating ?Mr. Richards is likely the most prolific serial killer in history.? Though many stories that have circulated about a Florida man have been true, searching for answers about the Florida millionaire serial killer makes it clear that the story was a hoax.

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Research Results

Searching the phrase ?Authorities discover 700 bodies? supplies mostly articles about the hoax status of this claim. It also brings up the website, Empire News, where the story originated. The bulk of the websites provided are fact-checking websites. The rest are websites that are based on providing memes and funny fake stories. The images provided in the google search include screenshots of social media posts people have shared. There were no articles of this story covered by any local or national news stations. Looking for a video or news report on this claim turned up empty. After going to the second page of the research results on google, the topic dwindles, and it moves to actual news stories with no mention of this story.

Did Authorities Discover 700 Bodies Buried in a Florida Millionaire’s Yard?

On 30 June 2018, the Empire News website posted an article positing that authorities in Florida had discovered over 700?

www.snopes.com

After visiting and researching the website from which the article originated, it is clear it is not a credible source for real news. The website?s about/disclaimer section has a disclaimer that ?it is intended for entertainment purposes only.? This is reflected by the author of the article being named as ?Bob the Empire News Potato? and that they also only provide one picture on the article, which is of the supposed Jerry Richards. On the Snopes website, they state the picture provided in the article by Jerry Richards had been used previously on a website called World News Daily in another fake news story where a man called ?Albert Fiddler? killed his wife after she refused to have sex with him.

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Though this image may have seemed familiar to some, that did not stop it from spreading throughout the social media platforms. According to the PolitiFact website, the post about this story spread over 3,600 times on Facebook. Facebook flagged the story as fake news after it received so much attention. Though a lot of comments showed concern as to the truth of this story, some took the news as it was true and shared the story on their own social media profiles. The article also quotes a police captain Robert Thomas, and with a google search of this Police Captain?s name, the only websites that are provided are ones related to this hoax article. Digging even deeper into the captain, after searching the City of Naples website, there is no trace of that name provided as an actual person being associated with Naples law enforcement.

The internet and social media platforms are a suitable place to share funny stories and supply entertainment, but without doing research a simple repost can play a part in the spreading of fake news stories. This story was a hoax that plays off the Florida man meme that has been circulating, and it should not have circulated across the internet as a real event. Preventing the sharing of fake news stories across the internet by using critical thinking tools and some research, more stories like this are less likely to be shared on the internet as real news.

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