Almost as soon as news broke that Anthony Bourdain had tragically taken his own life, web sleuths were out in force pushing conspiracy theories. Bourdain, known for his work in exploring the world and its different cultures for CNN and the Food Network, was found dead in Kaysersberg, France, on June 8 at the age of 61. It’s believed the Bourdain killed himself. TMZ reports that Bourdain died in the bathroom of his hotel room and that investigators do not believe there was any foul play involved. An autopsy will determine if there were any drugs or alcohol in Bourdain’s system. The Parts Unknown host had documented battles with heroin and crack cocaine in the past.
Prosecutor Christian de Rocquigny, quoted by the New York Times, said, “The case is closed. There is no indication of any involvement by a third person, and we’re ready to give the body to his family.” When asked about the toxicology testing, de Rocquiqny said, “This is solely to give the family more information about the motivations and the cause of death. We have no indication that he was consuming alcohol the days before his death or changed his behavior.” Bourdain’s body was discovered by his friend and chef, Eric Ripert.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Twitter Has Been Alive With Allegations of a Cover-Up
As with many conspiracy theories, Twitter has been alive with allegations of a cover-up and murder in Bourdain’s case. Many conspiracy theorists jumped on author Sarah Kendzior’s tweet about Bourdain’s criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Kendzior wrote, “More
Bourdain was an outspoken critic of dictators, including Vladimir Putin, for years. In 2013 he interviewed Russian dissident Boris Nemtsov, who was murdered in 2015.”
A Twitter user, Josh Leggett, wrote, that Bourdain was murdered because of his role in the #MeToo movement and that Bourdain was targetted by Harvey Weinstein. Leggett tweeted, “Anthony Bourdain might have been murdered, remember he was one of the first to expose Harvey Weinstein and the rape culture amongst Hollywood’s Extremely rich and powerful. 2 other people also died e exact same way when trying to expose child sex trafficking in Hollywood.”
Another person, J. Kayfabe, tweeted that Bourdain “ruffled a lot of feathers in other countries.. is it at all possible he was murdered and it was made to look like a suicide.”
2. Alex Jones Said that Bourdain Had Been Murdered Because He Was ‘Planning to Basically do a Kanye West’
Info Wars’ host Alex Jones said on his radio show after news of Bourdain’s death, via Media Matters, said that the host was murdered because he was “planning to basically do a Kanye West.” In April 2018, West declared his support for Donald Trump on Twitter. Jones called Bourdain’s suicide “supposed” and that prior to his death Bourdain “had learned about the big awakening that was happening.” Later, Jones said, “Bourdain had decided to go the Kanye West route. That is 100 percent from people there with him, meeting with him, Elon Musk, the whole nine yards. Elon Musk is in complete danger right now. Again, if he hangs himself, it’s murder, ladies and gentlemen. Or if his jet crashes, it’s murder.” The monologue concluded with Jones saying, “They definitely killed Tony Bourdain. That’s what they think, it’s a message to Musk. He’s going to go public, just like Kanye West.”
Jones tweeted immediately after Bourdain’s death, “Anthony Bourdain had the guts to call Henry Kissinger and evil war criminal and Hillary ‘shameful’ for defending Harvey Weinstein! Hope he is in a better place. Hillary has called me “Dark Heart” so let me just say again I will never kill myself!!” That message was accompanied by a photo of Bourdain’s book, “A Cook’s Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines.”
3. The Prosecutor in Bourdain’s Case Said ‘Not Much Premeditation’ Went Into the Suicide
Prosecutor Christian de Rocquigny, quoted by the New York Times, said that Bourdain’s behavior in the days leading up to his death, “leads us to suspect that not much preparation and premeditation went into the act, and leads us more in the direction of an impulsive act.” The Times report says that Bourdain was in Kaysersberg to film an episode of Parts Unknown and that Bourdain did not have dinner at the hotel the night before his death. Bourdain had eaten at the hotel every day previous.
Maxine Voinson, a waiter at the hotel, told the Times, “They both stayed in separate rooms, and usually had breakfast and dined together at the Winstub [the restaurant in the hotel]… Mr. Ripert thought it was strange. We thought it was strange. Mr. Bourdain knew the chef, Monsieur Nasti; he knew the kitchen. Maybe he went out and ate somewhere else, we said, but we didn’t think much of it.” The next morning when Bourdain didn’t show up for breakfast, his friend Eric Ripert went to Bourdain’s room and made the horrifying discovery.
4. One Theory Suggests that Bourdain, ‘Was About Expose an Elite Pedophile Ring Before He Died’
A blog post from a discredited website named Neon Nettle claimed in a headline that Bourdain “was about to expose and elite pedophile ring before he died.” The article reads, “As the world still reels in shock at the news that journalist Anthony Bourdain has been found dead, the evidence is now emerging that the mainstream reporter was about to expose an elite pedophile ring just before he died. More recently, following news of a major child trafficking bust, sources are stating that Bourdain was planning on running “an expose” and the sex slave network.” In their critique of the theory, Snopes wrote, “the text of the article was a typical Neon Nettle disjointed word salad that provided absolutely no substantiation or documentation for their assertion that Bourdain was “about to expose an elite pedophile ring.”
5. Alex Jones Tried to Prove that Stephen Paddock Was a Liberal Because He Drank Pepsi
As noted by Salon, in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting in October 2017, Jones went on air and claimed that perpetrator Stephen Paddock was a liberal. Jones said, “He drank Pepsi! I mean, literally, conservatives do not drink – especially in the Obama era – conservatives drink Coca-Cola. If you drink soft drinks, liberals drink Pepsi. Now, that’s a big clue!”