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Doors Keyboardist Ray Manzarek Dies

Messages circulating via social media claim that Ray Manzarek, keyboardist for iconic band, The Doors, has passed away from cancer.

Ray Manzarek

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Brief Analysis
Sadly, the messages are true and have been confirmed by a number of credible news reports. Ray Manzarek passed away in May, 2013 after a long battle with cancer. Because of a long line of hoaxes that have falsely claimed that a celebrity has died, some users have mistakenly suspected that the Ray Manzarek rumours are just another celebrity death hoax. This misunderstanding has been exacerbated by an amazingly poor taste article on a supposed satire website that falsely claimed that Manzarek's death was indeed a hoax and that the musician is actually alive and well.

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Ray Manzarek Dies

Detailed Analysis

Rapidly circulating social media messages are claiming that Ray Manzarek, keyboard player for The Doors has died in Germany after a battle with cancer.

The claims in the messages are true. Ray Manzarek has indeed succumbed to cancer. A May 21 2013 article in The Age confirms the rumours:

Los Angeles: Ray Manzarek, a founding member and keyboardist of 1960s rock group The Doors, has died at a medical clinic in Germany at age 74 following a battle with cancer, the group's manager Tom Vitorino said.

Manzarek, who lived in Northern California's Napa Valley wine country for the past decade, had been seeking treatment in Germany for bile duct cancer, Vitorino said. He died in Rosenheim, Germany, surrounded by his wife and brothers.

Many other reputable news outlets around the world have reported on the musician's passing.

But, because there has been a long line of celebrity death hoaxes plaguing social media sites in recent months, some users have - quite understandably - suspected that posts about Mr Manzarek's death represented just one more such hoax. And one allegedly satirical website has added to the confusion by publishing an article claiming that the death rumours were indeed an Internet hoax. While satire is often confronting and perhaps needs to be in order to be effective, this particular article, at least in this writer's opinion, plumbs the depths of poor taste and fails dismally as a satirical piece.

So, in a completely reversal of my usual analysis of the ubiquitous celebrity death hoax, let me reiterate; Ray Manzarek has indeed died. In this case, claims that the death rumours are a hoax are false and are in themselves a hoax.

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Last updated: May 21, 2013
First published: May 21, 2013
Written by Brett M. Christensen
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