Prison officials beat down 'O.J. was beaten' reports

Internet ablaze with pass-along reports that originated with ... The National Enquirer

Moments ago, a friend with whom I shared an unhealthy fixation with O.J. Simpson's 1995 murder trial sent me a link to a National Enquirer story claiming that the savage killer of two had himself been brutally beaten in prison.

Normally I would have considered the Enquirer to be a reliable source (by today's standards) but this one part of the account -- "injuries so severe he secretly spent nearly three weeks in the infirmary before he recovered" - immediately had me doubting the whole story.

And it's not true, according to denials being issued by prison officials.

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Why my doubts (aside from the fact it was the Enquirer)?

How could a celebrity tale of this magnitude possibly have been kept quiet for three weeks? Not a guard, inmate, visitor, nurse or doctor would have tweeted or posted details to Facebook over that time? I'd have trouble believing such gossip could be kept secret for three days, never mind three weeks. And it wouldn't surprise me at all if the whole world knew about such a beating - had it been real -- three hours after it happened.

Of course, it's always possible that the Enquirer has it right and the prison officials are lying, but this one never passed the smell test.

Yet there are all the reports: Huffington Post, Vancouver Sun, SFGate, Business Insider and more.

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