After an afternoon shootout, the former cop barricaded himself in the Big Bear cabin. The cabin was soon on fire and police did report that an unidentified body was found, but many conspiracy theorists, using #TeamDorner, believe he may still be alive.
Dorner’s death cannot be confirmed until the Los Angeles Police Department and coroner conduct a full postmortem, which could take days or weeks. While the nation waits for the LAPD to officially confirm that the charred body in the cabin was Dorner’s, the Internet has come alive with conspiracy theories about his death, some even believing that he may still be alive. Using #TeamDorner on Twitter, many have expounded their theories, however bizarre.
Buzzfeed collected a small sample of individuals using the #TeamDorner tag to get their belief out into the public. Some of them believe Dorner is alive and, as reported by IBTimes previously, many believe the manhunt was a hoax to further a larger agenda. The conspiracy theorists jump on the belief that it’s much easier, and convenient, for Dorner to die instead of putting him to trial and produce evidence of his crimes.
On Reddit, a user posted an image that said Dorner was framed, again by a higher authority for some unexplained reason. That tends to be the main weakness of these conspiracy theories. There is always a larger motive that drives media or, in this case, the police.
Gun control and gun violence is a hot topic these days, which President Barack Obama addressed at length during the State of the Union. Many would argue that another conspiracy to push the "gun control agenda" even further would do little to convince any more Americans to support it. It’s hard to understand the seemingly senseless, and a man like Dorner could have simply been driven to murder by several events in his life, such as losing his job, going wrong at the same time.
With the shootout and subsequent standoff at the cabin, the fire engulfed the cabin as lawmen surrounded the area and all roads around Big Bear were closed. Could Dorner have really escaped, even with the supposed survival skills he had? That seems almost as hard to believe as Dorner being set up to push a larger agenda, yet that’s what thousands on the Internet are saying.
On Facebook, several Chris Dorner pages and groups have appeared. One such page has more than 14,000 likes and many comments support a theory that Dorner is either alive or that the whole thing was orchestrated. In one post, the comments include “Dorner's wallet was found last week and then again in the burned cabin. Something doesn't sound right,” while another post stresses the importance of peacefully outing police corruption.
Several other Facebook pages are less eloquent and are not only supportive of Dorner but express hatred and distrust of the police while claiming Dorner as something of a martyr. Another topic that #TeamDorner and other conspiracy theorists bring up is the discrepancies involved in the initial reporting. As often occurs with breaking news, such as the Sandy Hook massacre, some reports are believed to be factual at first, but once the event ends, police, and reporters, can finally look at the larger picture and correct anything that was mistakenly reported.
Until Dorner’s body is positively identified, and even after it is, expect plenty of conspiracy theorists to express their doubts about the LAPD and Dorner’s death on Facebook and Twitter as well as #TeamDorner to continue trending.