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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Police Did NOT Say Chester Bennington Was Murdered

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Fri, 21 Jul 2017 20:51:09 Z)

Fake news website YourNewsWire published an article titled "Police: Chester Bennington Was Murdered" shortly after the Linkin Park frontman was found dead after an apparent suicide. The article opens:

Police have reportedly launched a murder investigation into Chester Bennington's death with insiders believing it is "extremely likely" the Linkin Park frontman was killed in eerily similar circumstances to his close friend Chris Cornell.


Detectives are looking into whether Chester Bennington was murdered, with the death scene later arranged to resemble a suicide. They have put a team of investigators in place and are refusing to rule out a criminal homicide charge.

"Murders are sometimes made to look like suicides. We think he was murdered, we just have to find out who was behind it," said a police source.


None of the police sources are actually named in the article. And there is no link or mention to any kind of an official announcement that Chester Bennington's death is being investigated as anything else than a suicide.

One name that does appear in the article is an "Investigator" named "Randy Cody" who supposedly spoke to the Detroit Free Press but whose name does not actually appear in the linked article or anywhere else on the site of that newspaper. He is supposedly investigating the earlier death of Chris Cornell but it is unclear what this has to do with Bennington's death and the article doesn't make it clear.

Investigator Randy Cody is among those questioning the suicide ruling. He points to perceived timeline gaps, forensic questions and what he says are two signs that Cornell had a head wound that was not mentioned in autopsy reports.

It looks like the Randy Cody in question is the editor of The Metal Den, a music website that has published about the investigation of the death of Chris Cornell. He is not an actual cop or FBI agent. He apparently has ran a fundraising campaign to collect $1000 to further investigate the death of Chris Cornell.

The autopsy of Bennington is scheduled to take place on friday according to Brian Elias of the coroner's office in USA Today:

The coroner's office said Thursday Bennington's death was being investigated as a possible suicide but few details were disclosed. The case is not yet officially closed, Elias said, but it is still being investigated as a suicide by hanging.

An autopsy has been scheduled for Friday, he said.

So, in summary: a site known for spreading fake news trots out an amateur investigator who is investigating a different person's death and concludes that this means the police said Chester Bennington was murdered.

That sounds like fake news to us...

Despite that the story is going viral as the Trendolizer graph at the end of this article shows. If you see any Linkin Park fans being mislead by this article, send them here for better information.

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk
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