Fake News: Bre Payton's Death NOT Ruled Murder - DA NOT Investigating Clinton Connection

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Bre Payton's Death NOT Ruled Murder - DA NOT Investigating Clinton Connection

Was Bre Payton's death ruled murder and is the District Attorney investigating a possible Clinton connection? No, that's not true. The story was published by a liberal satire website that tries to educate gullible Trump supporters and Republicans about the need to actually click and read links before sharing or liking them in order to avoid being embarrassed by fans of the site later. All the events described in the article are not real.

The story originated from an article published on January 7, 2019 by America's Last Line of Defense titled "BREAKING: Bre Payton's Death Ruled Murder - DA Investigating Clinton Connection" (archived here) which opened:

Bre Payton was a woman dedicated to the truth. She told people that vaccinating their children will be the downfall of society because that's what she believed, and sometimes that's all that matters. She decided not to get a flu shot because she feared the same fate, and ultimately, the flu killed her -- or so it seemed.

In reality, Bre was murdered with a dose of foxglove so devastating that it would have "killed a small moose or possibly a large mountain lion." Doctors missed the heart attack because she was so ill with influenza. Come to find out, the flu was given to her intentionally. Investigators say they believe they've found the source. Detective Art Tubolls of the Lancaster Sheriff's Office told Breitbart:

"Ms. Payton purchased a smoothie at a new shop in the lobby of her building. That smoothie, it seems, was infected with the influenza purposely. Then, when she was fighting the bug, she had another smoothie that delivered the fatal foxglove. In the end, it was her love of smoothies that did her in."

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

BREAKING: Bre Payton's Death Ruled Murder - DA Investigating Clinton Connection

Liberals applauded her death. Now we know why.

The story was posted under the category "Satirical Clinton Murder Sprees" and none of the links in the article pointed to any serious content.

The name of the detective in the article ("Art Tubbols") is an anagram for "Busta Troll", the nickname of the owner of the site. Also named is "John Prager" who was said to have "an unnatural obsession with Fiona Douriff". Prager is also a writer who regularily publishes fictional stories on the site and Fiona Douriff has featured in several of them.

The site comes with a clear satire disclaimer at the bottom of each article:

sat·ire ~ˈsaˌtī(ə)r
the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, OR ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
If you disagree with the definition of satire or have decided it is synonymous with "comedy," you should really just move along.

The owner and main writer of the site is self-professed liberal troll Christopher Blair, a man from Maine who has made it his full time job to troll gullible conservatives and Trump supporters into liking and sharing his articles. He runs several other websites, including potatriotpost.us, dailyworldupdate.us and nofakenewsonline.us. Sometimes he is also known under his nickname "Busta Troll". A second man working on the sites is John Prager as revealed in this earlier story we wrote.

Articles from Blair's sites frequently get copied by "real" fake news sites who often omit the satire disclaimer and any other hints the stories are fake. Blair has tried to get these sites shut down in the past but new ones keep cropping up and he keeps knocking them down.

Blair and his operation were profiled by the Washington Post on November 17, 2018 by Eli Saslow:

'Nothing on this page is real': How lies become truth in online America

November 17 The only light in the house came from the glow of three computer monitors, and Christopher Blair, 46, sat down at a keyboard and started to type. His wife had left for work and his children were on their way to school, but waiting online was his other community, an unreality where nothing was exactly as it seemed.

If you are interested in learning more about Blair and the history of his sites, here is something to get you started:

The Ultimate Christopher Blair and America's Last Line of Defense Reading List | Lead Stories

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below. Yesterday Eli Saslow at the Washington Post wrote a fantastic article about Christopher Blair, a man from Maine who has been trolling conservatives and Trump supporters online for years and occasionally even made a living out of it.

If you see one of his stories on a site that does not contain a satire disclaimer, assume it is fake news. If you do see the satire disclaimer it is of course also fake news.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes wearethellod.com as:

A site that publishes false stories and hoaxes that are often mistaken for real news, part of a network named America's Last Line of Defense run by hoax perpetrator Christopher Blair.

According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.

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

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  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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