Fake News: Man Did NOT Serve Wife Birthday Cake With Penis of Her Lover as Candle

Hoax Alert

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Man Did NOT Serve Wife Birthday Cake With Penis of Her Lover as Candle

Did a man named Dennis Brown get charged with murder after serving his wife a birthday cake with the penis of her dead lover as the candle? No, that's not true: the story was made up by a site with a satire disclaimer that seems to specialize in gruesome but fictional stories that it often recycles by changing the names and locations. So it is quite likely the same story will pop up again but set in different towns.

The story originated from an article published by Satire Weekly on September 30, 2019 titled "Bloomington, IL: Man charged after serving wife a birthday cake with the penis of her lover as a candle" (archived here) which opened:

A 42-year old Bloomington, Illinois man has been held by authorities and charged with murder after a gruesome case involving a birthday cake and a severed penis used as a candle.

Officers swooped on a property in the early hours of this morning and arrested Dennis Brown in connection with the horrific crime, and he was taken into custody and immediately charged with the murder of 28-year old Roger Humbert, a local pool cleaner.

It is alleged that Mr Brown had discovered his wife Shanice had been engaged in an adulterous affair with Humbert, and that he had caught the pair having sex by the pool of their property after returning home early from work.

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

Bloomington, IL: Man charged after serving wife a birthday cake with the penis of her lover as a candle

A 42-year old Bloomington, Illinois man has been held by authorities and charged with murder after a gruesome case involving a birthday cake and a severed penis used as a candle. Officers swooped on a property in the early hours of this morning and arrested Dennis Brown in connection with the horrific crime, and he ...

There are two immediate hints the story is not real:

  • The domain name of the website is "satireweekly.com", which doesn't sound like it is a real news source.
  • The site has a tiny disclaimer at the bottom which reads "Disclaimer. This is satire."

That, and the man in the picture is not Dennis Brown but Sydney T. Mays Jr. who was charged with shooting three men to death

Bond set at $7M for Illinois man charged in triple murder

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - Bond has been set at $7 million for a man charged with fatally shooting three men and wounding a 4-year-old boy at a central Illinois apartment complex. The Pantagraph reports 25-year-old Sydney T. Mays Jr. made his first court appearance in Bloomington on Friday.

We wrote about satireweekly.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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