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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke September 21, 2023

Social media post recasts celebrity deaths as part of conspiracy

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A recent Facebook post suggests a nefarious plot to eliminate certain celebrities who had the courage to undermine the status quo. 

"These celebrities were killed for exposing the truth," reads text in a Sept. 11 Facebook video that then shows photos of Princess Diana, actor Heath Ledger and musician John Lennon. 

This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

Diana died in August 1997 after sustaining injuries in a Paris car crash. A jury later found that she was killed by the negligent driving of her chauffeur and the paparazzi pursuing the car she was in. 

Ledger died in January 2008 from a drug overdose. Doctors who had prescribed him painkillers were cleared of wrongdoing in his death. 

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Lennon was shot and killed in December 1980 by Mark David Chapman. ABC News reported in 2020 that Chapman told parole commissioners that "at the time, my thinking was he has all of this money, lives in this beautiful apartment and he is into music representing a more cautious lifestyle, a more giving lifestyle. It made me angry and jealous compared to the way I was living at the time. There was jealousy there." 

Chapman also said he was seeking "glory" for himself, ABC said. 

Two years later, Chapman told the parole board, "I knew what I was doing, and I knew it was evil. I knew it was wrong, but I wanted the fame so much that I was willing to give everything and take a human life."

We rate claims Diana, Ledger and Lennon were killed for "exposing the truth" False.


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Social media post recasts celebrity deaths as part of conspiracy

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