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Spurious George

George Zimmerman was not found dead after he posted images of Trayvon Martin's body on Twitter.

CLAIM

George Zimmerman was found dead in January 2016, several months after a Twitter controversy involving photographs of Trayvon Martin's body. See Example(s)

EXAMPLES
Collected via Twitter, January 2016

False

RATING

False

ORIGIN

On 21 January 2016 the web site Action News 3 published an article titled “George Zimmerman Found DEAD Months After Tweeting Pics Of Trayvon Martin’s Dead Body,” claiming:

On January 21 at 1:21 PM EST George Zimmerman was found dead in the backyard of his Florida home. Police say he was stabbed multiple times and had a gunshot wound to the head. A neighbor of Zimmerman said she heard a commotion, looked over the wall and saw him lifeless on the ground. That’s when she called 911.

The murder of George Zimmerman happened just months after his controversial September 2015 Twitter post spread across social media, angering many Trayvon supporters. Zimmerman retweeted a photo of Trayvon Martin’s lifeless body with criminal justice investigator standing above him. The original post was tweeted by one of the Zimmerman’s fans, praising him as “a one-man army.” Zimmerman, apparently flattered, retweeted the image.

The article concluded:

Police say, as of now, they have no leads in the murder of George Zimmerman. However, they are confident that his murder had everything to do with his postings on social media. Authorities say his constant bragging of the fact that he was acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin finally caught up to him. “You can run if you want,” said police chief Robert Gordon. “But your wrongs will catch up to you eventually.”

On 27 September 2015, Zimmerman indeed made headlines when he re-tweeted a photograph of the lifeless body of Trayvon Martin.  Zimmerman shot and killed the teen in Sanford, Florida in February 2012, but was acquitted in July 2013 of a second-degree murder charge related to the shooting:

Zimmerman’s public image took another hit in August and September of 2015, when he got into a Twitter spat with a user who threatened to slap him and responded with the taunt “We all know how it ended for the last moron that hit me. Give it a whirl cupcake” (a none-too-subtle reference to the Trayvon Martin shooting).

That was nothing compared to the furor that erupted when a Twitter user named @SeriousSlav tweeted a photograph of Trayvon Martin’s dead body lying on the grass where Zimmerman had shot him, writing, “Z-Man is a one man army” — and Zimmerman had the audacity to retweet it[.]

Zimmerman’s Twitter account was subsequently suspended, for reasons unrelated to the September 2015 controversy.

While the portion about Zimmerman’s social media activity was accurate, the claim that someone murdered him in January 2016 was not. Like many fake news web sites, Action News 3 bore no disclaimer informing readers that its content was fabricated, and featured many visual elements suggesting it was a legitimate local news web site.

George Zimmerman Found Dead After Accidentally Shooting Himself While Loading Gun

Did George Zimmerman accidentally shoot and kill himself while loading a gun?

Claim:   George Zimmerman accidentally shot and killed himself while loading a gun.


FALSE


Example:   [Collected via Facebook, March 2014]


I just saw on facebook that George Zimmerman accidentally shot himself.

 

Origins:   In March 2014, the Cream Bmp Daily web site published an article positing that George Zimmerman, the man charged (and ultimately acquitted) in the fatal shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin in February 2012, had accidentally shot and killed himself while loading a gun:



911 first responders found George Zimmerman’s lifeless body at a Florida gun range after responding to an emergency call that he shot himself while loading his weapon.

“I’m not saying we took our time getting there, but we’ve shown up faster to black neighborhoods.” According to a first responder, they stopped at every light, didn’t use a siren and drove behind an elderly woman all before finally arriving on the scene. “If he was a rapper he’d be more famous now that he’s dead, but nope! Everybody just glad he’s dead.”


Soon afterwards links and excerpts referencing this item were being circulated via social media, with many of those who encountered it mistaking it for a genuine news article. However, this item was just a spoof — as noted in Cream Bmp Daily‘s “About” page, that web site deals strictly in satire:



CreamBmp.com Written by comedian CREAM. This website is comprised of satire and parody of current news and urban culture. For entertainment purposes only.

Last updated:   24 November 2014

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