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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Cannibal Killer Did NOT Slaughter and Eat 23 Pizza Delivery Men, 6 Jehovah Witnesses, 2 Postmen in Past 7 Years

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Tue, 12 Feb 2019 21:25:36 Z)

Did Houston police arrest 56-year-old Ivan Fedorovitch Yanukovych because they suspected him of cannibalism, and did he slaughter and eat 23 pizza delivery men, 6 Jehovah witnesses and 2 postmen? No, that's not true: the story was made up by a Canadian entertainment website that makes a living by publishing fictional stories often involving weird crimes, bizarre sex acts or strange accidents and which counts on people not noticing its satire disclaimer. It is not real.

The story originated from an article published on February 12, 2019 titled "Cannibal killer slaughtered and ate 23 pizza delivery men, 6 Jehovah witnesses, 2 postmen in past 7 years" (archived here) which opened:

Houston police have arrested a man believed to be behind the disappearance of no less than 31 persons this past decade.

Ivan Fedorovitch Yanukovych, 56, could be linked to a number of mysterious disappearances in the area believe officials.

Yanukovych was interrogated by police after neighbors complained about him using a chainsaw late at night and reported the man being "covered in blood."

When police arrived on the scene, Yanukovych was found butchering a dead body in his garage and preparing what police officers described as "large quantities of ground meat" mixed in with an "aromatic blend of spices."

Screenshot of https://worldnewsdailyreport.com/cannibal-killer-slaughtered-and-ate-23-pizza-delivery-men-6-jehovah-witnesses-2-postmen-in-past-7-years/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Cannibal killer slaughtered and ate 23 pizza delivery men, 6 Jehovah witnesses, 2 postmen in past 7 years

Houston police have arrested a man believed to be behind the disappearance of no less than 31 persons this past decade. Ivan Fedorovitch Yanukovych, 56, could be linked to a number of mysterious disappearances in the area believe officials. Yanukovych was interrogated by police after neighbors c

But no other sites report anything about "Ivan Fedorovitch Yanukovych" and the picture used with the story is an old mugshot that has been going around the internet at least since 2010 according to TinEye:

9 results - TinEye

Using TinEye is private. We do not save your search images. TinEye is free to use for non-commercial purposes. For business solutions, learn about our technology.

The website World News Daily Report is a website specialized in posting hoaxes and made up stories. The disclaimer on their website is pretty clear about that even though you have to scroll all the way down the page to find it:

World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website - even those based on real people - are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle.

It is run by Janick Murray-Hall and Olivier Legault, who also run the satirical Journal de Mourréal, a satirical site spoofing the (real) Journal de Montéal. Very often their stories feature an image showing a random crazy mugshot found in a mugshot gallery on the internet or on a stock photo website superimposed over a background of flashing police lights or crime scene tape.

Articles from the site are frequently copied (sometimes even months or years later) by varous fake news websites that omit the satire disclaimer and present the information as real.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes worldnewsdailyreport.com as:

A website that publishes hoaxes and made-up stories that are often widely shared and mistaken for news.

According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.

We wrote about worldnewsdailyreport.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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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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