Hoax Alert: Texas Woman NOT Electrocuted In Her Sleep From Wearing Earbuds While iPhone Was Charging

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk

A woman named Monica Cunningham, aged 21 from Houston Texas is said to have died in her sleep because she listened to iTunes music on her charging iPhone 6 Plus. Because she wasn't using an official charger from Apple, the phone allegedly malfunctioned and electrocuted her through the earbuds, or so goes the story that is going around on the web.

Shocker: the story is not true at all. It originated on The Empire Herald, a well known hoax website posting sensational made-up 'news' to attract clicks from social media.


And it wasn't even an original story. Snopes reports seeing a version of this tale in the summer of 2015, but back then the victim was named 'Gabrielle Samuels' and she was only 19 years old. The body was discovered by 'Hassan Gates' in the Snopes example, while on The Empire Herald it was found by 'boyfriend Darius Hudson'.

The 'crime scene' image is a composite from two unrelated stories: the police car is from a 2015 shooting in Texas, the decomposing body seems to be taken from a series of gruesome and gory pictures (don't click if you don't have the stomach) that have been floating around the internet for years.

Some hoaxes never die it seems, they just get the names changed a bit so more unsuspecting people can share them around on the internet:

  Maarten Schenk

Maarten Schenk is the co-founder and COO/CTO of Lead Stories and an 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.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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