Murder of Seth Rich

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Murder of Seth Rich
DateJuly 10, 2016
Time4:20 a.m. EST (approximate)
LocationBloomingdale neighborhood
(Ward 5Washington, D.C.)
OutcomeUnder investigation by D.C. police
InquiriesMetropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia
CoronerOffice of the Chief Medical Examiner, Washington D.C.
Seth Conrad Rich (January 3, 1989 – July 10, 2016) was an American employee of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) who was fatally shot in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, D.C.[1][2][3] As of May 2017 the shooting was still under investigation by the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.[4]
The murder spawned several right-wing conspiracy theories, including the claim that Rich had been involved with the leaked DNC emails in 2016, which runs contrary to U.S. intelligence that concluded the leaked DNC emails were part of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[5][6][7] These theories were described as false and unfounded by law enforcement,[5][6] as well as by fact-checking websites like,[6][8],[9] and[5] The fabrications were described as fake news and falsehoods by The New York Times,[10] Los Angeles Times,[11] and The Washington Post.[12]
Rich's parents condemned the conspiracy theorists and said that these individuals were exploiting their son's death for political gain, and their spokesperson called the conspiracy theorists "disgusting sociopaths".[13][14][15] They requested a retraction and apology from Fox News after the network promoted the conspiracy theory,[16] and sent a cease and desist letter to the investigator Fox News used.[6][15][16] The investigator stated that he had no evidence to back up the claims which Fox News attributed to him.[5][6][17] Fox News issued a retraction, but did not apologize or publicly explain what went wrong.[18]

Seth Rich's early life and career

Rich grew up in a Jewish family, in Omaha, Nebraska.[19][20][21] He volunteered for the Nebraska Democratic Party, interned for Senator Ben Nelson, was active in Jewish outreach,[22] and worked with the United States Census Bureau.[23][24] In 2011, he graduated from Creighton University with a degree in political science.[25][24] He moved to Washington, D.C. to work for pollster, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.[24] In 2014 he began working for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as the Voter Expansion Data Director. One of his tasks at the DNC was the development of a computer application to help voters locate polling stations.[2][26][27]

Shooting and death

On Sunday, July 10, 2016, at 4:20 a.m., Rich was shot about a block from his apartment in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, D.C.[28][29][30]
Earlier that night he had been at Lou's City Bar, a sports pub 1.8 miles (2.9 km) from his apartment, in Columbia Heights, where he was a regular customer. He left when the bar was closing, at about 1:30 or 1:45 a.m.[31][32] Police were alerted to gunfire at 4:20 a.m. by an automated gunfire locator.[30][33] Within approximately one minute after the gun shots, police officers found Rich conscious with multiple gunshot wounds.[34] He was transported to a nearby hospital, where he later died.[35][36][37] According to police, he died from two shots to the back[28][29] and may have been killed in an attempted robbery, noting that the neighborhood had recently been plagued by robberies.[28] Rich's mother told NBC's Washington affiliate WRC-TV, "There had been a struggle. His hands were bruised, his knees are bruised, his face is bruised, and yet he had two shots to his back, and yet they never took anything... They didn't finish robbing him, they just took his life."[38] The police told the family they had found a surveillance videotape showing a glimpse of the legs of two people who could possibly be the killers.[31]


On the day after the shooting, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued a statement mourning his loss and praising Rich's work to support voter rights.[33][39] Two days after the shooting, Hillary Clinton spoke of his death during a speech advocating limiting the availability of guns.[2][20]

Bike rack and plaque outside the DNC headquarters
In October 2016, a plaque and bike rack outside the DNC headquarters were dedicated to Rich's memory.[39] In September 2016, Rich's parents and girlfriend appeared on the syndicated television show Crime Watch Daily to speak about the murder case.[40][41] In February 2017, the Beth El Synagogue in Omaha named after Rich an existing scholarship that helps Jewish children attend summer camps.[42]
The Rich family accepted the pro bono public relations services of Republican lobbyist Jack Burkman in September 2016.[11] The Rich family and Burkman held a joint press conference on the murder in November 2016.[11][43] In January 2017, Burkman launched an advertising campaign in Northwest D.C. searching for information regarding Seth’s death. This included billboard advertisements and canvassing with flyers.[44][45] In late February, Burkman told media outlets he had a lead that the Russian government was involved in Rich's death,[46] and the Rich family distanced itself from Burkman.[47] On March 19, 2017, Rich's brother, Aaron, started a GoFundMe campaign to try to raise $200,000 for private investigation, public outreach activities, and a reward fund.[48] On March 24, Burkman started "The Profiling Project" with some forensics students at George Washington University, an independent investigative attempt to solve the murder of Seth Rich.[49][50] On June 20, 2017, the Profiling Project said that the conspiracy theories surrounding the death were unfounded, and published a report which speculated that the murder was caused by a serial killer.[51]
The Rich family was approached by Ed Butowsky (a friend of Trump advisor Steve Bannon and a frequent Fox News contributor), who recommended having Fox News contributor and former homicide detective Rod Wheeler investigate Seth’s murder. Butowsky said Wheeler had been recommended to him. The family gave Wheeler permission to investigate, though they did not hire him.[15][52] When questioned by CNN, Butowsky denied involvement in the case, but later admitted he was involved and had offered to pay Wheeler’s fees.[53][54] After Wheeler asserted links between Rich and Wikileaks in a Fox affiliate interview on May 15, 2017—an assertion he later backpedaled from[55]—the family spokesman said that the family regretted working with Wheeler.[4] Wheeler then sued Fox News on August 1, 2017, for mental anguish and emotional distress, alleging that he had been misquoted in a story that was then published on the urging of President Donald J. Trump[56]


The Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia (MPDC) posted its customary reward of $25,000 for information about the death.[2][34]
On August 9, 2016, WikiLeaks announced a $20,000 reward for information about Rich's murder leading to a conviction,[57][58][59] although Rich's family said they were unable to verify this reward offer.[60] When making the offer for the reward, WikiLeaks said their offer should not be taken as implying Rich had been involved in leaking information to them.[2]
In November 2016, Republican lobbyist Jack Burkman stated he was personally offering a $100,000 reward in addition to those announced by the police department and WikiLeaks, and he added another $5,000 to his offer in December and another $25,000 in January.[60][61][31] Burkman said he hoped the money would help "get to the truth of what happened here and will either debunk the conspiracy theories or validate them".[62]

Conspiracy theories



Right-wing conspiracy theories began circulating in the days following Rich's death,[63][64][65] including an unsubstantiated claim that his murder was connected to the DNC email leak of 2016.[4] A post on Twitter before Rich's memorial service originated the idea that his killing was a political assassination.[63] Subsequently, the conspiracy theory was publicized on Reddit and then on the website Heat Street, later popularized by Donald Trump political adviser Roger Stone via his Twitter account.[63] Reddit users attempted to tie the homicide to prior "Clinton Body Count" conspiracy theories.[64]On July 13, 2016, conspiracy website promoted a similar conspiracy theory.[65]

WikiLeaks statements

Assistant Police Chief Peter Newsham said the police had no information suggesting a connection between Rich's death and data obtained by WikLeaks.[2] Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, fueled speculation of a connection when, unbidden, he brought up the case.[31][66] People who worked with Rich said he was not an expert computer hacker helping to leak information to foreigners. Andrew Therriault, a data scientist who had mentored Rich, said although he had recently been working as a programmer, this "wasn't his background", and another co-worker said Rich was very upset when he heard hackers associated with Russian intelligence services had broken into the DNC computers and could be interfering with the election.[31]

Spread by social media and right wing

These conspiracy theories were promoted by Mike CernovichSean HannityGeraldo RiveraKim DotcomPaul Joseph WatsonNewt GingrichJack Posobiec, and others.[67][68][69]
The same venues that fomented the false Pizzagate conspiracy theory helped to promulgate the Seth Rich murder conspiracy theories,[70][71][11] and each shared similar features.[72][73][74] Both were promoted by individuals subscribing to far-right politics,[75] and by campaign officials and individuals appointed to senior-level national security roles by Donald Trump.[76][77][78] After prior coordination on Facebook, each theory was spread on Twitter by automated bots using a branded hashtag, with the goal of becoming a trending topic.[70] Both the Pizzagate conspiracy theory and the Seth Rich murder conspiracy theory were spread in the sub reddit forum promoting Donald Trump, called "The Donald".[79] In both conspiracy theories, the promoters attempted to shift the burden of proof — asking others to attempt to disprove their claims, without citing substantiated evidence.[80] Slate called the claims about Seth Rich a "PizzaGate-like conspiracy theory surrounding Rich’s death",[81] The Huffington Post described it as "the 'alt-right' idiocy of Pizzagate all over again",[74] NPR's David Folkenflik said Fox News coverage of it "evokes the pizza-gate terrible allegations utterly unfounded",[82] and Margaret Sullivan wrote for The Washington Post: "The Seth Rich lie has become the new Comet Ping Pong ... Crazy, baseless and dangerous."[83]


The conspiracy theories have been debunked by law enforcement,[5][6] as well as by fact-checking websites like,[6][8],[9] and[5]
The Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia described the murder as related to a bungled attempted theft,[5] and said "the assertions put forward by Mr. Wheeler are unfounded."[5] The FBI told that the MPD was investigating the homicide.[8]
Rich family representative, Brad Bauman, responding to the conspiracy theorists’ claim that the FBI was investigating the case said, “The FBI is not now and has never been a party to this investigation."[5] analyzed statements by Newt Gingrich related to the conspiracy theory, where Gingrich said Rich "apparently was assassinated" subsequent to "having given WikiLeaks something like … 53,000 [DNC] emails and 17,000 attachments".[5] determined this claim was "unsupported" and determined "there's no evidence for his claim."[5] said the assertion that Rich gave emails to WikiLeaks is a "baseless claim", concluding "Gingrich and others are talking about an unfounded conspiracy theory as if it's a matter of fact. It is far from it. We rate his claim Pants on Fire."[6] In a separate analysis, concluded: "There's no evidence there's any link between Rich and WikiLeaks. The FBI has indirectly denied investigating the case, which Washington police consider a robbery gone wrong."[8] looked into the matter and stated: "We were able to confirm the FBI is not investigating Rich's murder — it is an MPD investigation... All claims made by Mr. Wheeler are false and take fake news to a whole new level. The family deserves better and everyday MPD continues to work diligently to solve this case."[9] Snopes rated the claim "DNC staffer Seth Rich sent 'thousands of leaked e-mails' to WikiLeaks before he was murdered." as "False".[9]
The fabrications were described as fake news and falsehoods by The New York Times.[10] The New York Times cited the conspiracy theories as an example of the persistence of false claims, concluding: "fake news dies hard".[10] The Los Angeles Times called the conspiracy theories "unsubstantiated rumors".[11]
The Washington Post cited the conspiracy theories as an example of the power of fake news to spread virally online.[12] The paper used the example as a case study of the persistence of fake news, and found that television news media can be a soft target for such false stories.[12] The Washington Postfurther found that the proliferation of fake news via Facebook had decreased, but remained powerful on Twitter due to spread via online bots.[12] They found that the conspiracy theories with the largest potential to spread on the Internet were those that held attraction for both the alt-right movements and the political left wing.[12] The Washington Post concluded that even if a particular false story had been sufficiently debunked, such fact-checking was unable to stop the spread of the falsehoods online.[12]

