Home Archive Robber Eaten By ‘Alligator’ Photographs

Robber Eaten By ‘Alligator’ Photographs

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline:
Email claims that attached photographs depict body parts retrieved from the stomach of an alligator that killed a fleeing robber in Florida.


Brief Analysis:
The incident described in the message did take place in November 2007, but the photographs are totally unrelated to this incident. The animal depicted in the photographs is a crocodile, not an alligator as claimed in the message.

Update:
In early 2011, a new version of the message that contained the same set of images claimed the photographs were actually taken in Australia and that the body parts were those of a fisherman who strayed too close to the bank. There is no credible evidence to support this claim.

Example:
Subject: Fw: Hey,want to go to luch today?

NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART

Subject: FLEEING ROBBER EATEN BY ALLIGATOR

Hindsight being what it is, an unidentified thief (allegedly) burglarizing cars behind the Miccosukee Indian Reservation in Dade County, Florida might have picked a different hunting ground had he known that he’d become the hunted. And we mean that in the most literal sense. You see, witnesses called the cops on the burglar while he was breaking into cars, and the boys in blue arrived on the scene and gave chase. Hoping to elude the fuzz, the suspect dove into a pond behind the resort and casino where he was greeted by a 9-foot alligator unfamiliar with the concept of Miranda rights. Unfortunately for the suspected burglar, the gator was of the aggressive and unpleasant variety, and thus, a law-breaking career came to a grisly and unexpected end.. He’d have been a lot better off spending the night in the clink instead of heading into the drink. Unfortunately for the gator vigilante, Florida fish & wildlife reps saw to it that he followed his erstwhile prey into the afterlife.

This should give you something to think about .



Detailed Analysis:
The case described in the text of this message is basically factual. In November 2007 a suspected car thief fleeing from police was fatally wounded by a 9-foot alligator at Miccosukee Indian Reservation in Miami, Florida. According to news reports published at the time, the robber tried to escape police by jumping into a pond but was then attacked and killed by the alligator. However, the grisly photographs that have been attached to the message have no relation whatsoever to the demise of this hapless thief.

First and foremost, the shape of the head, teeth placement, and colour of the reptile in the photographs indicate that it is a crocodile rather than an alligator. And news footage of the alligator taken after it was captured clearly showed that it was not the same animal featured in the above photographs.

Secondly, the robber was not completely eaten by the alligator, but was rather fatally wounded after being bitten several times around the head. There are no reports that body parts were retrieved from the alligator’s stomach. The man’s body was recovered from the bottom of the pond around a day after the attack.

Thirdly, the photographs indicate that the captured animal was skinned and gutted at the scene where it was caught, using a makeshift bamboo mat as a work area. However, the alligator believed responsible for the Miccosukee attack was captured and transported to “All American Gator” in Pembroke Park along with another alligator. The alligator was not cut up at the location where the attack occurred. The captured alligator was held pending investigation by the Miami-Dade medical examiner and later killed. Also, the pond where the alligator attack took place is surrounded by busy roads, car parks and buildings, including a casino. Thus, it is clearly not the rural landscape depicted in the photographs.

And lastly, other circulating emails that features the same sequence of photographs make no references at all to the Miccosukee alligator attack and more correctly identifies the reptile as a crocodile. In early 2011, I began receiving examples of an Australian version of the message. The new version included the subject line “When in the Northern Territory don’t fish too close to the bank!!” along with the same sequence of photographs. However, although the photographs are probably genuine, it is so far unclear where they were actually taken. It is not uncommon for human body parts to be retrieved from the stomachs of crocodiles. It is possible that the photographs show parts of a fisherman killed by a crocodile in Indonesia in late 2006.

It is also quite possible that the photographs of the crocodile with the hunters do not show the same animal that contained the body parts and were taken at an entirely different time and location. In fact, the two images with the hunters look like typical “trophy” photographs taken on sporting hunter expeditions. If the images of the hunters and the images of the recovered body parts are really part of the same sequence, then the apparently proud and happy demeanour of the posing hunters seems very inappropriate.


Last updated: 12th May 2012
First published: 13 December 2007
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
Fleeing Robbery Suspect Eaten By Alligator
Crime-busting gator kills Florida fugitive

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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.

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Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer