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Circulating Picture Falsely Claims to Show Eight Year Old Boston Bombing Victim

A message currently circulating via social media posts claims that an attached photograph shows an eight year old girl killed in the Boston Marathon bomb attack.

Brief Analysis
Reports indicate that an eight year old child was among three killed during the blast. However, news reports indicate that the child killed was a boy, Martin Richard, who was a spectator watching his father run in the marathon. Moreover, the picture of the child in the message was not taken at the Boston Marathon as implied in the message, but rather at a run held in May 2012. There is no evidence whatsoever to support the claim that the child in the picture was the one killed in Boston. Given that the child in the picture is not the child who was killed, posting the image is utterly reprehensible and immoral. And, even if it was the child that was killed, posting her image without permission of her family and before details of the deaths had even been released would be equally reprehensible and immoral.

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Girl Victim Boston

Detailed Analysis
Soon after news of the Boston Marathon bombings began spreading around the world, the above image and message made its first appearance on Facebook and other social media websites. The message claims that an attached image depicts an 8 year old girl killed in the blasts. It claims that she was running in the marathon to support victims of Sandy Hook and asks recipients to wear red tomorrow in respect to the child.

However, the claims in the message are disgusting and reprehensible lies. An 8 year old child was killed, but news reports state that the victim was a boy, Martin Richard. The boy was a spectator watching his father run in the marathon.

Moreover, the picture of the running child was stolen from a website that discussed an entirely different run, the Joe Cassella 5K that was held in May 2012.

Thus, it is clear that the story is simply made up to garner attention for its creator. It is beyond disgraceful to misuse an image of innocent child in this way. It is highly disrespectful to both the pictured child and the family of the boy who was killed in the blast.

If you receive this message, please do not share it with others. And please take the time to let the sender know that the claims in the message are untrue.

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Last updated: April 16, 2013
First published: April 16, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
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