Fox News retracted reporting

Uncorroborated story

On May 15, 2017, Fox 5 DC (WTTG) reported the uncorroborated and later largely retracted[84] claims by Rod Wheeler, a Fox News contributor and former homicide detective, that there was evidence Seth Rich had contacted WikiLeaks and that law enforcement were covering this up;[85][84] claims that were never independently verified by Fox.[86] The next day, Fox News published a lead story on its website and provided extensive coverage on its cable news channel about what it later said were Wheeler's uncorroborated claims about the murder of Seth Rich;[87][88][89] in the lead story Fox News removed from their website a few days later, they stated that Wheeler's claims had been "corroborated by a federal investigator who spoke to Fox News."[90][91][92]In reporting these claims, the Fox News report re-ignited conspiracy theories about the killing.[72][93][94] According to NPR, within a day of the original Fox report, "Google searches for Rich had overtaken searches for James Comey, even amid continuous news about the former FBI director's conversations with Trump."[80] The Washington Post noted Fox News chose to lead with this story at a time when most other media outlets were covering Donald Trump's disclosure of classified information to Russia.[88]
Other news organizations revealed Wheeler was a Donald Trump supporter, a paid Fox News contributor, and according to NBC News had "developed a reputation for making outlandish claims, such as one appearance on Fox News in 2007 in which he warned that underground networks of pink pistol-toting lesbian gangs were raping young women".[93][95][4] The Washington Post noted it is "rare for a news organization to have such a close relationship with the people it is covering", as Wheeler was "playing three roles at once: as a Fox source, as a paid contributor to the network and as a supposedly independent investigator of the murder".[72] When Wheeler appeared on Sean Hannity's Fox News shows, these multiple roles were not disclosed to viewers.[72] After Wheeler's Fox News interview on May 15, 2017, Brad Bauman, a communications professional and spokesman for the Rich family, said the family was asking Fox News and the Fox affiliate to retract their reports and apologize for damaging their son's legacy.[4]
The family spokesperson, the Washington, D.C. police department, the Washington, D.C. mayor's office, the FBI, and law enforcement sources familiar with the case all disputed Wheeler's claims.[93][96] The family said, "We are a family who is committed to facts, not fake evidence that surfaces every few months to fill the void and distract law enforcement and the general public from finding Seth's murderers."[93] Bauman criticized Fox News for its reporting, saying he believed that the outlet was motivated by a desire to deflect attention from the Trump-Russia story: "I think there's a very special place in hell for people that would use the memory of a murder victim in order to pursue a political agenda."[9]
Later that day, Wheeler told CNN he had no evidence that Rich had contacted Wikileaks.[84] Wheeler claimed that Fox had presented his quotes misleadingly and that he only learned about the possible existence of the evidence from a Fox News reporter.[84][80] Despite this, Sean Hannity's show and Fox & Friends continued to promote the conspiracy theory for the remainder of the week.[97][98] Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Geraldo Rivera took part in spreading the conspiracy.[98][99][100] Hannity had on his program Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch, who said the organization filed Freedom of Information Act requests for documents from Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, and from the Metropolitan Police.[101] Sean Hannity furthermore promoted the uncorroborated claims of Kim Dotcom, a New Zealand resident sought by the United States on fraud charges who claimed without evidence that Rich had been in contact with him before his death.[102] Fox News host Julie Roginsky was critical of the conspiracy theory peddlers, stating on Twitter and on her television show: "The exploitation of a dead man whose family has begged conspiracy theorists to stop is really egregious. Please stop."[103] Fox News was also criticized by conservative outlets, such as the Weekly Standard,[104] National Review,[105][106] and Red State,[107][108][109] and conservative columnists, such as Jennifer Rubin,[110] Michael Gerson,[111] and John Podhoretz.[112] In September 2017, NPRnoted that Fox News had yet to apologize for its false story or explain what went wrong; "When a story of this scale crumbles, most news organizations feel obligated to explain what happened and why. Not so far at Fox."[18]

Cease and desist letter and retraction

On May 19, 2017, an attorney for the Rich family sent a cease and desist letter to Wheeler.[16]
Fox News issued a retraction of the story on May 23, 2017 and removed the original article, and did not apologize or specify what went wrong or how it did so.[17][113][114] Despite this, Hannity, who pushed the theory, remained unapologetic, saying "I retracted nothing" and "I am not going to stop trying to find the truth."[115][102][114] In their May 23 statement, Fox News said,
The article was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting. Upon appropriate review, the article was found not to meet those standards and has since been removed.[115]
The Poynter Institute said that the retraction was "woefully inadequate", noting that,
The two-paragraph statement, published under the "politics" category on the network's website, doesn't say what about Fox News' reporting was inaccurate (that its original source backed away from his claim that he had information showing Rich was in touch with Wikileaks). It doesn't replace the bad information with accurate information (that police believe Rich was murdered during a robbery). It doesn't specify who in the organization is being held accountable. And the correction doesn't appear on the original story to explain why it was removed, nor has it been shared in the on-air forums where the inaccurate story was promoted. As of this writing, the original URL displays a 404 error. Fox News isn't even acknowledging to people who click the link to the original story that it's been retracted.[116]
On May 23, 2017, Sean Hannity stated on his television program that he would cease discussing the issue.[117] Hannity said his decision to cease commenting on the matter was related to the family of the murder victim: "Out of respect for the family's wishes, for now, I am not discussing the matter at this time."[117] In the same statement wherein he promised to cease discussion of the topic, he vowed to pursue facts in the future: "I promise you I am not going to stop trying to find the truth."[117] Several advertisers including Crowne Plaza HotelsCars.comLeesa MattressUSAAPeloton and Casper Sleep pulled their marketing from his program on Fox News.[118][119][120] Crowne Plaza Hotels later said that it was not their policy to advertise on political commentary shows, and had not been aware of their sponsorship of the show.[121] USAA soon returned to advertising on Fox News after receiving customer input.[122]

