We’re not sure if this counts as a “catfish” situation, or a just a good old fashioned hoax, but either way the story about a man wanted for infecting over 240 people with HIV is untrue. The story was posted on a site posing as a local NBC affiliate, and thus picked up by media outlets all over the country.
Breaking late last week, the tale of Isaac Don Burks allegedly headed on a downward spiral that drove him to purposely “infect as many people as possible,” didn’t appear to be far-fetched being that we (and others) have reported on people spreading HIV to tons of victims. However a closer look into the report revealed holes in its validity.
The original source came from a fake site made to look like the NBC New York 4 website. The slight difference was in the domain. The real NBC affiliate’s domain is http://www.nbcnewyork.com the fake site used http://www.nbcnewyork4.com.
The original story url still shows up in Google search as http://nbcnewyork4.com/news/local/fugitive-wanted-for-intentionally-spre… yet you no longer go to the original report. Instead, when you click on the link you are directed to an Augusta story about the same man, but for a different incident in 2010 involving identity fraud and forgery.
Having had his name potentially ruined, and his photo plastered all over the place, Burks remained pretty positive about the whole thing. He issued a statement via his Facebook page, saying in part that he would “pray 4 the person or persons responsible for creating a false story about me spreading HIV to hundreds of people.”
Burks also explained that parts of the story were rooted in truth, being that he did lose his mother, but his connection with HIV is much different than previously reported. He doesn’t have HIV but lost his best friend to the disease. “It baffles me to think that someone would actually have so much hate in their heart to make a factitious news article and take my past experiences to add more significance to the story,” he wrote before pointing out the source of his strength. “See my GOD doesn’t allow me to hate or to dwell in this foolishness with the serpent. I can say that i was always taught that the devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy. SATAN get behind me because no weapon formed against me shall prosper!!!!!”
**Editor’s note: Hip-Hop Wired would like to personally apologize to Burks for the blunder.
Photo: NBC NY