Fake News: George Zimmerman NOT Found Dead

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk

Prank website was Channel23News was used by someone to post a hoax article titled: "Breaking news....George Zimmerman found dead.". It opens:

A security guard smelled a putrid odor coming from a stall in the women restroom of a Marriott hotel. While surveying the area a person was observed on their knees behind the door. After several unfailed attempts to communicate with the individual local authorities were notified and arrived 20 minutes later. The Orlando Police Dept. entered the area only to discover George Zimmerman, 38 year old Hispanic male, head down in a toilet bowl of feces.

This hasn't been the first time George Zimmerman (the former neighboorhood watchman who shot Trayvon Martin) has been the victim of fake news. There even was another death hoax a while ago (debunked by Snopes) that claimed Zimmerman accidentally shot himself.


Just like these other times none of it is true. Channel23News is a prank website apparently operated by a Korry Scherer from Milwaukee, WI. according to WHOIS data. The site lets visitors create their own realistic looking fake news stories to prank friends and family.


The site seems to be part of a network of similar sites. So far we've found these, but there may be others:

  • channel22news.com
  • channel24news.com
  • channel28news.com
  • channel45news.com

The so called prank is being shared wildly on Facebook as you can seen in the Trendolizer graph at the end of this article. Don't be fooled by fake news, and send people who do believe the story to be true to this website to get educated!

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder 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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Lead Stories is a U.S. based fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
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