Fact Check: DJ Avicii, Chester Bennington, Chris Cornell, Anthony Bourdain Were NOT All Killed For Their Work On Child Sex Trafficking Documentary 'The Silent Children'

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: DJ Avicii, Chester Bennington, Chris Cornell, Anthony Bourdain Were NOT All Killed For Their Work On Child Sex Trafficking Documentary 'The Silent Children' No Connection

Were DJ Avicii, Chester Bennington, Chris Cornell and Anthony Bourdain all killed because of their work on a child sex trafficking documentary called "The Silent Children"? No, that's not true: The producer of the movie told Lead Stories that any connection between the "long abandoned" documentary project and the four men in the social media post is "completely untrue, and preposterous." Public records and other easily available reports show that they all took their own lives.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) on Instagram on August 1, 2023. It opened with photos of the four famous men with this caption on the photo:

Use logic. If Jim C, Tim B, Eduardo V, Paul H, Trump, and everyone that's affiliated with the Sound of Freedom were supposedly stopping child trafficking they would be dead. Like these heroes that were trying to stop child trafficking by making a documentary called The Silent Children. Killed just like with the creator of the documentary Grey State!

This is what the post looked like on Instagram at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-08-02 at 13.39.39.png(Source: Instagram screenshot taken Weds Aug. 2 18:34:16 UTC 2023)

The caption on the post read:

Stop trusting fake heroes that are controlled opposition Freemasons. Here are real heroes that were all killed years ago for trying to spread awareness before this fake psyop one came out. Real Heroes are Martyrs! I understand some deaths are faked so use discernment for the real ones.

The claim that DJ Avicii (real name Tim Bergling), Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington, Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain were killed for their involvement in the movie is false.

"Any connection between our - long abandoned - documentary project and the gentlemen you mention is completely untrue, and preposterous," Arthur Gorson, producer of "The Silent Children," told Lead Stories via email on August 2, 2023. "We never had the slightest contact with them nor their representatives."

Gorson explained why "The Silent Children" documentary never came to fruition and only resulted in an 11-minute trailer that can be found on YouTube:

Our project was started, in good faith and belief in the cause, in 2010 or 11. We did a trailer and website to promote but never raised any outside funding nor followed any outside funding leads. No one outside of our small group showed any interest, nor did anyone have any input. The project was totally abandoned by 2015.

The production company behind the documentary, JellyBeane Productions LLC, was terminated as a business entity on January 9, 2017, according to the California Secretary of State website:

Screen Shot 2023-08-02 at 3.31.49 PM.png

(Source: California Secretary of State website screenshot taken Wed Aug. 2 23:10:39 UTC 2023)

There is no evidence that any of the men died by criminal actions.

Cornell passed away on May 18, 2017, which was after the production company for the film was dissolved. His official autopsy report stated that he took his own life.

Bennington's publicly available autopsy report shows his July 20, 2017, death was self-inflicted and that he suffered from "history of suicidal ideation."

Avicii was found dead in Oman on April 20, 2018. Police there said there was no "criminal suspicion" regarding his passing at 28. His family released a statement that implied he was suicidal, NPR reported:

'He really struggled with thoughts about meaning, life, happiness,' a widely circulated translation of the Bergling family's statement reads. 'He could not go on any longer. He wanted to find peace.' In its original Swedish, the statement's phrasing could also be taken to mean, 'He could not bear it any longer. He wanted peace.'

Bourdain's June 8, 2018, death was ruled a suicide by French police.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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