Anchorage Homeless Deaths Spark Conspiracy Theories

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2009 5:38 PM CDT
A homeless man named Jesse carries a bag of recyclables as he walks through a homeless tent city.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – A rash of homeless deaths during warm-weather months has alarmed residents and homeless advocates in Anchorage, Alaska. In a feature article ranging from serial killer conspiracy theories to chronicles of life on the streets, the Anchorage Daily News looks at the 12 homeless deaths and points out the most likely killers: chronic alcoholism and prejudice against Native Alaskans.

"There was a person, a guy, offering people open vodka and having turpentine in there, you know, some kind of poison," one homeless person says. But autopsies and toxicology tests point to causes like violence, alcohol abuse, and hypothermia on cool summer nights. Perhaps Anchorage is joining the sad ranks of cities like LA and New York, which commonly face 40 to 60 homeless deaths every year.