Michigan Authorities Reveal Fake News Claiming to Come From NBC
MACOMB COUNTY, MICHIGAN — October 2, 2018
Investigators will be keeping an eye out for shoddy journalism after reports of killings of pedophiles surfaced in Macomb County, Michigan.
NBC9News published a report on Sunday that local residents had declared war against three pedophiles that were allegedly found dead outside a local fast food outlet in Warren. The murders were reportedly initially considered drug related until a second pedophile was also found dead in similar circumstances later in the week.
According to the article, the latest murder in Mt. Clemens, which has prompted authorities to raise concerns of a serial killer, was discovered last night at the victim’s property. Concerned neighbors called 911 and officers found a grim sight inside the residence.
The first victim was a 52-year-old man who had been charged with sex offenses against children as young as 5.
“Similar to the wounds inflicted on the other two victims, this most recent murder involved significant mutilation. The victim’s genitals had been removed and were placed into a blender,” declared an unnamed journalist’s source among the investigative authorities. “The most recent victim was also listed on the sex offender registry for crimes against children.”
Annie Lessard of NBC9News, who published the article, also wrote that authorities are appealing for any information regarding the murders, which have claimed the lives of three men on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry for crimes involving offenses against children.
“We urge whoever is committing these murders to stop immediately and turn themselves in,” said one officer, who was again unnamed. “While we understand the community’s attitude to pedophiles, there is no way in a civilized society that we can accept this sort of vigilantism.”
Michigan authorities responded quickly to the reports, saying it was fake news. The sheriff’s deputies in Macomb County stressed journalists often use fake news for their benefit.
“#fakenews is a hashtag that drives hard-working journalists’ nuts,” the authorities’ statement said.
The article may appear convincing. It was posted on a website calling itself nbc9news.com, indicating affiliation with the television broadcast network NBC.
There are several NBC affiliates throughout the country that broadcast on a virtual channel 9, but none of them appear to be associated with nbc9news.com.
The nbc9news.com homepage displays several articles that are actually not fake news, authorities said, but the latest article about local residents’ judgment over the pedophiles and the so-called Macomb County Sheriff’s Office conference was false.
“Several followers have reached out to us regarding a (Facebook) post titled ‘Macomb County Fears Vigilante Serial Killer After Third Pedophile Murdered in 1 Week.’ The Macomb County Sheriff’s Office has not had any recent murders involving any registered sex offenders and our residents have no reason to be fearful of a killer on the loose,” a post on the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page stated Monday.
However, on the other hand, as authorities noted, the journalists also showed people the negative side of pedophilia and killing and thus proved that the state and the police will fight rapists to the end.