Joe Winko's high-school classmates believed he died from jumping inside of wood-chipper...

In February of 2012, a single blog post was uploaded on which was supposedly a copied news story from the town of Highwood Montana. The article stated that Joe Winko had died by committing suicide by jumping headfirst inside a malfunctioning wood-chipper. Months later, the blog post was revealed to be an obvious hoax and was taken down soon after. Luckily, Joe Winko was able to copy and save it to his computer before it was removed.

The Article

Joe Winko (14) dies in grisly suicide incident - February 24th 2012

Highwood, MT (AP) - Family and friends mourned the death of Wisconsin teen, Joe Winko, who died instantly, on February 22nd 2012, when he allegedly committed suicide by diving headfirst into a malfunctioning woodchiper. He was pronounced dead by the local paramedics.  

The Winko family was visiting relatives who lived in a farm in the outskirts of Highwood, MT. Joe Winko slept inside the first floor guest room, while the rest of the family members slept upstairs.

Subsequent details are unclear, but apparently Joe Winko snuck out of the house shortly before 5:30am. His cousin, Leon Winko (21) awoke when he heard the noise of the woodchiper running from outside the barn. When he arrived at the area he discovered the blood splattered on and outside the woodchiper discharge chute. He immediately called 911.

When the police arrived they identified the corpse as Joe Winko. A suicide note was recovered from the scene which appeared to be written by Joe Winko. Because of this, the police are assuming the death was an intentional suicide. The sheriff also stated that there was nothing suspicious or accidental about this incident.

“It’s absolutely terrible that he got this depressed,” stated Beau Winko (Joe Winko’s cousin), “He was amazing young man, and in death I hoped he escaped all of his problems that haunted him.”

Details surrounding the causes Joe Winko’s suicide are unknown, but it is confirmed that Joe Winko was constantly bullied during his school years, which is most likely what caused him to meet his tragic fate. No memorial services shall be held as his remains have already been cremated.

The Origin of the Article

Joe Winko started attending his new high school in September of 2010. He did not know any of the students at his new high school previously due to the fact that he did not attend the same middle school as them. It was his decision to go to a different high school than his previous middle school classmates due to the bullying he endured during his middle school years. Joe Winko thought that he would be able to make new friends at a new school with different people who he had never met before. Unfortunately, this did not turn out good for him at all, and he deemed unsuccessful at making any friends and he was once again constantly bullied by his peers (mostly for being Hawaiian and for being autistic).

In January of 2011, Joe Winko was withdrawn from his high school and was placed in an alternative school for troubled teenagers with cognitive disabilities (such as depression, autism, etc). None of his classmates where aware of what become of Joe Winko, which someone lead to the creation of the blog post which apparently went viral a year after Joe's departure. It is speculated that the blog post was inspired by rumors from Joe Winko's classmates that Joe Winko had died by committing suicide from the constant bullying. Although these rumors where never true, many of Joe Winko's former high school classmates still believe them to this day.

The blog post on and the article associated with it was eventually deleted in October/November of 2012 due to the fact that many students of Joe Winko's high school had sighted him at an open-house he attended at the high school in October of 2012. Although, many of the high school students are still dumb enough to believe that the wood-chipper story of Joe Winko's fate was actually true, despite seeing him at the open-house meeting he attended. Many of them believe that what they actually saw was an impersonator/impostor who was disguised as Joe Winko or Joe Winko's ghost returning to the high school open-house to haunt them. Ironically, the high school's open house meeting that Joe Winko attended and was sighted at was about bullying prevention.

The Author of the blog post has never been identified. Whether or not he/she believed the post they typed is unknown. This whole incident is actually discussed by Joe Winko in an episode of Joe Winko Talk.

The Death Hoax of Joe Winko - Joe Winko Talk

The Death Hoax of Joe Winko - Joe Winko Talk


There are many contradictions stated in the blog post explaining Joe Winko's fictional death:

  • The article stated that Joe Winko had committed suicide while visiting relatives who lived in a farm in rural Montana. Joe Winko actually does not have ANY relatives living in Montana who are biologically related to him nor to his adoptive family. Although his adoptive mother use to live in Montana back in the 1970s. Yet she left after after a few years.
  • The article states the wood-chipper was "malfunctioning". Yet if it really was, Joe's death would have not been possible as the wood-chipper would have not worked and would have not been able to kill him either.
  • The article states that Joe Winko was 14 years old at the time of his death, which is dated February 2012. The age in the article is incorrect as Joe Winko was actually 16 years old in February of 2012.
  • Winko is actually not Joe's real last name.
  • The names mentioned in the article/blog post, Beau Winko and Leon Winko, are entirely fictional. Joe Winko does not have any cousins named Leon or Beau.
  • The blog-post/article states that Joe Winko died in February of 2012, yet Joe Winko actually left his old high school in January of 2011, more than a year before his "supposed" death. The events between his departure from his old high school and his "supposed" death are left unclear, which throws a major plot twist in the blog-post/article, especially since the article/blog-post claimed that he committed suicide due to bullying.
  • Most obviously, as you all know, Joe Winko is still alive and well today and did not actually die by jumping inside a wood-chipper while visiting his non-existent relatives in Montana.
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