In late July 2022, readers sent in quite a few messages that asked us to find out if a grisly-sounding article was true. It was published on July 27, 2022, on KVTA4.com with the headline, "Morgue Assistant Uses Testicles From Corpses To Help Win Annual Spaghetti Cook-Off." It named the supposed Illinois morgue assistant as 41-year-old Linda Anders.
Despite the somewhat official-looking local news feel that KVTA4.com might appear to have, the truth is that the website bears a satire disclaimer.
Part of the spaghetti cook-off story from KVTA4.com read as follows:
Carterville, Il – Linda Anders (41), had been a participant in Carterville’s annual spaghetti cook-off for the last 12 years. In those dozen years, the highest she had placed was 2nd and Linda knew 2nd was just the first loser. For 2022 and lucky contest number 13, Linda used a secret ingredient that she was sure would give her that extra edge and earn herself the blue ribbon she so desired.
Anders worked as a morgue assistant for the County Williamson. For the 11 months leading up the cook-off, Linda collected the testes from deceased adult males. She would slice ’em, dice ’em and sew ’em up without attracting attention. And who was going to notice the missing balls of a dead man anyway?
In the satirical story, the morgue assistant was eventually arrested after a judge tasting the spaghetti realized he was chewing on a "prosthetic testicle."
KVTA4 is a fabricated satirical newspaper and comedy website. KVTA4 uses invented names in all its stories, except in cases when public figures are being satirized. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental.
On Aug. 1, the article from KVTA4.com was reported on by "The Wayne D Show" on Buckeye Country 94.3 on iHeart.com. "What This Morgue Assistant Put In Her Spaghetti Will Make You Vomit," the iHeart.com headline read. The article did not mention that the story was satirical.
It's unclear where the mug shot of the woman came from that was used in the original story on KVTA4.com. However, these kinds of satirical articles about morgues usually repurpose real-life mug shots for their fictional tales. It's likely that the mug shot was real, but the reason for the pictured woman's arrest had nothing to do with a morgue assistant, testicles from corpses, or spaghetti.