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'Boy Dying in Santa's Arms' Story Starts to Unravel

Image: 'Boy Dying in Santa's Arms' Story Starts to Unravel

(AP)

By    |   Thursday, 15 Dec 2016 06:21 PM

A recent story involving a Santa Claus and a dying boy that pulled at Americans' heartstrings has many holes and could ultimately land in the bucket of fake news.

Several news reports have come out in recent days that seem to debunk the story of Eric Schmitt-Matzen, a Santa Claus who claimed he was summoned to a hospital room by the nurse of a dying, 5-year-old boy. After a brief visit, Schmitt-Matzen said the boy died in his arms.

The story was originally published by the Knoxville News Sentinel via a column, and the incident allegedly occurred sometime in the fall.

Holes have appeared in the story, however, and people are beginning to doubt whether the event actually occurred. Some of the inconsistencies and missing information:

  • The nurse cannot be located.
  • Schmitt-Matzen did not reveal anything about the boy's family or which hospital he was in.
  • Mediaite's John Ziegler reported that there were no obituaries published for the death of a young boy in the timeframe of the alleged incident.
  • Schmitt-Matzen could not recall the exact date of the alleged occurrence. The timeline has since changed, with the boy's death apparently happening in mid-October instead of the claimed November.

In another column published Thursday, Ziegler questioned how a story with so many holes from the start could go so viral and become so believable to people.

"My guess is that this story will be never be fully verified or debunked enough to satisfy those who want it to be true," Ziegler writes. "In the end, everyone will simply be left to believe whatever it is that they want to believe, with the truth meaning nothing."

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A recent story involving a Santa Claus and a dying boy that pulled at Americans' heartstrings has many holes and could ultimately land in the bucket of fake news.
boy, dying, santa claus, arms, story, fake, news
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2016-21-15
Thursday, 15 Dec 2016 06:21 PM
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