Wheeler lawsuit

On August 1, 2017, Rod Wheeler, the private investigator hired by Butowsky who was the first to claim links between Seth Rich's murder and the DNC hack on Fox, but who later appeared to retract his claims, filed a lawsuit (Case 1:17-cv-05807 Southern District of New York), in which 21st Century Fox, the Fox News Channel, Fox News reporter Malia Zimmerman and Ed Butowsky are named as defendants, stating that quotes attributed to him in the original Fox News piece were fabricated. The lawsuit also alleges that the fabricated quotes were included in the Fox News story at the urging of the Trump White House.[123][124]
Text messages and audio apparently supporting this assertion were included in the filing of the lawsuit. About a month before the story was aired on Fox News, Wheeler and Butowsky met at the White House with the White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer to review the planned story on Seth Rich's murder. After talking to Wheeler and Butowsky, Zimmerman sent Wheeler a draft of a story without any quotes from Wheeler on May 11. On May 14 Butowsky texted Wheeler saying "Not to add any more pressure but the president just read the article. He wants the article out immediately. It's now all up to you. But don't feel the pressure." Butowsky also left a voicemail for Wheeler which said "We have the full, uh, attention of the White House on this. And tomorrow, let's close this deal, whatever we've got to do."[124] Butowsky said Seymour Hersch confirmed a link between Rich and the FBI. Hersch confirmed the conversation with Butowsky but told NPR the link was "gossip" and that Butowsky exaggerated its significance.[123]
In an email to Fox News Butowsky also wrote about the purpose behind the Seth Rich story: "One of the big conclusions we need to draw from this is that the Russians did not hack our computer systems and ste[a]l emails and there was no collusion (between) Trump and the Russians." He also instructed Wheeler that "[T]he narrative in the interviews you might use is that you and [Zimmerman's] work prove that the Russians didn't hack into the DNC and steal the emails and impact our elections (...) If you can, try to highlight this puts the Russian hacking story to rest."[124]
When the story aired on Fox News, it included supposed quotes from Wheeler and was written as if the accusations against the DNC came from him. Wheeler alleges that the quotes were fabricated and should not have been attributed to him.[123]
In later recordings Butowsky admits to Wheeler that the claims being attributed to him were false but says that "One day you're going to win an award for having said those things you didn't say." He also says "I know that's not true, if I'm under oath, I would say I never heard him say that."[124]

Family's reaction

In May 2017, Aaron issued a statement saying "We simply want to find his killers and grieve. Instead, we are stuck having to constantly fight against non-facts, baseless allegations, and general stupidity to defend my brother's name and legacy."[4]
The family spokesperson said "At this point, only people with transparent political agendas or sociopaths are still perpetuating Seth Rich conspiracies."[125]
His parents authored a piece in The Washington Post on May 23, 2017 titled: "We're Seth Rich's parents. Stop politicizing our son's murder," in which they wrote:
We are asking you to please consider our feelings and words. There are people who are using our beloved Seth's memory and legacy for their own political goals, and they are using your outrage to perpetuate our nightmare. We ask those purveying falsehoods to give us peace, and to give law enforcement the time and space to do the investigation they need to solve our son's murder.[13]

