What Is The Clinton Body Count — And Why Is It Trending On Twitter?

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What Is The Clinton Body Count — And Why Is It Trending On Twitter?

What is it?

#ClintonBodycCount is trending on Twitter in the wake of billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's alleged suicide attempt. This event has revived a decades-old conspiracy theory that is baseless but credits Bill and Hillary Clinton with a number of suspicious deaths. The Epstein news awakened conspriracy theorists and pundits on the far right who took to Twitter to attempt to link Epstein's jail cell injuries to the Clintons. More than 70,000 tweets with the hashtag #ClintonBodyCount surfaced by Thursday afternoon. But what is the Clinton Body Count — and why is it trending on Twitter?

1. The conspiracy first surfaced in 1993

The conspiracy theory first gained traction in 1993. A former attorney from Indianapolis named Linda Thompson published a newsletter titled: "Coincidence or the Kiss Of Death?" Thompson theorized that a number of people close to Bill and Hillary had died under mysterious circumstances. Thompson included Vince Foster, a longtime Clinton aide on the list. Foster, if you remember, committed suicide but far-right pundits accused the Clintons of taking out their friend. To be clear: a special counsel investigation was launched to look into his death — and any ties Bill and Hillary may have had to it — and found that Foster's death was self-inflicted, not a result of the Clintons.

2. Pizzagate

When Hillary Clinton ran for president in 2016 all these old conspiracy theories were dredged up again. One of the most ridiculous was Pizzagate. In early November 2016, Clinton's campaign manager John Podesta's email was hacked. The messages were published by Wikileaks. One of the emails was between Podesta and James Alefantis, owner of Washington D.C.'s Comet Ping Pong, a pizza place. The email discussed Alefantis possibly hosting a fundraiser for Clinton. 4Chan users then began speculating on the links between Comet Ping Pong and the Democratic party and posited that the pizzeria was the headquarters of a child trafficking ring led by Hillary Clinton and John Podesta.

Conspiracy theorists hinged their theory on "cheese pizza," which they believe is code for child pornography.

Alefantis and his staff started getting threatening phone calls and text messages. Photos of customers' kids were posted online and used in articles by fake news and far-right websites as "proof" of the child abuse ring. Then, the ridiculous theory escalated into real violence. On Sunday, December 4, 2016, Edgar Meddison Welch, a 28-year-old from North Carolina, walked into Comet Ping Pong with an AR-15 assault rifle, a Colt .38 handgun, a shotgun and a folding knife. He fired the assualt rifle. Luckily, no one was hurt and he was arrested. After the incident, James Alefantis called out the dangers of fake news when he issued the following statement:

"What happened today demonstrates that promoting false and reckless conspiracy theories comes with consequences. I hope that those involved in fanning these flames will take a moment to contemplate what happened here today, and stop promoting these falsehoods right away."

People still believe it's true.

RELATED: The Full List Of Bill Clinton Sexual Assault Allegations By 12 Different Women

3. What is QAnon?

Pizzagate gave rise to the QAnon theory, a ludicrous far-right conspiracy theory that believes Donald Trump is battling a "deep state" — a group of Democratic elites that run a satanic child sex trafficking ring led by Hillary Clinton. The theory surfaced on 4Chan (of course) and accused liberal Hollywood actors and executives, polititians and other high-ranking officials of running an international child sex trafficking ring. The conspiracy theory further posits Robert Mueller is not investigating Trump's collusion with the Russians but rather, he's working with Trump to expose the ring before Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and George Soros launch a coup d-etat on the Trump administration. Like Pizzagate and Vince Foster's suicide, this conspiracy theory has been found to be baseless, believed by "unhinged" fans of Trump. Followers of this theory have been called a deranged conspiracy cult.

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4. Seth Rich and JFK, Jr.

Followers of QAnon also linked the unsolved murder of Seth Rich, the Democratic National staff member working with Hillary Clinton in 2017. Rich's murder is still unsolved but it's thought  he was the victim of a robbery. QAnon also ridiculously stated that Hillary Clinton was responsible for the tragic plane crash that killed John F. Kennedy, Jr., Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and Lauren Bessette in 1999. A small subset of QAnon believe that JFK Jr. is alive today and that Hillary tried and failed to kill him back in 1999. 

RELATED: Jeffrey Epstein's Private Pilot Dishes On All The Famous Men Who Flew On The Lolita Express

5. Bill Clinton and Jeffrey Epstein

It should be hard for the far-right conspiracy theorists to link Jeffrey Epstein's suicide attempt to the Clintons without sullying Donald Trump. Both Bill Clinton and Donald Trump have ties to Epstein. Trump has partied at Epstein's Manhattan mansion and Epstein has gone to parties at Trump's Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach. According to flight logs, Bill Clinton flew on Epstein's jet at least 26 times, including five in which he reportedly ditched his Secret Service detail. Then in 2013, a young woman filed a lawsuit claiming Epstein used her as a sex slave for his wealthy friends. That woman claimed she'd been at parties with Bill Clinton. In 2016, a woman filed a lawsuit alleging that both Epstein and Donald Trump repeatedly raped her at a series of sex parties. The woman says she attended several parties at Epstein's mansion, and had sexual contact with Donald Trump at four of them. The fourth and final time she attended a party with Trump, she alleges he tied her to a bed, raped her, then beat her and threatened to kill her and her family if she told a soul. She was 13 years old at the time. The Clintons have not addressed their affiliation with Epstein. Trump has denied the claims against him and said he barely knew Epstein, however, a quick search of New York media in the 90s will show you his comings-and-goings at Epstein's Upper East Side home.

6. #ClintonBodyCount

Conspiracy theorists believe that the Clintons had a hand in the deaths of: James McDougal, Mary Mahoney, Vince Foster, Ron Brown, C. Victor Raiser II, Montgomery Raise, Paul Tulley, Ed Willey, Jerry Parks, James Bunch, James Wilson, Kathy Ferguson, Bill Shelton, Gandy Baugh, Florence Martin, Suzanne Coleman, Paula Grober, Danny Casolaro, Paul Wilcher, Jon Parnell Walker, Barbara Wise, Charles Meisnerr, Dr. Stanely Heard, Barry Seal, Johnny Lawhorn Jr., Stanley Huggins, Hershel Friday, Kevin Ives, Don Henry, Keith Coney, Keith McMaskle, Greg Collins, Jeff Rhodes, James Milan, Jordan Kettleson,  Richard Winters, William S. Barkley Jr., Scott J. Reynolds, Brian Hanley, Tim Sabel, William Robertson, William Densberger, Robert Kelly, Gary Rhodes, Steve Willis, Robert Williams, Conway LeBleu, Todd McKeehan, Molly Macauly, John Ashe, Victor Thorn and Seth Rich.

It should go without saying that Bill and Hillary Clinton are not responsible for the above deaths, but you'd be surprised how many people want to believe that they are criminal masterminds. 

Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based freelance writer covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.

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