It's a massacre's-worth of celebrity death hoaxes! Owen Wilson, Adam Sandler, Aretha Franklin and others have been felled by bogus death rumors in the past few days. Let us mourn.

Here is a partial list of the celebrities that have been the subject of death hoaxes in the latter part of December:

  • Charlie Sheen (Snowboarding)
  • Adam Sandler (Snowboarding)
  • Owen Wilson (Snowboarding)
  • Eddie Murphy (Snowboarding)
  • Aretha Franklin (Cancer)
  • Morgan Freeman (Unknown)

Wow, celebrities suck at snowboarding. Were they all going off a jump at the same time in some sort of washed-up actor pyramid?

Except all of the snowboarding hoaxes were nearly-identical pranks by some dude named Rich Hoover, whose hobby/business strategy is posting fake celebrity death stories on his fake news website Global Associated News and making money through the advertising when a rumor catches on. Last year he told the New York Times "I'd be lying if I said there wasn't some twisted sense of satisfaction or accomplishment" to starting a successful death rumor. Morgan Freeman was killed off by a bored Twitter user joking around with his friends, and Aretha Franklin's death was probably confusion generated by the death of fellow soul legend Teena Marie on Monday.

But it's nice of these people to try to give us bloggers something to write about in the late-December news hole.