Residents of Citrus County, Florida can take a deep breath - August 2014 web-based rumors of a suspected "serial killer enthusiast" running rampant in the area appear to have been cut from whole cloth.
We've been receiving a volume
of emails concerning this localized rumor, and it seems the local police have been dealing with a spike in public inquiry as well.
The hoax appears to stem solely from a single website, one that boasts the following breathless headline:
"LOCAL CITRUS COUNTY RESIDENT QUESTIONED IN CONNECTION WITH
The site goes on to make several claims, alleging a man named "Matthew Ellis," 22, is suspected by police to be connected with a large number of murders both inside Citrus County and elsewhere. One of the first clues that the information is less than trustworthy can be gleaned from this snippet:
The page continues on at some length, riddled with errors and rife with sourceless claims regarding reports of unsolved murders in Citrus County. On
As with any serious allegation, police in Citrus County are investigating to determine the precise source of the rumor. Currently, no evidence has emerged to suggest any of the individuals mentioned in the viral claim are victims or suspects in any investigations, solved or unsolved.