Is This a Photograph of Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting Victim Rose Mallinger?

A Twitter user shared a photograph wrongly said to be the 97-year-old synagogue shooting victim.

  • Published 29 October 2018

Claim

An image posted by a social media user shows Tree of Life mass shooting victim Rose Mallinger.

Rating

Miscaptioned
About this rating

Origin

On 28 October 2018, a Twitter user with 89,000 followers who uses the moniker “Stone Cold” posted an image that he identified as a photograph of Rose Mallinger, the 97-year-old victim of an anti-Semitic mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue one day earlier. The misleading tweet remained live for nearly 24 hours before being deleted:

Not only did “Stone Cold” misspell Mallinger’s surname, he also attached the image of a different person. The woman in the image is Hungarian-born photographer Ata Kandó, who passed away in 2017 just before her 104th birthday. It’s a copyrighted portrait taken by Dutch photographer Koos Breukel, who weighed in to warn that he was considering legal action for the misuse of his work:

Mallinger was one of 11 people massacred inside the Tree of Life synagogue during Sabbath services on 27 October 2018. An authentic image of Mallinger was published by several news organizations, including the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Among the misinformation spread online about the shooting and its victims was the false claim that Mallinger survived the Holocaust.

Ryan Graney, who volunteers to speak on behalf of the family of Sandy Hook school shooting victim Vicki Soto, said she reported the misinformation multiple times to Twitter but received no response from the platform. “This is how conspiracy theories start,” she told us. We reached out to both Twitter and “Stone Cold” with questions addressing the post, but likewise received no response. An archived version of the tweet can be viewed here.

Robert Bowers, 46, has been charged in the synagogue shooting. He posted a torrent of racist and anti-Semitic comments online in the lead-up to the attack.

Snopes.com
Since 1994
A Word to Our Loyal Readers

Support Snopes and make a difference for readers everywhere.

Editorial
  • David Mikkelson
  • Doreen Marchionni
  • David Emery
  • Bond Huberman
  • Jordan Liles
  • Alex Kasprak
  • Dan Evon
  • Dan MacGuill
  • Bethania Palma
  • Liz Donaldson
Operations
  • Vinny Green
  • Ryan Miller
  • Chris Reilly
  • Chad Ort
  • Elyssa Young

Most Snopes assignments begin when readers ask us, “Is this true?” Those tips launch our fact-checkers on sprints across a vast range of political, scientific, legal, historical, and visual information. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again.

We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.

Support Snopes so we continue to pursue the facts — for you and anyone searching for answers.

Team Snopes