See also


  1. Jump up^ Morton, Joseph. "D.C. police, family of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich urge anyone with information about murder to come forward"Omaha World-Herald (August 4, 2016; Updated August 10, 2016).
  2. Jump up to:a b c d e f Morton, Joseph. "WikiLeaks offers $20,000 reward for help finding Omaha native Seth Rich's killer"Omaha World-Herald (August 10, 2016; Updated August 11, 2016): "Rich had worked for the DNC for two years and helped develop a computer program to make it easier for people to find polling places on Election Day."
  3. Jump up^ Kamp-Wright, Annette van de (July 20, 2016). "Seth Conrad Rich"The Jewish Press. Omaha. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  4. Jump up to:a b c d e f Bromwich, Jonah Engel (May 17, 2017). "How the Murder of a D.N.C. Staffer Fueled Conspiracy Theories"The New York Times. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  5. Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i j k Kiely, Eugene (May 22, 2017). "Gingrich Spreads Conspiracy Theory"FactCheck.orgAnnenberg Public Policy Center. Retrieved May 23, 2017At this point in the investigation, it is believed that Seth Rich was the victim of an attempted robbery. The assertions put forward by Mr. Wheeler are unfounded.
  6. Jump up to:a b c d e f g h Carroll, Lauren (May 23, 2017). Sanders, Katie, ed. "The baseless claim that slain DNC staffer Seth Rich gave emails to WikiLeaks"PolitiFact.comTampa Bay TimesThere is no trustworthy evidence supporting the theory that Rich was WikiLeaks' source for thousands of DNC emails. The police believe his death was the result of a botched robbery, not a political assassination.
  7. Jump up^ "Cyber-spying: Bear on bear"The Economist. September 22, 2016. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
  8. Jump up to:a b c d Gillin, Joshua (May 26, 2017). "Conspiracy theory that Comey hid Seth Rich's ties to WikiLeaks based on retracted story"
  9. Jump up to:a b c d e Palma, Bethania (May 16, 2017). "Fact Check: Did DNC Staffer Seth Rich Send 'Thousands of E-Mails' to WikiLeaks Before He Was Murdered?" Retrieved May 16, 2017We were able to confirm the FBI is not investigating Rich's murder — it is an MPD investigation... All claims made by Mr. Wheeler are false and take fake news to a whole new level. The family deserves better and everyday MPD continues to work diligently to solve this case.
  10. Jump up to:a b c Rutenberg, Jim (May 24, 2017). "Sean Hannity, a Murder and Why Fake News Endures"The New York Times.
  11. Jump up to:a b c d e Shalby, Colleen (May 24, 2017). "How Seth Rich's death became an Internet conspiracy theory"Los Angeles TimesDespite police statements and Rich’s family concluding that his death was the result of an attempted robbery, the rumor spread within the same circles that churned out the bogus 'PizzaGate' story
  12. Jump up to:a b c d e f David Weigel (May 20, 2017). "The Seth Rich conspiracy shows how fake news still works"The Washington Post The Fix blog. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
  13. Jump up to:a b Rich, Mary; Rich, Joel (May 23, 2017). "We're Seth Rich's parents. Stop politicizing our son's murder"The Washington Post. Retrieved May 23,2017We ask those purveying falsehoods to give us peace, and to give law enforcement the time and space to do the investigation they need to solve our son's murder.
  14. Jump up^ "Seth Rich Parents Refute New Claims On Wikileaks Contact"The Forward. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  15. Jump up to:a b c Stein, Perry (May 20, 2017). "Family of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich sends 'cease and desist' letter to Fox News contributor"The Washington Post. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
  16. Jump up to:a b c Seitz-Wald, Alex (May 19, 2017), "Slain DNC Staffer's Family Orders Blabbing Detective to 'Cease and Desist"NBC News. Retrieved May 22, 2017
  17. Jump up to:a b "Statement on coverage of Seth Rich murder investigation"Fox News. May 23, 2017. Archived from the original on May 23, 2017. On May 16, a story was posted on the Fox News website on the investigation into the 2016 murder of DNC Staffer Seth Rich. The article was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting. Upon appropriate review, the article was found not to meet those standards and has since been removed. We will continue to investigate this story and will provide updates as warranted.
  18. Jump up to:a b "No Apology, No Explanation: Fox News And The Seth Rich Story" Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  19. Jump up^ "Rich, Seth C"Omaha World-Herald. July 13, 2016.
  20. Jump up to:a b Hermann, Peter (July 12, 2016). "Hillary Clinton invokes name of slain DNC aide Seth Rich in calling for gun control"The Washington Post.
  21. Jump up^ Parents of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich decry politicization of their son’s murder May 24, 2017, Jewish Telegraphic Agency
  22. Jump up^ Seth Rich’s family calls on Fox to retract WikiLeaks allegations By Jewish Telegraphic Agency, in Times of Israel, May 19, 2017
  23. Jump up^ Morton, Joseph (July 13, 2016). "27-year-old Creighton grad, DNC staffer shot dead in D.C. wanted 'to try to save the world'"Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved May 29, 2017.
  24. Jump up to:a b c Abraham, Rabbi Steven (July 22, 2016). "In Memoriam: Seth Conrad Rich"The Jewish Press. Omaha. Eulogy given by Rabbi Steven Abraham of Beth El Synagogue at the service on July 13, 2016.
  25. Jump up^ Orti, Camila (July 12, 2016). "Creighton grad living in D.C. killed in weekend shooting". KETV. Retrieved May 29, 2017.
  26. Jump up^ Mallory Hughes (August 11, 2016). "DNC Employee Fatally Shot in DC"WUSA. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  27. Jump up^ Rojas, Warren (July 11, 2016). "DNC Staffer Killed in DC"Roll Call.
  28. Jump up to:a b c Stein, Jeff (August 20, 2016). "Seth Rich: Inside the Killing of the DNC Staffer"Newsweek.
  29. Jump up to:a b (August 5, 2016). Mother, Police Seeking Tips on Killing of DNC Staffer Seth RichWRC-TV. retrieved August 22, 2016.
