Fact Check

Was a Homeless Couple Found Living in a Walmart Attic?

Be wary of memes with unsourced mug shots.

Published Dec 4, 2015

Two homeless people were found living in the attic of a Walmart in Tennessee.

On 1 December 2015, the web site Now8News published an article positing that two homeless people had been found living in the attic of a Walmart in Tennessee:

Being homeless has to be very difficult, especially in the colder times of the year. But not for this Tennessee couple who had been "living in the lap of luxury" above a Tennessee Walmart store. The 'homeless' man, 48-year-old Wilbert Thomas, admitted to police that he and his girlfriend 54-year-old Ingrid Malone, had been living above the store for over two years. What they did to the attic, baffled police and store employees.

"I don't mean to laugh, but these people really got one over on Walmart," said Lieut. Marshall Weiss. "In the attic, we recovered 2 pounds of meth they had somehow produced on a hot plate. They also managed to get food, drinks, mini refrigerator, a big screen TV, surround sound system, bedroom set, hangers, clothes ... I mean, if Walmart sells it they had it. These people were living good. They even managed to splice into the satellite TV wire and ordered NFL Sunday ticket!"

There was no truth to the above-quoted article. Now8News was just another fake news web site that did not publish factual stories but included dubious diatribes regarding a woman being arrested for masturbating with a Jimmy Dean's sausage, President Obama lowering the age of consent to 13, and a cannibal eating a teenage boy at a haunted house.

In addition to Now8News's track record as a disreputable news source, the photographs included in the above-quoted article were not taken in a Walmart attic. For instance, the woman shown in the mugshot above was arrested in 2012 for violating probation.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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