Almost immediately after the announcement that Paul Walker had died, conspiracy theorists claimed that “proof” existed that the actor actually faked his death.
Faked His Death?
Days after Walker’s death, fringe conspiracy websites began promoting the theory that Paul Walker did not die on November 30, 2013, and that he faked his death with the help of his Fast & Furious castmates. The “proof” offered? Blurry photos and open-ended questions. Further “proof” offered was amateur “analysis” of body language of those reacting to Walker’s death, who were said to be faking their tears.
This isn’t the first conspiracy relating to the death of Walker. Infowars – the website of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones – postulated that Walker was killed by a drone strike. (Which begs the question: Which conspiracy do the theorists believe?)
Immediately after Walker’s death, we debunked one of the first conspiracy theories to emerge which claimed to show “new video” showing Walker stating, “It wasn’t me” in the car. That video, as it turned out, was taken months before his death and edited out of context.
Much has been made by conspiracy theorists of photos showing two different license plates at the crash scene. This, they say, “proves” that the accident was a staged hoax. Walker’s car had a plate number of 7CCY590, yet another photo exists showing a plate number of 3URS937. The second plate, however, was placed there by a fan as a memorial.
The current round of conspiracy theories doesn’t offer a reason why the actor would fake his death.
Fast & Furious 7 Publicity Stunt?
Walker was wrapping up filming of Furious 7 when he died in late 2013. Some conspiracy theorists suggested that his death was staged as a way to bring publicity to the film, and that Walker would re-appear upon the film’s release.
Furious 7 hit theaters in April 2015, and Walker never materialized as those theories suggested he would.
An episode of Family Guy which aired around the time of Walker’s death has also been cited by conspiracy theorists as a sign that the actor’s death was staged. The Family Guy dog named Brian was struck and killed by a car. Walker’s character in the Fast & Furious movies was also Brian. This vague coincidence has been suggested as a sign that the death was planned and staged.
A dog being ran over by a car in a cartoon is hardly “proof” that Paul Walker staged his death.
Proof of Walker’s Death
Aside from claims of “hard proof” consisting of blurry photos, open-ended questions, and seemingly random numerology connections, conspiracy theorists have offered no actual proof that Paul Walker faked his death. The proof that supports Walker’s death includes:
- An official death certificate for the actor, released by the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Health.
- The coroner’s office announcement that Walker’s body was positively identified using dental records.
- Liveleak‘s releasing of photos of the bodies in the crash. (Graphic)
- Walker’s family and friends held a funeral for the actor after his body was cremated.
Blurry photos and perceived inconsistencies of official reports used by conspiracy theorists amount to little more than a Rorschach test which is cited as “proof” that Paul Walker did not die on November 30, 2013. Citing numerology and vaguely similar cartoon plots pale in comparison to the actual evidence that Paul Walker did in fact die.
If we are to believe that Paul Walker faked his death, then we must believe that Walker, his family, his friends, the cast of Fast & Furious, firefighters, the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, and the coroner’s office all conspired so that an actor could fake his death. We must also believe that all of these people would knowingly cause distress to the fans of Paul Walker – for reasons unknown.
Updated April 9, 2015
Originally published December 2013