News short: Warren Jeffs found dead in prison?

ST. GEORGE — News stories move quickly these days thanks to the internet but sometimes those stories are fictitious and can cause quite a stir, as was the case this week when a website reported that a polygamous church leader was discovered dead.

Warren jeffs new mug shot, releasing rape tapes unethical
Warren Jeffs booking photo | Photo courtesy of Texas Department of Criminal Justice, St. George News

The story claimed that 60-year-old Warren Jeffs, leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, was found dead in his prison cell Tuesday at the Louis C. Powledge Unit located near Palestine, Texas.

Well, as it turns out, the story is a hoax.

The article was written by George Drivas and published on, a fake news website that touts the slogan “News you can trust.”

The so-called news site looks and sounds legitimate, but looks can be deceiving.

Jeffs, who is serving a sentence of life plus 20 years since his 2011 conviction on crimes related to marrying and sexually abusing two underage girls he considered brides, is alive and breathing, Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison officials confirmed Wednesday.

As reports of Jeffs’ death quickly spread, readers who believed the information to be true immediately began commenting on the story. One reader posted:

As a deeply religious man, I cannot wish death upon even the darkest of individuals – nor can I celebrate it. My heart goes out to Mr. Jeffs congregation along with those he harmed. A very tragic situation all around.

However, other readers were not so kind. Some even claimed to be celebrating Jeffs’ death. Another reader wrote:

Good riddance. They should have let the other inmates rip him apart. Hopefully it wasn’t a peaceful death.

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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  • ladybugavenger July 20, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    Had me going there….

  • Matthew July 20, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    Kimberly Scott has got to be the worst journalist alive. Her entire portfolio consists of shill rah-rah pieces praising this town’s corrupt police force, with a few hack pieces to mix things up. The sixth grade level book reports that she turns in as news articles lack any kind of temporal flow, her narrative structure is consistently scattered and difficult to stitch together, and her dialogue attribution is even worse than Stephanie Meyers’. I certainly hope nobody actually pays her for this garbage.

    • anybody home July 21, 2016 at 11:01 am

      I agree and her editor is supposed to catch this kind of thing. I guess old cheerleaders never die, they become small town newspaper writers. Sad.

      • .... July 22, 2016 at 7:30 pm

        Yeah and people like you just end up as whining little cry babies on news sites eh ?

  • Kamren July 20, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    I wonder if the prison was freaking out and double checking to make sure he wasn’t dead.

  • Ronbo July 21, 2016 at 6:39 am

    This is not a new story. Why was it even published ? Filler ?

    • Joyce Kuzmanic July 21, 2016 at 8:08 am

      No Ronbo, one of our jobs is to dispel myths and rumors. That’s what this report does.

      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

      • anybody home July 21, 2016 at 11:02 am

        Then put that in the headline, Joyce. Don’t use a National Enquirer headline.

    • Chris July 21, 2016 at 8:11 am

      Ronbo, I agree. Lots of c**p in newspapers which are seldom newsworthy. See: Celebrities talkin’ politics.

  • theone July 21, 2016 at 9:42 am

    LOL To all you who find this to be crap and a waste of time, welcome to the information age. Stay off the internet highway if you feel the information is irrelevant. Oh wait, I meant think for yourself then you have no need to bash. As far as Jeff’s goes, I’m glad he’s not dead, he deserves to rot right where he is for a long time.

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