That Story Everyone’s Sharing About A Man Turning Himself In For Killing His Imaginary Friend Is A Big, Fat, Fake!
A story popped up yesterday involving one ‘Geoff Gaylord’ who purportedly walked into the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and turned himself in for the grizzly murder of his imaginary friend. Several outlets started reporting that Mr. Gaylord turned himself in for stabbing his imaginary friend with a kitchen blade, hacking him up, then burying him in the backyard. On top of all that the world’s saddest mugshot was being circulated, showing a man devastated over his actions. There’s just one catch: the story is a big, fat, fatty fat fake. The story of Geoff Gaylord killing his imaginary friend is as fake as fake can be.
The website Mandatory reported it as real, Inquisitr hopped on this story as fast as they could. None of them thought to check with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, or even check online to see if any such arrest report existed (it obviously doesn’t).
Instead everyone was quick to sensationalize another ‘Florida Man’ story and report the Geoff Gaylord incident as fact, which it is NOT.
It all started when the website ‘Moron’ published ‘Florida Man Turns Himself In For Murdering Imaginary Friend’ under the author named ‘moron’, and the post took off like wildfire. I’m sure you’ve already seen it shared on Facebook or Twitter, as that post is up to nearly 100,000 shares in the past 24-hours. This would make for great news, if only it wasn’t all made up garbage.
As snopes is quick to point out, nothing about the original article is real:
The story fooled thousands of people as it spread across social media, and at least two web sites, the Inquisitr and Mandatory, republished this satirical story as real news.
But there is no truth to the above-quoted story. While Moron does not specifically state that it is an entertainment web site, several clues indicate that this publication is just another purveyor of fake news.
First, the author of this article is listed as “Moron.” Second, the web site has previously published fake news stories, such as a yarn about a couple selling golden tickets to heaven, or this story about child love dolls. Lastly, the photograph included with the article does not show a man named Geoff Gaylord who murdered his imaginary friend, but rather a man named Billy Southern, who was included in WTSP-TV’s gallery of “crying mugshots” in 2011.
While that is an epic mugshot, and the story’s so insane we all wanted to believe it, you simply cannot keep sharing that garbage as fact. Because that person’s not real, and the incident never took place.
So here’s what you do:
Step 1: find your friends who shared that made up garbage.
Step 2: share this link with them and remind them how you cannot believe everything you read on the Internet.