By Shawn Rice
Reports that a convicted pedophile rapist was caught by a babysitter using a clown costume to hide in a child’s room are fake news. The disturbing news follows a year when people were terrified over crazy clowns around Halloween. However, there was no truth to the story that a convicted pedophile rapist was found hidden in a child’s room wearing a clown costume. Where did this fake but disturbing news article originate?
On Dec. 2 2015, the web site Now8News published the creepy story reporting that a convicted pedophile was caught using a clown costume to hide in a child’s room in Oregon.
“If you are afraid of clowns we warn you — DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER — This true story out of Oregon is what nightmares are made of. A 48-year-old Oregon two-time convicted pedophile is now behind bars after he was caught molesting a six-year-old little girl while she was left at home in the care of a babysitter. According to police transcripts, the baby sitter tells a chilling story of how the attacker was discovered:
“The Jones’ had me scheduled to babysit Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening so they could go out of town for their anniversary,” recalls the babysitter Chastity Cromwell in her report to the police. “On Thursday evening when I put the little girl to bed she said she was afraid to be alone. She told me the clown in the chair scared her. I told her to roll over and ignore it and just go to sleep. When I left the room she was screaming for about 30 minutes and when I checked on her she was hiding under the covers.”
However, there was no truth to this report, according to Snopes. Rather, Now8News is a clickbait fake news web site that publishes fabricated stories in order to help drive traffic to its site and generate money through advertising revenues. The mugshot included in the Now8News story about a rapist’s employing a clown costume to hide in a child’s bedroom actually shows Marvin Walker Jr., who was arrested in January 2015 after an attempted carjacking.
This fake news story play offs an urban legend about serial killers disguising themselves as various inanimate objects. The legend reappears from time to time on social media. It is not a rather common theme that homicidal maniacs and pedophiles wear clown costumes to pass themselves off as items of home decor.
It does not help that there is an upcoming remake on Stephen King’s “It.” The film tells the story of seven children in Derry, Maine who are terrorized by the eponymous being, only to face their own personal demons in the process.
Here are some examples of the clown stories around Halloween such as “Did Clowns Really Kill 23 People in Canada?”, “Creepy Clown Killing 18 People In A Haunted House Is A Hoax“, and “Clown Purge Story Is A Hoax But Has Social Media Concerned For Halloween.”
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