Bizarre Conspiracy Theory That Linkin Park's Chester Bennington Was Murdered Tied To Ghislaine Maxwell

Conspiracy theorists think the government had him murdered.

Chester Bennington and John Podesta Getty

In July 2017, news of Linkin Park’s lead singer Chester Bennington’s apparent suicide shocked fans of the band.

Coming only a few months after Chris Cornell’s suicide, Bennington’s death was another sad blow to the entertainment industry and more specifically the world of alternative music — and it didn’t take long for fans to notice that the circumstances surrounding these two deaths were sort of… odd.


How did Chester Bennington die?

On the morning of July 20, 2017, Chester Bennington, 41, was found in his Palos Verdes Estates home, having died of suicide by hanging.

As with many sudden celebrity deaths, people on the internet began debating the truthfulness behind the coroner's ruling that Bennington’s manner of death was suicide. It wasn’t long before wild rumors and conspiracy theories started bubbling up.

With Ghislaine Maxwell's sex-trafficking trial now underway, the conspiracy theory that Bennington and Cornell may have been murdered because they were working to expose a child sex-trafficking ring and that former Clinton advisor John Podesta was Chester Bennington's biological father is once again resurfacing, despite having previously been determined to be hoax.


RELATED: 20 Celebrities Linked To Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein's Associate

To be totally honest, the rumors sound crazy at first. The connection between Bennington and Cornell, Jeffrey Epstein's alleged sex-trafficking ring said to have serviced high profile celebrities and public figures, murder cover-ups, and even rumors of government involvement are about as far-fetched as you can get.

And let me tell you: while most of the time, conspiracy theories are full of holes and hold very little basis in reality.

But this time? They’re actually pretty hard to ignore.

So, did Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell die by suicide or were they murdered while trying to expose a list of pedophiles?

Let’s discuss.


The first thing conspiracy theorists noticed was not only that two rock frontmen died in such a short time span, but also that the two were close friends and their deaths were eerily similar.

A couple months after Cornell’s death, Bennington wrote a very moving letter to his late friend that he posted on Twitter. “I’m still weeping with sadness,” he wrote. “I can’t imagine a world without you in it.”

A month later, on what was (coincidentally?) Cornell’s birthday, Bennington was found dead.


TMZ reported that Bennington was found hanged, much like Cornell who was found hanged by an exercise resistance band. Coroners ruled both deaths to be suicides, though soon after Cornell’s death a former medical examiner told the Detroit Free Press he wasn’t “absolutely convinced” his death was a suicide.

So far, this all makes sense. Bennington had opened up about his struggle with depression before, and maybe Cornell’s death was just his breaking point. That’s not so strange.

But you know what is strange? Chester Bennington’s connection to John Podesta and the United States government.

Would a conspiracy theory even be a conspiracy theory without a government connection? Warning: we’re about to go real deep into the rabbit hole.


Take a look at this photo. What do you notice?

Chester Bennington and John PodestaPhotos: Getty Images

Could it be the fact that these two men are basically identical?

The man on the right is John Podesta, a political consultant who served as White House Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton from 1998 to 2001 and Counselor to President Barack Obama from 2014 to 2015.


You may remember hearing about him and his emails during the 2016 presidential election during which he served as Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.

In the time leading up to the election, Wikileaks released thousands of emails from Podesta’s account that exposed everything going on behind the scenes of the Clinton campaign (and may well be what cost them the election).

When internet sleuths got a hold of the emails, they noticed something sinister going on. Podesta’s emails seemed to contain some sort of strange code, including really weird mentions of food.

John Podesta wikileaks


Conspiracy theorists allege that the emails were actually referring to some sort of government-based child sex trafficking ring, with each food acting as a code name for something else considering 1) who order $65,000 worth of pizza and hot dogs and 2) the White House caters all of its own events.

Pizzagate terms

The scandal became known as Pizzagate.

