Fact Check

Cannibals Arrested in Florida Claim Eating Human Flesh Cures Diabetes and Depression?

Reports of the arrest of three cannibalistic Floridians who feasted on human remains for medical reasons are fake news.

Published June 4, 2017

Three Florida men were arrested for eating human flesh, a practice they claimed cures depression and diabetes.

On 30 May 2017, the Miami Herald web site published an article positing that three Florida men were arrested for eating human flesh, a practice the suspects claimed cures depression and diabetes:

Police in Vernal Heights, Florida, arrested 3-practicing cannibals who claim eating human flesh cures both type-1 and type-2 diabetes and depression.

According to Vernal Heights Chief of Police, Gregory Moore, the 3-men were arrested when officers responded to what they assumed would be a routine noise complaint.

Police arrived at 3845 Toolson Lane (the home of William Provost) at approximately 7:45 PM on Sunday evening in response to a neighbor complaining of strange sounds coming from the home.

According to the officers, a bizarre crime scene was quickly uncovered upon entering the basement. Three men, which have since been identified as 62-year-old William Provost, 51-year-old Dennis Ratcliff, and 36-year-old Michael Dore were sitting in a circle on the basement’s concrete floor and ritualistically chanting while eating what police initially believed was an animal carcass, but was later identified as human remains.

There was no truth to this story, whose sole source was the Miami Gazette web site, which is not the online operation of a legitimate newspaper but rather a fake news site. The Gazette's disclaimer notes that the site's original material is "satirical" in nature and fake news:

The Miami Gazette is an entertainment and satire web publication.

The Miami Gazette also publishes largely NON-POLITICAL, satirical in nature, fake news articles — also created for your entertainment.

When it comes to fake or satirical news — we attempt stay away from publishing anything of a political nature (unless it’s something really silly) as our intent is not to stir up political outrage or debate. We simply aim to provide an outlet for our writers and contributors to develop creative, outrageous, and 100% fictional, tall-tales that our audience can enjoy reading and sharing with friends.

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All news articles contained within The Miami Gazette are fictional and presumably satirical news — with the exception of our ‘list style’ articles and quizzes that include relevant sources.

The content published on The Miami Gazette is intended to be entertainment and is often intended to generate thought and discussion among its readers.

Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental. Advice given is NOT to be construed as professional. If you are in need of professional help, please consult a professional.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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