ST. GEORGE — News stories move quickly these days thanks to the internet but sometimes those stories are fictitious and can cause quite a stir, as was the case this week when a website reported that a polygamous church leader was discovered dead.
The story claimed that 60-year-old Warren Jeffs, leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, was found dead in his prison cell Tuesday at the Louis C. Powledge Unit located near Palestine, Texas.
Well, as it turns out, the story is a hoax.
The article was written by George Drivas and published on AssociatedMediaCoverage.com, a fake news website that touts the slogan “News you can trust.”
The so-called news site looks and sounds legitimate, but looks can be deceiving.
Jeffs, who is serving a sentence of life plus 20 years since his 2011 conviction on crimes related to marrying and sexually abusing two underage girls he considered brides, is alive and breathing, Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison officials confirmed Wednesday.
As reports of Jeffs’ death quickly spread, readers who believed the information to be true immediately began commenting on the story. One reader posted:
As a deeply religious man, I cannot wish death upon even the darkest of individuals – nor can I celebrate it. My heart goes out to Mr. Jeffs congregation along with those he harmed. A very tragic situation all around.
However, other readers were not so kind. Some even claimed to be celebrating Jeffs’ death. Another reader wrote:
Good riddance. They should have let the other inmates rip him apart. Hopefully it wasn’t a peaceful death.
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