Claim: Gangs are planning a multi-city murder spree in imitation of the film
Examples: [Collected via e-mail, August 2014]
Please help! My mom is really worried about this!! Thanks :)
Is the Detroit purge rumor really true? Supposedly teens in that area are reenacting the purge movies and going on a killing spree.
There is a rumor going around Facebook and my city (Jacksonville, Florida) that residents of Florida, most particularly Jacksonville, will be participating in a "purge" (yes, like the stupid movie) on
The Sheriff's Office claims that they have heard nothing official but will be keeping their "ears and eyes out" for such activity. Is this a real thing that will occur? Knowing ASAP so we can get the heck out of here would be so helpful. Does anyone really believe in this stuff, will there be participants?
Origins: Rumors of a mass crime spree referred to as a "real life" imitation of the film The Purge were heavily circulated on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook in
Real life The Purge imitations
The scare was a topic of conversation and intrigue across the local social web, and it appears many residents were genuinely fearful such an event could come to pass. Making matters worse, the rumor filtered into the blogosphere, along with suggestions that the "threat" was credible.
ATTENTION ATTENTION: The real life "Purge" is happening now in Louisville, Kentucky. Stay indoors! Please be safe.— (@DakotaWizzy)
August 15, 2014
School events in and around Louisville were canceled due to the rumor, and police addressed growing concern among residents. Louisville Metro Police Department Sgt. Phil Russell said of the fears:
Student reporters in Louisville claimed to have identified a student who accidentally started what they've called the "Purge hoax," though the teen's name was not supplied:
EXCLUSIVE: RedEye talks to the student responsible for "Purge" hoax http://t.co/Qv8HGEm6rw— Crimson StudentPress (@theCSPN)
August 16, 2014
The Crimson Student Press quoted the unnamed teen as saying that he tweeted the image as a joke after watching the film, and did not intend to kick off any panic:
Police later confirmed a juvenile's link to online "Purge" fears, noting that he had not been charged but they were continuing to investigate.
While police took Purge rumors seriously in Louisville, local media and sources within the Louisville Metro Police Department agree that weekend criminal activity was quite average:
Last updated: 17 August 2014
Evans, Tamara. "Louisville's Purge: A Night of Violence That Never Happened." WDRB News. 16 August 2014. Teague, William. "LMPD Says No Higher Crimes In Light of 'Purge' Threat." WHAS11.com. 16 August 2014. Thomas, Matthew. "Police: Louisville Teen Behind Online 'Purge' Flier." WLKY Louisville. 16 August 2014.