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A fake news story saying former White House counsel Vince Foster’s body shows evidence that he didn’t die of a suicide is only part of a wide range of false Internet posts that won’t let rest the idea he was killed by Bill and Hillary Clinton.
A March 24, 2017, story posted on Liberty-Courier.com carried the headline, "Breaking: Autopsy results from Vince Foster’s exhumed body — Cause of death to be changed!" The site, which is registered to an address in Utah, uses a name that evokes a newspaper, but is filled with fake news stories and has no immediately apparent contact information.
The Foster story was flagged by Facebook users, who reported it as potentially being fake as part of the website’s efforts to push fabricated stories out of its news feeds.
Foster, who was deputy counsel to President Bill Clinton and a former Arkansas law colleague of Hillary Clinton, committed suicide in 1993 at age 48, after suffering from depression. He was buried in his hometown of Hope, Ark.
Conspiracy theories have raged for years that the Clintons actually had Foster killed for his knowledge of the Whitewater real estate deal or some other insight. President Donald Trump is among those who have questioned whether Foster actually committed suicide, despite five different investigations concluding he suffered a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound.
It says that U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., had ordered Foster’s body exhumed. It cited a U.S. Navy officer as saying the forensics lab at the Naval Hospital in Norfolk, Va., determined Foster suffered two gunshot wounds, and his death should be reclassified as a homicide.
Foster’s body has not been exhumed, and there is no Naval Hospital in Norfolk — although there is a Naval Medical Center across the Elizabeth River in Portsmouth, which used to be known as Naval Hospital Portsmouth.
The post is accompanied by a photo that purports to be of naval forensics specialists, but actually is a handout photo from the Sacramento County (Calif.) Coroner’s Office.
The story first appeared on March 22 on TheLastLineOfDefense.org, a site that has been the source of several fake news stories that we’ve previously checked. Their posts often end up being repurposed by many other websites that don’t credit its origin, as is the case here.
TheLastLineOfDefense.org doesn’t indicate this story or any other post is fake, but its About Us link notes that "all articles should be considered satirical and any and all quotes attributed to actual people complete and total baloney."
TheLastLineOfDefense.org has developed a regular cottage industry of writing about Foster’s death. The site has previously written posts that said Gowdy had Foster’s body exhumed, then that it went missing from the morgue in Norfolk, or that WikiLeaks has proof of a conspiracy surrounding Foster’s death.
The assertion that Foster’s body has been dug up, autopsied again and his death ruled a homicide is completely made up.
We rate this statement Pants On Fire!
Liberty-Courier.com, "BREAKING: Autopsy Results From Vince Foster’s Exhumed Body–Cause Of Death To Be Changed!," March 24, 2017
TheLastLineOfDefense.org, "BREAKING: Autopsy Results From Vince Foster’s Exhumed Body–Cause Of Death To Be Changed," March 22, 2017
Washington Post, "Foster's Death a Suicide," July 1, 1994
New York Times, "Donald Trump’s Irresponsible Claims About Vince Foster," May 25, 2016
HowStuffWorks.com, "How Autopsies Work," accessed March 30, 2017
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