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Prominent YouTuber Joseph Morris posted a video this week claiming to have obtained audio from the scene of the Idaho murders. But according to Newsweek, he doctored the clip.
Morris purposely uploaded a fabricated video in hopes to grow his follower count.
Background: On Nov. 13, four University of Idaho roommates — Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Ethan Chapin, and Xana Kernodle — were found fatally stabbed. The four live in an off-campus rental home in Moscow, Idaho with two other students unarmed during the stabbing.
Police have yet to name a suspect in the murders.
The oddities of the case — the two other roommates sleeping through four brutal stabbings — and lack of answers have generated a community of interest throughout the country and even abroad.
Subsequently, the virality of the case has prompted jokers like Morris to hinder the investigation with doctored clips.
The YouTube post hears a female voice screening, “Stop it. Leave me alone.” The video was supposed to suggest the woman in danger was Kaylee Goncalves, whom authorities say may have had a stalker.
But the woman was not Goncalves. Newsweek says Morris took the audio from another clip and edited it to make it appear related to the Idaho murders.
The significance of the doctored video exceeds duping crime sleuths on the internet. Idaho police say online trolls have created a “huge distraction” from the ongoing investigation.
“Investigators have been monitoring online activity related to this ongoing and active case and are aware of the large amount of rumors and misinformation being shared as well as harassing and threatening behavior toward potentially involved parties,” Moscow police said in a statement Friday afternoon.
Authorities have since warned of “criminal charges” for web sleuths posting “misinformation.”
Thus, former FBI agent Jennifer Coffindaffer called on police to make a statement by charging Morris for his deceptive video:
This is the video that I referred to in DESPICABLE tweet. Thank you @Jules1670.— Jennifer Coffindaffer (@CoffindafferFBI) December 14, 2022
If he were charged it might deter those obstructing and hindering for their personal entertainment to rethink. It would be nice to get credibilty restored. #idahohomicides https://t.co/63vu9F1zDj
Morris is actual fake news
Last year, Joseph Morris falsified information about the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie. Florida police had been searching for Laundrie for over a month in connection to the death of his fiancee Gabby Petito. Ultimately, authorities found Laundrie dead by suicide along with a note admitting to murdering Petito.
The investigation proved Morris a troll of the crime genre. Call it misinformation, the real kind of misinformation.
For years, wannabe internet detectives have used true crime to build their social media followings. Yet not all have done so dishonestly.
A few bad actors do not discredit the impact of sleuths. Avid crime fans have proven invaluable to various investigations. See the case of Elisa Lam’s death at the Cecil Hotel for a notable example.
Already, sleuths have uncovered a video of a mysterious group of people two doors down the from Idaho murder house, around the time of the slayings.
Reddit users, not police, spotted the group using bodycam footage.