LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – A Carmen Winstead death email hoax 2013 is coming back to life, again. The Carmen Winstead death email, a claim involving a cast of characters – like Jessica Smith, David Gregory, Ron Anderson, an 1823 sewer drain, and a ghost – is taking its annual toll on suspecting readers today.
The Carmen Winstead death email hoax has been online since at least 2006, insiders tell news. First covered by LALATE in 2010, the fake tale has made its move from early social media to other forms of digital delivery in the last decade.
To date, the Carmen Winstead fake email remains one of the most repeated urban legends to dominate news annually. Also among them is the infamous “8.4 Earthquake California Prediction Email” warning email. Dating back to 2009, that earthquake hoax confuses readers into believing that a “seismology department of Los Angeles” is warning of a looming quake. No such department exists.
The Winstead hoax was reportedly first spotted on Myspace.com seven years ago. And then as Facebook and Twitter gained in popularity, the hoax made its move to that platform as well.
While the means in which the tale’s delivery has changed over the year, the contents of the hoax are virtually the same, insiders tell news. For over a decade, the tale concerned a purported 17 year old girl who fell down a drain, or was pushed down a sewer opening, in 1823.
Originally in 2006, readers were left to believe that she was pushed. Recipients of the email tell news that it now reads “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.”
After being devised seven years ago, the tale moved from urban legend to email hoax, officials tell news. The hoax added that a Carmen Winstead’s purported ghost taking vengeance on its readers. The first fake victim was a boy named David Gregory. “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, claimed the tale.
In recent years, news readers have indicated the cast of characters being changed from Carmen Winstead and David Gregory to Jessica Smith and Ron Anderson. They have also reported receiving upwards of fifteen emails per month repeating the same tale.