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Crying Baby Serial Killer Hoax

Outline
Circulating message warns that a serial killer is using a recording of a crying baby to lure potential victims out of their houses.

Crying Baby

© Depositphotos.com/John Takai



Brief Analysis
The claims in the "warning" are untrue. It was not aired on Crime Stoppers or America's Most Wanted as claimed in the message. In fact, the message is a long running hoax that first surfaced in 2003. There are no credible reports of such a tactic being used by serial killers anywhere in the world.

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Examples
(Australian version)
Subject: Don't open your door if you hear a crying baby!!!

Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird. The police told her "Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door." The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run over. The policeman said, "We already have a unit on the way, whatever you do, DO NOT open the door." He told her that they think it is a serial killer. The man has killed 2 girls in Sydney and is now in Melbourne and has a baby's cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby. He said they have not verified it, but have had several calls by women saying that they hear baby's cries outside their doors when they're home alone at night. Please pass this on! and DO NOT open the door for a crying baby.

This e-mail should probably be taken seriously because the Crying Baby theory was mentioned on Crime Stoppers this past Saturday when they profiled the serial killer in the vicinity of Footscray/Fitzroy,South Yarra area.



(US version)

Subject: Alert! Crying Baby

Very creepy

I am not sure if this is true or not...but its scary enough to think about. I checked out both my hoax sites and it isn't listed...

Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird.

The police told her "Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door."

The lady then said that the baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run over.

The police said, "We already have a unit on the way, whatever you do, DO NOT open the door." He told her that they think the serial killer has a baby's cry recorded, and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby. He said they have not verified it, but have had several calls by women saying that they hear baby's cries outside of their doors, when they're home alone at night.

Please pass this on! and DO NOT open the door for a crying baby.

This e-mail should probably be taken seriously because the Crying Baby theory was mentioned on America's Most Wanted this past Saturday when they profiled the serial killer in Louisiana.



Detailed Analysis


The first warning above is an Australian version of an older hoax email and began circulating in October 2003. The email claims that a serial killer is luring women out of their houses to their ultimate demise by playing a recording of a crying baby. These rumours have no basis in fact.

The hoax email claims that the story was "mentioned on Crime Stoppers". This is not true, nor was it mentioned on America's Most Wanted as claimed in the US version.

The earlier US version of the hoax, included above, began circulating in January 2003. The rumour may have originally arisen out of fear generated by the activities of a real serial killer active in the US state of Louisiana. At the time the serial killer was operating, the task force investigating the killings noted on its website:
Misconception- The serial killer is gaining entry by using a tape recording of a crying baby. When the victims opened the door to investigate the crying, he was able to force his way into the home.

Fact- Although the method of entry has not been determined, we have never had any indication that a tape recording was used.
In fact, there are no credible reports of such a tactic being used by serial killers anywhere in the world.


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Last updated: August 30, 2013
First published: November 12, 2003
By Brett M. Christensen
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References
Misconceptions