An article saying Russell Johnson, the late star of “Gilligan’s Island,” was the Zodiac Killer is fake.
The bogus piece was published on “satrical” website Empire News.
“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,” it says. “Notorious in the late 1960s and early 1970s for the grisly murders of at least 6 people and a slew of threatening letters to the San Francisco Chronicle, the serial killer has, until now, never been identified.”
According to a disclaimer, Empire News should not be taken seriously.
“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,” it reads.
A number of people said the article–despite it being satire–was in poor taste as Johnson passed away recently.
However, there is an actual serial killer named Russell Johnson, who is said to have killed seven women in the 1970s in Canada. Johnson, 62, is currently locked up at a maximum security mental hospital in Penetanguishene, Ontario, said the National Post in a report in 2010.
And the real identity of the Zodiac Killer, who is said to have killed possibly dozens along the West Coast of the United States in the 1960s onward, has never been found.