  30. Jump up to:a b Shrier, Adam. "Democratic National Committee staffer killed in Washington, D.C. shooting"New York Daily News, July 11, 2016.
  31. Jump up to:a b c d e Roig-Franzia, Manuel (January 18, 2017). "Seth Rich wasn't just another D.C. murder victim. He was a meme in the weirdest presidential election of our times"The Washington Post.
  32. Jump up^ Mindock, Clark (May 16, 2017). "Who is Seth Rich – and was his death really connected to Hillary Clinton?"The Independent. Retrieved May 22,2017.
  33. Jump up to:a b Hermann, Peter; Williams, Clarence (July 11, 2016). "Slain Democratic National Committee staffer 'wanted to make a difference'"The Washington Post.
  34. Jump up to:a b Harris, Chris (July 13, 2016). "Friends of Slain DNC Staffer Seth Rich Remember Him as 'Honest' and 'Self-Sacrificing'"People.
  35. Jump up^ "Homicide: 2100 Block of Flagler Place, Northwest | mpdc"Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia. July 11, 2016. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
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  37. Jump up^ Khan, Mariam. DNC Employee Shot Dead in DC Over the WeekendABC News, July 11, 2016.
  38. Jump up^ Collins, Pat; Swalec, Andrea (July 11, 2016). "27-Year-Old DNC Staffer Seth Rich Shot, Killed in Northwest DC"WRC-TV.
  39. Jump up to:a b Burdine, Nikki (October 17, 2016). "DNC honors murdered staffer Seth Rich"WUSA. Retrieved October 19, 2016.
  40. Jump up^ "Family of murdered DNC employee Seth Rich speaks out on 'Crime Watch'"KOMO-TV. September 30, 2016. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
  41. Jump up^ Kurzius, Rachel (October 3, 2016). "Murdered DNC Staffer's Mom: 'Seth Would Be So Offended' By Conspiracy Theories"DCist. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
  42. Jump up^ Kelly, Michael (February 25, 2017). "Kelly: Camp scholarship memorializes Omahan Seth Rich, who was killed in D.C. in July"Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
  43. Jump up^ Guttman, Nathan. "Seth Rich's Family Furious At Attorney For Claiming Russia Behind The Murder"The Forward. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  44. Jump up^ "'Who Murdered Seth Rich?': Billboards to be Posted in DC"WRC-TV. January 18, 2017. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  45. Jump up^ Searching for clues in the Seth Rich murder. The Washington Post. May 11, 2017. Retrieved May 27, 2017 – via YouTube.
  46. Jump up^ Guttman, Nathan (March 1, 2017). "Was Russia Behind Mystery Murder Of DNC Worker Seth Rich?"Forward. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  47. Jump up^ Kurzius, Rachel (March 2, 2017). "'It's Hurtful': Seth Rich's Family Responds To Latest Conspiracy Theory About His Murder"DCist. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  48. Jump up^ "Family Seeks Funds for Answers, Leads in Seth Rich Death"WRC-TV. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  49. Jump up^ Kurzius, Rachel. "GOP Lobbyist Now Opening 'War Room' Dedicated To Solving Seth Rich Murder"DCist. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  50. Jump up^ Taylor, Scott. "EXCLUSIVE: A look inside 'Profiling Project: Seth Rich'"WJLA. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
  51. Jump up^ Kutner, Max (June 20, 2017). "A serial killer, not a robber, murdered Seth Rich, report claims"Newsweek. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  52. Jump up^ Collins, Ben (May 16, 2017). "The Big-Money PR War Over Seth Rich's Death"The Daily Beast. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  53. Jump up^ Chiquillo, Julieta (May 19, 2017). "How a Dallas financier got tangled up in conspiracy theories about slaying of DNC staffer Seth Rich"Dallas News. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  54. Jump up^ Rutenberg, Jim (May 24, 2017). "Sean Hannity, a Murder and Why Fake News Endures"The New York Times. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  55. Jump up^ Marraco, Marina (May 15, 2017). "Family's private investigator: There is evidence Seth Rich had contact with WikiLeaks prior to death". Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  56. Jump up^ Swanson, Ian (August 1, 2017). "Lawsuit claims Trump involvement in retracted Fox story on Seth Rich".
  57. Jump up^ Tschida, Stephen (August 9, 2016). "WikiLeaks offering $20,000 reward for information regarding D.C. murder of DNC's Seth Rich"WJLA-TV. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  58. Jump up^ Hermann, Peter; Williams, Clarence (August 9, 2016). "WikiLeaks offers reward for help finding DNC staffer's killer"The Washington Post. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
  59. Jump up^ "Assange implies murdered DNC staffer was WikiLeaks' source"Fox News. August 10, 2016. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
  60. Jump up to:a b Morton, Joseph (November 23, 2016). "Parents of DNC staffer Seth Rich vow to find his killer; reward now $125,000"Omaha World Herald. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  61. Jump up^ "GOP lobbyist adds $5K to reward for info on murder of former DNC staffer Seth Rich"WJLA-TV. December 5, 2016. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
  62. Jump up^ Kutner, Max (September 16, 2016). "A GOP lobbyist will pay $100,000 to learn who killed DNC staffer Seth Rich"Newsweek. Retrieved May 26,2017.
  63. Jump up to:a b c Nuzzi, Olivia (May 28, 2017). "'Is This Even About Seth Rich at All?'"New York.
  64. Jump up to:a b Guo, Jeff (May 24, 2017). "The bonkers Seth Rich conspiracy theory, explained"
  65. Jump up to:a b LaCapria, Kim (July 14, 2016). "Seth Rich Homicide"
  66. Jump up^ Nieuwsuur (August 9, 2016). "Julian Assange on Seth Rich" – via YouTube.
  67. Jump up^ "In Pro-Trump media land, the last week's been irrelevant or just 'fake news'"Stuff. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  68. Jump up^ "The FBI is not investigating DNC staffer Seth Rich's murder, despite WikiLeaks claim"Newsweek. May 17, 2017. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  69. Jump up^ Lytvynenko, Jane (May 29, 2017). "Pro-Trump Media Figure And Conspiracy Theory Peddler Jack Posobiec Is Out At The Rebel"BuzzFeed.
