Fake News: Team of Saudi Forensic Scientists Did NOT Concludes Death of Jamal Khashoggi Was Suicide

Hoax Alert

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Team of Saudi Forensic Scientists Did NOT Concludes Death of Jamal Khashoggi Was Suicide

Did a team of Saudi crime scene investigators conclude that Jamal Khasoggi killed himself in the Istanbul consulate? No, that's not true: the story was made up by a Canadian satire website that usually writes about made up bizarre crimes and weird sex acts but sometimes strays into more politically charged humor. The story is not real, it is just a send-up of Saudi Arabia's earlier denials of any involvement with the murder of the journalist. The suicide story is completely false.

The story originated from an article published by World News Daily Report on October 23, 2018 titled "Team of Saudi forensic scientists concludes death of Jamal Khashoggi was a suicide" (archived here) which opened:

A team of Saudi crime scene investigators and forensic scientists sent to the Istanbul Consulate have concluded that the cause of death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi's was "most likely a suicide."

The Saudi government, which has taken a more proactive role in the case by conducting its own investigation after first denying the death of the journalist, said it will punish those involved.

The body of Jamal Khashoggi which was found last week in a back alley dumpster behind the Istanbul Consulate showed multiple wounds to the head, several broken ribs, crushed limbs as well as lacerations to the face and throat.

"All evidence gathered shows that Jamal Khashoggi was the victim of a suicide and died of self-inflicted wounds," one Saudi specialist told reporters.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Team of Saudi forensic scientists concludes death of Jamal Khashoggi was a suicide

A team of Saudi crime scene investigators and forensic scientists sent to the Istanbul Consulate have concluded that the cause of death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi's was "most likely a suicide." The Saudi government, which has taken a more proactive role in the case by conducting its own investig

The website World News Daily Report is a well known satire website specialized in posting hoaxes and made up stories. The disclaimer on their website is pretty clear about that even though you have to scroll all the way down the page to find it:

World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website - even those based on real people - are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle.

It is run by Janick Murray-Hall and Olivier Legault, who also run the satirical Journal de Mourréal, a satirical site spoofing the (real) Journal de Montéal. Very often their stories feature an image showing a random crazy mugshot found in a mugshot gallery on the internet or on a stock photo website superimposed over a background of flashing police lights or crime scene tape.

Articles from the site are frequently copied (sometimes even months or years later) by varous fake news websites that omit the satire disclaimer and present the information as real.

We wrote about worldnewsdailyreport.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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  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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