2014 has been the year for death hoaxes. The ever-growing popularity of social media makes it easy to start and disseminate a hoax.
Recently a hoax claimed that former First Lady Nancy Reagan had died. The whole thing apparently started from a Facebook page that ran with the declaration:
"At about 11 a.m. ET on Friday (October 24, 2014), our beloved politician Nancy Reagan passed away. Nancy Reagan was born on July 6, 1921 in New York. She will be missed but not forgotten. Please show your sympathy and condolences by commenting on and liking this page.”
The hoax finally started petering out when Reagan’s reps issued a statement, asking people to “stop believing what you see on the Internet."
That hoax was suspiciously identical to another the same day, wherein actress Jennifer Lawrence was declared dead, once again on Facebook, with this statement:
“At about 11 a.m. ET on Friday (October 24, 2014), our beloved actress Jennifer Lawrence passed away. Jennifer Lawrence was born on August 15, 1990 in Louisville. She will be missed but not forgotten. Please show your sympathy and condolences by commenting on and liking this page.”
Others who have been prematurely declared dead this year include Betty White, Bob Seger, Dwayne Johnson, and Wayne Knight.
Now the Latin Times reports that rumors of the death of actor Benicio del Toro are also spreading, and are false. According to their report, some people are claiming to have intimate details of del Toro’s supposed drug overdose death.
Del Toro’s latest film is Escobar: Paradise Lost, in which he portrays Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, who died in 1993 when he was cornered in a firefight with Colombian Police. Legends say that Escobar was hit in the leg and torso, but committed suicide by shooting himself in the ear.