LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – The Carmen Winstead death story about a girl who was pushed down a sewer drain is prompting confusion again this weekend. Is the Carmen Winstead 1823 sewer drain death story true or false? The story surfaced online in the advent of current social media. In roughly 2006, users reported receiving a bizarre email about Winstead’s purported death in 1823. Those emails, however, are resurfacing again today. Did Carmen Winstead really die in 1823, falling down a drain? Despite whether the story is true or false, many this weekend are commenting about its powerful message against bullying.
Carmen Winstead, David Gregory, Jessica Smith and Ron Anderson are the cast of characters in a tale that began on MySpace in 2006. And while that social media platform no longer dominates news, the Carmen Winstead story is still dominating news, and prompting confusion.
Carmen Winstead didn’t die in 1823. The tale of a 17 year old girl who fell down a drain, or was pushed down a sewer opening, is a fabricated story. The made up story aka urban legend began in roughly 2006. But in the last two years, the fake story still dominates news, resurfacing annually.
In 2011, there were three version of the fabricated tale. The first read that Carmen Winstead was pushed down a sewer opening. “About 6 years ago in Indiana, Carmen Winstead was pushed down a sewer opening by 5 girls in her school, trying to embarrass her in front of her school during a fire drill.” It added “When she didn’t submerge the police were called. They went down and brought up 17 year old Carmen Winstead’s body, the neck broke hitting the ladder, then side concrete at the bottom. The girls told everyone she fell… They believed them.”
Since 2006, that fabricate tale has been supplemented with an email about Carmen Winstead’s purported ghost taking vengeance. Over the last three years, users have reported receiving, upwards of fifteen times per year, an email that describes the fabricated tale about Carmen. It then adds “Two months ago, 16 year old David Gregory read this post and didn’t repost it. When he went to take a shower he heard laughter from his shower, he started freaking out and ran to his computer to repost it, He said goodnight to his mom and went to sleep.” Hours later, Gregory was dead, claims the tale.
Since 2010, however, other versions of the same fake death story has surfaced online. The same email is often sent with the title characters of Winstead replaced by Jessica Smith and Gregory replaced with Ron Anderson.
This week, the story is back dominating social media, reportedly both on Facebook and Twitter. One reader wrote “I’m so disturbed by the amount of people on here that believe this story and are making up more stories about how this is true. ” One user reported last month that they have “gotten this message probably 10 times in my life since I was a kid”.
And while many readers understand that the story is false, today the message against bullying is resonating even stronger. “Guys, come on! The point of this forward is bullying.” Another reader added “Bullying is wrong, and people really can be that mean. But I’m going to have to call this a fake.” As one noted, “I do agree that it sends a very powerful message about bullying but it isn’t a true story.”