On Sunday, Dec. 20 Russian news outlets reported that a prominent Russian scientist, who was working on a COVID-19 vaccine, was found dead after falling from the 14th floor of his apartment building in St. Petersburg.
Alexander "Sasha" Kagansky, 45, was found in his underwear with a stab wound in the courtyard of his apartment complex, according to the Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets.
Police believe a scuffle took place between Kagansky and a 45-year-old suspect moments before the scientist fell to his death and are investigating the case as a possible homicide.
Kagansky Threatened to Expose Hillary Clinton on Twitter?
Shortly after the news broke, several right-wing users on Twitter started sharing screenshots of an alleged tweet posted by Kagansky a day before his death.
"I have information that will lead to the arrest of Hillary Clinton," the supposed tweet read. Conspiracy theorists wasted no time in speculating that the Democratic politician may have had something to do with Kagansky's death.
"What did he know?" wrote one user, while another commented, "Lesson: if you have dirt on the Clinton's - don't talk publicly about it."
Fact-Check: True or False?
A quick search on Twitter revealed that the account associated with the tweet no longer exists on the platform but we can confirm that Kargansky's purported tweet is fake.
It turns out that the exact same post started doing the rounds on social media in the wake of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death and was later fact-checked by multiple sources, including Reuters, which noted the following:
"False. Ginsberg does not have a Twitter account and the numerous accounts to which the tweet is attributed either have never posted tweets before or do not exist."
According to KnowYourMeme.com, the tweet is part of a meme series referencing the Clinton Body Count conspiracy theory which claims that Bill and Hillary Clinton ordered the assassinations of numerous political enemies and eyewitnesses to secure power and protect themselves from legal prosecution.
"The memes usually imagine famous deceased people announcing that they possess information which may indict Hillary Clinton shortly before their death," the website noted.
The meme's origins can be traced back to 2016 when Wikileaks founder Julian Assange announced that Wikileaks was in possession of information which could lead to Hillary Clinton's indictment in an interview to British television network ITV.
Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain's 2018 suicide was also similarly linked to Clinton following his death. The conspiracy theory claimed Bourdain was being harassed and threated by the politician's operatives weeks before he was found dead because he was planning on exposing Clinton. The theory was later debunked by fact-checking website Snopes as "fake news."