  70. Jump up to:a b Manjoo, Farhad (May 31, 2017), "How Twitter Is Being Gamed to Feed Misinformation"The New York TimesBots flood the network, tweeting and retweeting thousands or hundreds of thousands of messages in support of the story, often accompanied by a branding hashtag — #pizzagate, or, a few weeks ago, #sethrich.
  71. Jump up^ Stetzer, Ed (May 31, 2017), "Christians, Repent (Yes, Repent) of Spreading Conspiracy Theories and Fake News—It's Bearing False Witness"Christianity TodayAnd now I noticed that many of the same conservative Christians who shared about #pizzagate have been spreading the #SethRich conspiracy theory.
  72. Jump up to:a b c d Farhi, Paul (May 17, 2017). "A conspiratorial tale of murder, with Fox News at the center"The Washington Post. Retrieved May 18, 2017The Rich story has taken on elements of the Comet Ping Pong conspiracy, a false and preposterous tale involving Hillary Clinton and her supposed operation of a child-abuse ring at a District pizza restaurant.
  73. Jump up^ Scheck, Frank (May 31, 2017), "Critic's Notebook: Sean Hannity Returns to Talk About Not Talking About the Seth Rich Conspiracy Theory"The Hollywood ReporterSo it's only a matter of time before another lunatic, like the one who showed up with a loaded weapon after Pizzagate, becomes inspired to deliver vigilante-style justice.
  74. Jump up to:a b Boehlert, Eric (May 19, 2017), "Fox's Vulgar Coverage Of A Murdered DNC Staffer Is Nothing New"The Huffington PostBasically, it was the 'alt-right' idiocy of Pizzagate all over again.
  75. Jump up^ Marwick, Alice (May 18, 2017), "The Online Radicalization We're Not Talking About"New York MagazineIf you’ve read this week’s conspiracy-mongering stories about the supposedly suspicious death of DNC employee Seth Rich — or if you’ve read in the past about the rise of White Student Unions on college campuses, or 'Pizzagate' — you’ve seen the fruits of their efforts.
  76. Jump up^ Viebeck, Elise (December 22, 2016), "Schooled on Benghazi and Pizzagate, Trump team is heavy on conspiracy theorists"The New York TimesMany of Trump’s highest-level appointees have a history of publicly promoting conspiratorial, outlandish and fringe beliefs, particularly about Muslims, the Clinton family and the environment — unproven narratives that remain stubbornly alive on the Internet despite being debunked by the mainstream media.
  77. Jump up^ Lanard, Noah (May 17, 2017), "Fox 5's Nonsensical Seth Rich Story Managed to Disintegrate in a Way That Made No Sense"WashingtonianAfter being forced out of the Trump administration for promoting the Comet Ping Pong conspiracy theory, Michael Flynn Jr., the son of the former National Security Adviser, tweeted, 'So many stories to take away from the #SethRich bombshell.'
  78. Jump up^ Parton, Heather Digby (May 24, 2017), "Donald Trump must be getting desperate: Does he really think thuggish Corey Lewandowski can save him?"SalonSeth Rich saga, which has the right-wing media in a full-blown frenzy. ... It has all the hallmarks of a Bossie-style hit although the inane Pizzagate conspiracy spread by the likes of former national security adviser Michael Flynn proves that dirty tricks can be done just as well by amateurs.
  79. Jump up^ Asarch, Steven (May 20, 2017). "Reddit News: The Donald Sub Set To Private, Maybe Done For Good [UPDATE: It's Back]"International Business TimesThe_donald is arguably the most polarizing sub on reddit ... has become the main political subreddit for continued conspiracy theories, like Pizzagate or that the DNC murdered Seth Rich.
  80. Jump up to:a b c Kurtzleben, Danielle (May 17, 2017). "Unproved Claims Re-Emerge Around DNC Staffer's Death: Here's What You Should Know"National Public Radio. Retrieved May 28, 2017As with many other conspiracy theories ... this kind of assertion in part functions by trying to shift the burden of proof. Rather than proving with hard evidence that there was a conspiracy surrounding Rich's murder (or that the owners of Comet Ping Pong, the pizza restaurant, were harming children), the people making the unproved claims end up pushing the other side to try to disprove it.
  81. Jump up^ Hannon, Elliot (May 24, 2017), "Hannity Says He Will Stop—But Also Never Stop—Pushing the Seth Rich Conspiracy"Slatethe PizzaGate-like conspiracy theory surrounding Rich’s death
  82. Jump up^ Cramer, Meg (May 19, 2017), "Can Fox News Survive Without Roger Ailes?"BuzzFeed NewsYesterday there was this ludicrous story that I think Seth Rich was trying to imply that this poor DNC staffer who'd been killed had been like, set up by the Clintons. ... You know, it evokes the pizza-gate terrible allegations utterly unfounded and unfair
  83. Jump up^ Sullivan, Margaret (May 23, 2017), "Margaret Sullivan: The Seth Rich lie, and how the corrosion of reality should worry every American"The Salt Lake TribuneThe Washington PostThe Seth Rich lie has become the new Comet Ping Pong — another Washington-based conspiracy theory that ended in January with a gunman walking into a family-friendly pizza joint and firing shots as he 'self-investigated' a supposed child-molestation plot involving Hillary Clinton. Crazy, baseless and dangerous.
  84. Jump up to:a b c d Darcy, Oliver (May 16, 2017). "Story on DNC staffer's murder dominated conservative media – hours later it fell apart"CNNMoney. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  85. Jump up^ Savransky, Rebecca (May 16, 2017). "Slain DNC staffer's family quashes report he had contact with WikiLeaks"The Hill. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  86. Jump up^ Waldron, Travis (May 16, 2017). "Fox Pushes WikiLeaks Murder Conspiracy From Man Who Warned Of Armed Lesbian Pedophiles"HuffPost. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
  87. Jump up^ Sommer, Allison Kaplan (May 17, 2017). "Explained: 'Alt-right' Using Cruel Seth Rich Conspiracy Theory to Deflect From Trump's Russia Scandal"Haaretz. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
  88. Jump up to:a b Borchers, Callum (May 16, 2017). "Conservative media coverage of Trump's classified disclosure will make your head spin"Washington Post.
