By Shawn Rice
A report that a man from Nassau County, Fla., who was high on meth and then cut off his genitals to only then feed them to an alligator, is fake news. There was no truth to a story that a Florida man did the unthinkable to his most private parts and then served them up to an alligator all while high on methamphetamine.
Where did this fake story originate? On 14 April 2017, the untrustworthy web site the Florida Sun Post published an article reporting that a man was rushed to the hospital with a highly unusual self-inflicted injury:
A 52-year-old man from Florida’s Nassau County is tonight in intensive care after he was seriously injured during what has been described by investigators as a five-day binge on methamphetamine. According to reports by local media, the victim, Mr Nigel Canfield, was found by neighbors ‘writhing on the ground in pain’ outside his property.
As his neighbors approached Mr Canfield, they could see he was ‘clutching his groin region’, which seemed to be soaked in blood. “I asked him what he’d done,” commented one of Mr Canfield’s neighbors, who was not named in the article. “He told me he’d hurt himself badly and asked me to call for help”.
Investigators now knew the cause of Mr Canfield’s gruesome injuries, but did not know what had happened to his severed genitals. A team of searchers combed the area and CCTV footage from a number of properties was collected, which ultimately revealed a shocking twist. “In the footage, we can see Mr Canfield alongside the canal that runs behind his property,” said an investigator to a local journalist. “In his hand he’s holding his genitals, we believe. At this point, he spots an alligator on the opposite side of the canal, and he flings his genitals in that direction.”
Although the article attributes the information to “reports by local media,” there were no reports in Nassau County newspapers describing such an incident or mentioning a “Nigel Canfield” by name.
Here are some examples of people sharing the fake news article on social media.
— Marie Cain (@mcyalie16) April 19, 2017
Nassau County man, high on meth, ‘cuts off genitals and feeds them to alligator’ https://t.co/IyYSSosLVA
— Wisdom of The Lion (@sonofselassie) April 17, 2017
Good chance he’ll regret this once the meth wears off. https://t.co/kihzNWh3E7
— Jackie Goss (@Jgoss1971) April 16, 2017
AND YOU THINK YOU HAVE PROBLEMS? https://t.co/DDpojE0yFd
— Waleah Norton (@RedEarthYoga) April 16, 2017
Instead, Snopes reported that the article had been copied word-for-word from one that originally appeared on another disreputable web site, Boston Leader, in September 2016, as seen in examples below.
— Project Archivist (@ProjectArchivis) January 18, 2017
Meth. Don’t know what else to say.
Florida man, high on meth, ‘cuts off Go to the full article.