Reporters from everywhere descended on a rural road in Liberty County.
A "Psychic Tip" Stirs Up a Media Frenzy and Turns Out to be a Cruel Hoax, HARDIN, June 8, 2011 - Shortly after 5 pm on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, news about a mass grave with up to 30 dismembered bodies of kids spread like wild fire through East Texas and beyond. The story fluctuated changing to about 20 something bodies with adults and possible kids. In no time, a literal media circus converged in Liberty County at the intersection of CR-2048 and 2049 where police taped off the area to hold back literal throngs of reporters seeking to get the scoop on a gruesome story that, fortunately, turned out to be a hoax.
I was working on updating PolkCountyToday.com shortly before 6 pm when my cell phone went off and I began to get calls and text messages from local contacts alerting me to the hideous story. I dropped what I was doing, and got out a map (yes a paper map since the internet suddenly went down), and got my directions. Less than an hour later, I drove up on the scene and the site of reporters, photographers, news vans, satellite towers, and two news helicopters circling the scene from high above. The FBI, Texas Rangers, and local investigators from the Liberty County District Attorney's Office and the Liberty County Sheriff's Office were on one side of the police tape, and us reporters on the other. Well, it all turned out to be a cruel hoax.
According to Liberty County Judge, Craig McNair, it was a "psychic tip" the night before that alerted law enforcement. The following day (June 7th), the tipster called again laying out exactly where the bodies were to be found. A search warrant was finally executed and there was actually nothing to be found. The tipster is reported to be a female who lives in a county near Austin. The owners of the home were out of town the whole time but were contacted and couldn't believe their ears. At time of press, the name of the tipster and whether or not she will be arrested remains to be seen. The whole sordid affair ended up costing me a few hours of my time and nearly 100 miles of driving for nothing and consuming precious gasoline. It comes with the job. -- Willie Openshaw, Editor, PolkCountyToday.com
Liberty County Judge, Craig McNair, talked to us.
Liberty County Judge Craig McNair addresses a media circus.
Helicopters were hovering above.
Standing in the middle of CR-2048, this was the view in one direction...
...this was the view in the other direction.
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