RELATED: Chilling Details About A Wayfair Human Trafficking Conspiracy Theory & The Company's Response


What does Pizzagate have to do with Chester Bennington?

Back to the side-by-side photos of Chester Bennington and John Podesta.

Rumors have circulated that Podesta is actually Bennington’s biological father. Whether you believe the rumors or not, it’s hard to deny just how strikingly similar the two men look.

Stay with me — there’s more.


In 2014, Linkin Park band member Mike Shinoda wrote a piece for Huffington Post detailing his band’s nonprofit called Music For Relief.

After the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the charity started a sustainable recycling program to help the country but began running out of money. The Clinton Foundation came to the rescue, offering the foundation a grant so they could finish their work.

Yep, that’s right. The same Clintons, who are so close to John Podesta, gave a grant to the band in which Podesta’s rumored son was a member.

Bill and Hillary Clinton also happen to be the subjects of another conspiracy theory, known as the Clinton Body Count, that speculates the couple was involved in the suspicious deaths of at least 50 or more people, including Jeffrey Epstein.


RELATED: What Is The Clinton Body Count?

Furthermore, in 2008 Bennington revealed in an interview that he had been sexually abused as a child.

“It was by a friend who was a few years older than me,” he said. “It escalated from a touchy, curious, ‘what does this thing do’ into full-on, crazy violations.”

It’s quite a coincidence that Podesta would be so closely connected to Bennington in looks and financial support, not to mention the thickening ties to pedophilia.

Do I have your attention now? Here’s where it gets dark.

In a since-deleted article on Neon Nettle, it was revealed that Cornell worked closely with foundations focused on protecting kids from sexual abuse (which his friend Bennington experienced himself) and trafficking.


How does the conspiracy theory about Chester Bennington's death relate to Ghislaine Maxwell?

Shortly after Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested on July 2, 2020, eagle-eyes internet sleuths on Reddit pointed out an eerie figure in the music video for Linkin Park's song "Crawling."

"Around the 57-59 second mark," one redditor posted, "you see an older woman depicted that looks exactly like Ghislaine Maxwell, and shares the same haircut and look she had in the late 90’s. The video is about a young woman being abused, and the song is likely about the lead singer, Chester Bennington, and his own abuse growing up."

Ghislaine Maxwell lookalike in screenshot from CrawlingPhoto: YouTube


"There’s many other odd things about Linkin Park, including one of their logos that resembles a broken well-known pedophile symbol, conspiracies surrounding his childhood abuse, suicide, and others," the post continues to explain. "There’s no denying there’s a link to Linkin Parks lyrics and songs to the abuse Bennington experienced as a child. Is it possible they depicted Ghislaine Maxwell all way the back in 2001? Considering most of the charges against Maxwell date back to the 90’s, it’s possible they were tipping their hat to her in the music video as some kind of weird pedophile virtue signaling. Or perhaps calling her out?"

You can watch for yourself in the video below.

In a development that could referred to as ironic, coincidental, or poetic justice, depending on your perspective and what you choose to believe, Ghislaine Maxwell's attorney complained that the disgraced socialite "was forced to crawl 'on her hands and knees' while wearing leg shackles to get into a prison van and attend a pre-trial hearing" in early November 2021.


So in short, conspiracy theorists think Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell knew about the alleged pedophile ring and were murdered for planning to come forward.

The bizarre connections are there, that’s for sure, though anyone with internet access and enough spare time can make something out of nothing.

Regardless of the causes, it’s important to remember that two beloved men are dead, and we must respect their families.

May they rest in peace.

Please remember that there are several options if you or someone you know needs help to deal with an immediate crisis. Call 911 if you think a family member may harm themselves or others.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).


RELATED: 11 Linkin Park Songs That Take On A Whole New Meaning After Chester Bennington's Suicide

Micki Spollen is an editor, writer, and traveler. Follow her on Instagram and keep up with her travels on her website.