Paul Horner

Infamous Internet troll, fake news writer found dead at age 38

A man made infamous for his fake news stories during the 2016 presidential election was found dead in his bed at a home outside of Phoenix, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office confirmed on Tuesday.

NBC reports that 38-year-old Paul Horner passed away on Sept. 18 in what appears to be a drug overdose, although an official cause of death hasn’t been released. Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mark Casey said an autopsy performed on Horner indicated no foul play, but he had a history of prescription medication abuse. A Maricopa County medical examiner confirmed there was evidence of a possible “accidental overdose.”

Horner became well-known for spreading fake Internet news and hoaxes that fooled thousands of people online after his stories went viral on social media. For instance, a few of his infamous stories included fake news that people were being paid to protest at Donald Trump rallies in 2016 and that Barack Obama was a homosexual radical Muslim. In 2016, Horner told the Washington Post that President Trump may have ended up in the White House because of him.

“Someone posts something I write, then they find out it’s false, then they look like idiots. But Trump supporters — they just keep running with it! They never fact-check anything! Now he’s in the White House. Looking back, instead of hurting the campaign, I think I helped it. And that feels [bad].”

Paul Horner’s false news regarding Trump ended up backfiring on him when people started thinking he was a Trump supporter, according to his brother, J.J. In a Washington Post interview, Horner made it clear he didn’t support the President, but J.J. said his brother’s intentions were pure.

“I think he just wanted people to just think for themselves and be credible for their actions. Read more; get more involved instead of just blindly sharing things.”

Toxicology reports are still pending. Check back with CrimeOnline for additional updates.

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