Paul Horner, the infamous writer who had spread fake news like wildfire for the past several years, died at his Phoenix home on Sept. 18, he was only 38 years old. His brother JJ confirmed Horner’s death through a Facebook post, saying that he died peacefully in his sleep, according to a report by USA Today.

Authorities are speculating that Horner’s death may have been linked to his history of drug use. However, JJ stated that he doesn’t know if Horner was still abusing drugs and that his past health complications could have also caused his death.

Results of the autopsy and toxicology are still pending at the time of this writing.

How Paul Horner started writing fake news

JJ claimed that Horner’s fake-news writing is just a continuation of their childhood. JJ shared that, “He [Paul] would read the paper front-to-back and then he was making these crazy elaborate political cartoons while he was still in elementary,” cited by USA Today.

Horner started a website called Microsoftsite.com where he wrote jokes that earned him a $100 per month. Over time, his audience started to grow as well as his income and decided to make his fake-news writing a full-time gig. Horner claimed that he was earning $3,000 to $5,000 per month from his fake-news writing.

Many believed Paul Horner’s stories, including politicians and other news outlets

Horner had a formula for his writing; he made sure that his first few paragraphs were totally legitimate as well as the title for the story.

He also used legit photos for his stories so it would make it more believable when he shared it on Facebook.

Many have fallen for Horner’s fake news. In fact, USA Today cited that Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, shared Horner’s fake story through his Twitter account regarding people getting paid to protest Trump.

Fox News also failed to fact-check Horner’s fake story about President Barrack Obama funding The Museum of Muslim Culture but reported it all the same.

Horner even credited himself as the reason for Trump’s winning the elections. Horner said that Trump supporters never check the legitimacy of his stories and they kept on spreading it.

Paul Horner’s history with drugs

In 2011, Horner was arrested after $15,000 worth of drugs was found in his possession, including heroin, ketamine and hundreds of syringes. He was even under the influence of ketamine when he was arrested.

Horner was sent to four months in jail after being found guilty of the possession of drugs with the intent of selling.