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Home Fake-News FAKE-NEWS: ‘Professor Hinkley From Gilligan’s Island is Zodiac Killer’

FAKE-NEWS: ‘Professor Hinkley From Gilligan’s Island is Zodiac Killer’

by Brett M. Christensen


Circulating report claims that the late Russell Johnson, who played Professor Roy Hinkley on Gilligan’s Island, has been identified as the notorious serial murderer known as the Zodiac Killer. 

Brief Analysis

The claims in the report are nonsense. Russell Johnson has certainly not been identified as the Zodiac Killer. The report comes from the fake-news, ‘satirical’ website Empire News. Nothing published on Empire News should be taken seriously.


In a scandal that has stunned the world, the late Russell Johnson, known for his role as Professor Roy Hinkley on the popular sitcom Gilligan’s Island, has been identified as the infamous Zodiac Killer. Johnson died of kidney failure this past January.

Fake News - Gilligan's Island Zodiac Killer


Detailed Analysis

According to a ‘shocking’ report, that has been making its way around the interwebs via social media since July 2014, late actor Russell Johnson has been identified as the notorious Zodiac Killer, a serial killer that operated in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

Russell Johnson was perhaps best known for his role as Professor Roy Hinkley on Gilligan’s Island.

According to the report, a funeral worker attending to Johnson’s body realized that Johnson was the Zodiac Killer and reported the matter to police.

However, the claims in the report are extremely poor taste lies. Russell Johnson certainly has not been identified as the Zodiac Killer.
The false report comes from the fake-news website Empire News. The site apparently imagines itself to be satirical and includes the following disclaimer on its About Page:

Empire News is a satirical and entertainment website. We only use invented names in all our stories, except in cases when public figures are being satirized. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental.

For the record, the identity of the Zodiac Killer remains unknown.

With an increasing number of fake-news websites appearing online, it is wise to check any ‘news’ reports that cross your social media feeds before you share them with your friends. If such stories are true, they can usually be quickly confirmed by searching on a news portal such as Google News.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,