  89. Jump up^ Alvin Chang (May 18, 2017). "We tracked the Trump scandals on right-wing news sites. Here's how they covered it"Vox. Retrieved May 18,2017.
  90. Jump up^ "The FBI is not investigating DNC staffer Seth Rich's murder, despite WikiLeaks claim". May 17, 2017.
  91. Jump up^ Zimmerman, Malia (May 16, 2017). "Family of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich blasts detective over report of WikiLeaks link". Fox News. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
  92. Jump up^ Choi, David; Bondarenko, Veronika (August 2, 2017). "A 27-year-old DNC staffer was shot and killed in DC — and his mysterious death led to a lawsuit against Fox News"Business Insider. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  93. Jump up to:a b c d "DNC staffer's murder draws fresh conspiracy theories"NBC News. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
  94. Jump up^ "FBI is not involved in Seth Rich case despite 'conspiracy theories', officials say"ABC News. May 22, 2017. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
  95. Jump up^ "Meet The Private Detective Who Ignited A Clinton Conspiracy Theory"BuzzFeed. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  96. Jump up^ "Family of slain Seth Rich says reports that he fed DNC info to WikiLeaks are untrue"The Washington Post. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
  97. Jump up^ "The Seth Rich conspiracy's biggest myths, explained"The Washington Post The Fix blog. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  98. Jump up to:a b Darcy, Oliver (May 19, 2017). "Russian embassy promotes conspiracy theory on DNC staffer's death after false Fox News story"CNNMoney. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  99. Jump up^ Darcy, Oliver (May 22, 2017). "Fox News staffers 'disgusted' at network's promotion of Seth Rich conspiracy theory"CNNMoney. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  100. Jump up^ Darcy, Oliver (May 23, 2017). "Seth Rich's brother pleads with Hannity to stop spreading conspiracy theory"CNNMoney. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  101. Jump up^ Philips, Kristine (May 24, 2017), "Sean Hannity done talking about Seth Rich and WikiLeaks 'for now' as Fox News retracts story"The Washington Post
  102. Jump up to:a b "The life and death of the Seth Rich conspiracy theory"The Washington Post. Retrieved May 24, 2017.
  103. Jump up^ Roginsky, Julie (May 22, 2017), "Julie Roginsky claps back at Seth Rich conspiracy theorists"Fox News
  104. Jump up^ "Prime-Time Conspiracy Theory"Weekly Standard. May 26, 2017. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  105. Jump up^ "The Facts of the Seth Rich Murder That Don't Support Conspiracy Theories"National Review. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  106. Jump up^ "The Seth Rich Conspiracy Theory Is Shameful Nonsense"National Review. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  107. Jump up^ Caruso, Jay (May 23, 2017). "Fox News Staff Say They're 'Embarrassed' by Sean Hannity Pushing Seth Rich Conspiracy"RedState. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  108. Jump up^ Caruso, Jay (May 21, 2017). "Why Is Any Republican Spreading the Conspiracy Theory About Slain DNC Staffer Seth Rich?"RedState. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  109. Jump up^ Caruso, Jay (May 24, 2017). "The Sad State of Some on the Right: Seth Rich Edition"RedState. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  110. Jump up^ Rubin, Jennifer; Rubin, Jennifer (May 24, 2017). "Questions Fox and the right need to answer"The Washington PostISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  111. Jump up^ Gerson, Michael; Gerson, Michael (May 25, 2017). "The conservative mind has become diseased"The Washington PostISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved May 29, 2017.
  112. Jump up^ "The Shameless Conspiracy Theorizing Involving Seth Rich Must Stop"Commentary Magazine. May 23, 2017. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
  113. Jump up^ "Fox retracts Seth Rich murder conspiracy"BBC News. May 23, 2017. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  114. Jump up to:a b "Fox News Retracts DNC Staffer Conspiracy Story, But Hannity Keeps It Alive"NPR. Retrieved May 24, 2017.
  115. Jump up to:a b Victor, Daniel (May 23, 2017). "Fox News Retracts Seth Rich Story That Stirred Controversy"The New York Times. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  116. Jump up^ "Fox News's retraction is a woefully inadequate response to its colossal mistake"Poynter Institute. May 23, 2017. Retrieved May 24, 2017.
  117. Jump up to:a b c Steinberg, Brian (May 23, 2017). "Sean Hannity Says He Will 'Cease' Discussing Seth Rich Case"Variety.
  118. Jump up^ Bond, Paul (May 25, 2017). "Several advertisers have pulled TV spots over the 'Hannity' host's reporting on Seth Rich, while conservatives are mounting a counter-boycott"The Hollywood Reporter.
  119. Jump up^ Hawkins, Derek (May 25, 2017). "Sean Hannity loses advertisers amid uproar over slain DNC staffer conspiracy theories"San Francisco ChronicleThe Washington Post.
  120. Jump up^ Flint, Joe (May 26, 2017). "Sean Hannity Loses Some Advertisers After Advancing Conspiracy Theory"Wall Street JournalISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  121. Jump up^ Gabbatt, Adam (May 26, 2017), "Sean Hannity hit by advertiser exodus in wake of bogus Seth Rich story"The Guardian
  122. Jump up^ Morona, Joey. "Sean Hannity, still talking about Seth Rich, gets an advertiser back" Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  123. Jump up to:a b c Bump, Philip (August 1, 2017). "A timeline of the explosive lawsuit alleging a White House link in the Seth Rich conspiracy"The Washington Post. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  124. Jump up to:a b c d "Behind Fox News' Baseless Seth Rich Story: The Untold Tale"
  125. Jump up^ David Weigel (May 21, 2017). "Gingrich spreads conspiracy theory about slain DNC staffer"The Washington Post PowerPost blog. Retrieved May 21, 2017.

Further reading

External links