Latest Phoenix New Times Spoof Sparks Sheriff Investigation

july 21, 2009  11:59 am
New Times ran a story in late June by "Joseph Rossi" on Reinalda de Souza, an Arizona faith healer who claimed to have killed Michael Jackson with a curse she learned in Brazil. Among the many exaggerated details in the piece is that de Souza had slit the throat of a 4½-month-old Rottweiler named Cerberus, drank his blood and left his lifeless carcass as part of a black magic ritual. This, New Times reports, led several people to call the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office to demand an investigation into the purported animal cruelty. Stephen Lemons, who actually wrote the piece, says that while this hoax didn't spark as much intense reaction as some of his earlier handiwork, "it was certainly a bunch of fun to write." He adds: "For the record, no animals were harmed in the making of the spoof."