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Misinformation Flows Following Epstein’s Death

Unfounded claims and baseless conspiracy theories have run rampant in the aftermath of the Aug. 10 death of accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. Here we recap some of the stories that we have written so far on the Epstein case.

Baseless Claim About Barr Visit to Epstein Prison

A baseless claim that Attorney General William Barr visited the prison where accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was being held has been circulating online. But the sole source of that claim — a former mob associate — told us he has no idea if Barr went to the prison.

Bogus Conspiracy Theory Claims Epstein is Alive

A Facebook post from a user who appears to subscribe to QAnon conspiracies claims that Jeffrey Epstein is not dead. The theory is based solely on a news photo that shows an unresponsive Epstein being wheeled into a hospital on a gurney.

California Shooting Prompts ‘Crisis Actor’ Conspiracy

Q: Was Susan Orfanos, the mother of a shooting victim in Thousand Oaks, California, also interviewed by news outlets after other mass shootings in 2016 and 2017?

A: No. A Facebook post misidentifies two other women as Orfanos.  

Sayoc Pictured with Soccer Teammate, Not Democratic Donor

Q: Was Cesar Sayoc, the man suspected of sending pipe bombs to high-profile liberals, photographed with “a Billionaire Democrat donor”?

A: No. The man in the photo with Sayoc is a retired soccer coach and his former teammate who has no record of any campaign donations.

Home Explosion Spawns Clinton Conspiracy Theory

Q: Were the victims of a New Jersey home explosion tied to an investigation into the Clinton Foundation?

A: No. A viral conspiracy theory is spreading that claim without any evidence. Investigators told us they “found no evidence of foul play” and that the deaths were ruled “accidental.”

Conspiracy Theory Follows Call For ‘Space Force’

Q: Did President Donald Trump call for the creation of a “space force” to fight off an “alien attack”?

A: No. The president did request exploration of a “space force,” but it is unrelated to extraterrestrial activity.