Rumors have smoldered online for years that the Clinton family murders its political enemies. We’ve debunked some, such as the claim that investigators found the remains of missing women in steel barrels on Bill and Hillary Clinton’s property. Or that a doctor was murdered after criticizing the Clinton Foundation. (There are more.)
On Aug. 13, a Facebook post alleged yet another victim of the political family.
“I’m Suzanne Coleman,” reads the text above a black-and-white photo of a woman. “After having an affair with Bill Clinton I became pregnant. Then my body was found with a gunshot wound to the back of my head. It was ruled a suicide and no autopsy was allowed. I was 7 months pregnant.”
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
That’s because there’s no credible evidence supporting the idea that Coleman was killed after having an affair with Bill Clinton. In fact, the rumor was discredited as early as the 1992 presidential campaign. Here are the facts.
Susan Coleman, not Suzanne Coleman as the Facebook post says, was a former law student of Bill Clinton at the University of Arkansas. Clinton taught there after earning his law degree in 1973. Coleman committed suicide in 1977, according to numerous published reports.
During the presidential election that year, a young conservative named David Bossie “was dispatched to sniff around Bill Clinton’s sex life by the Republican operative Floyd Brown, the founder of Citizens United,” according to a 2016 story in the Atlantic.
Bossie and a retired police officer named Jim Murphy were working for Brown as they tried to confirm Coleman shot herself “following a love affair with her law professor, Bill Clinton, that left her pregnant,” CBS reported, according to the Washington Post.
Murphy and Bossie, who helped run Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, followed Coleman’s mother to an Army hospital in Georgia, according to CBS, and “burst” into the room where her husband was being treated for a stroke “and began questioning the shaken mother about her daughter’s suicide.”
CBS Evening News reported that the investigation stemmed from an anonymous letter mass mailed to news organizations but that Coleman’s family “maintained there was no truth to this, and said reporters who had investigated the letter found it to be a nasty hoax,” according to UPI.
After reading a transcript of the CBS News report, then-president George H.W. Bush ordered his campaign to file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against Brown, “the hard-ball political ad man who has gone from being seen as (an) asset to a liability,” UPI reported.
Searching the Nexis news archive for stories that could corroborate the allegations made in the Facebook post, we found none. We rate it False.