An unsubstantiated online article claiming that Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington’s death is being investigated by police as a possible murder has been shared nearly 800,000 times.
The article, posted on yournewswire.com on Friday, claimed an anonymous source with the Los Angeles Police Department said authorities were investigating the matter as a possible homicide.
‘Detectives are looking into whether Chester Bennington was murdered, with the death scene later arranged to resemble a suicide,’ the debunked article reads.
‘They have put a team of investigators in place and are refusing to rule out a criminal homicide charge,’ it adds.
The article also uses a fake quote from a ‘police source’ stating: ‘Murders are sometimes made to look like suicides… We think he was murdered, we just have to find out who was behind it.’
The Los Angeles County coroner’s office had publicly confirmed already that authorities were treating the matter as a suicide in a statement released Friday, according to The Mirror.
The coroner added that Bennington had been found hanged from a bedroom door at his Palos Verdes Estates at about 9am on Thursday.
The bogus article was shared more than 780,000 by Sunday afternoon, apparently inspired by conspiracy theories from fans who also questioned the apparent suicide of Bennington’s close friend, Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell.
Cornell committed suicide on May 17 after hanging himself with an exercise resistance band in his hotel bathroom.
The author of the article, Baxter Dimitry, did not immediately reply for comment.