A new claim that George Zimmerman, the man acquitted for the murder of Trayvon Martin, died this month has been proven false.
Snopes reports that on January 21, Action News 3 posted a fake news story entitled, “George Zimmerman Found DEAD Months After Tweeting Pics Of Trayvon Martin’s Dead Body.” The article garnered massive attention across the internet, leading to thousands of shares. According to the story,
“On January 21 at 1:21 PM EST George Zimmerman was found dead in the backyard of his Florida home. Police say he was stabbed multiple times and had a gunshot wound to the head. A neighbor of Zimmerman said she heard a commotion, looked over the wall and saw him lifeless on the ground. That’s when she called 911.”
The article also stated that Zimmerman’s death resulted after he re-tweeted pictures in January of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old who lost his life on February, 26, 2012, after an intense scuffle with Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida.
Zimmerman, however, is alive and well, and didn’t share any photos of Martin in January. Yet, in September 2015, the former security watch did indeed repost a picture of young Trayvon Martin’s lifeless body lying on the ground while Florida police officers stood over him.
The picture surfaced after an apparent Zimmerman “fan” tagged him and called him a “one man army.” Zimmerman, in turn, retweeted the photo to his followers. Twitter removed the photo, but not before numerous people saw the untasteful act.
Zimmerman’s Twitter account was suspended shortly after he retweeted the photo, although it’s unknown if it happened because of the Trayvon Martin picture.
Action 3 News is a fake website that offers no disclaimers that the information posted may be false, which is common among many fraudulent websites. Fake websites also try to make their content and site look as professional as possible, which often lures unsuspecting readers in, who are then given bogus information.
Meanwhile, Zimmerman’s tumultuous divorce with his former wife, Shellie Zimmerman, is finally over. Shellie filed for a divorce within days after she walked hand in hand with Zimmerman after he was acquitted for murder. A week later, on September 2, 2013, she called 911, claiming that Zimmerman threatened her with a gun.
The Lake Mary police defused the situation without any arrests, but Zimmerman filed a divorce counter-suit against Shellie shortly after. The divorce has since dragged on after the couple fought over a defamation lawsuit that Zimmerman filed in 2012 against NBC Universal Media, LLC.
Zimmerman sued the media company after claiming it used racial slurs against him. The couple had hoped they would get millions from the lawsuit, but couldn’t agree on how to split the funds, according to the Daily Mail.
Under the initial court documents, Zimmerman was required to pay $2.5 million to his defense attorneys should he win his case against NBC. He was also ordered to pay Sherrie $166,000. Yet, in December 2015, Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal denied Zimmerman’s appeal and ruled to dismiss the case.
Since there’s now no payout from NBC, the divorce moved on with ease, with Zimmerman keeping his 2008 Honda and his dog.
Regardless, George Zimmerman seemed in good spirits after the divorce finalized, saying that he’s ready to begin a “new chapter.”
“I’m honestly thinking I’m happy. The divorce is … concluded, and I can start a new chapter in my life.”
[Photo by Getty Images/Orlando Sentinel /Contributor]