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CJK5H is an abbreviation for the phrase “Craig James killed five hookers”, an unfounded statement associated with an online smear campaign targeting retired football player and commentator Craig James, in similar vein to the Glenn Beck rape and murder hoax in 2009. The campaign was reinvigorated after James announced he would be running for the United States Senate in December of 2011.
On July 19th, 2011, American college football coach Mike Leach’s memoir book Swing Your Sword: Leading the Charge in Football and Life was released. In the book, Leach criticized the retired NFL player and sports commentator Craig James and his son Adam for being instrumental in Leach’s suspension from coaching the Texas Tech football team in December of 2009. The same day as the release of the book, the football news blog Every Day Should Be Saturday published a post titled “The Curious Index”, which included a screenshot of a defaced Wikipedia page claiming that Craig James “killed five hookers during his time at SMU.”
On December 13th, 2011, the Dallas news blog D Magazine published a post titled “Did Craig James Kill Five Hookers?”, which pointed out the hooker-related Google auto-complete search results for the keywords “craig james.” On the following day, the Washington state entertainment blog Weekly Volcano published an article titled “The Truth About Craig James and Those Hookers”, which claimed James “may actually be one of the most reviled characters ever to roam the landscape of college football.” On December 19th, James officially announced that he would run for Kay Bailey Hutchinson’s United States Senate seat as a Republican candidate.
On January 5th, 2012, the digital marketing site Alter Endeavors published a blog post about the Craig James rumors, calling it out as a Google bombing campaign. The same day, James tweeted about being Google bombed with a link to the article:
Ever heard of a Google Bomb? bit.ly/wmFUr9 They’re a headache, but they won’t slow down this campaign.
— Texans 4 Craig James (@James4Senate) January 6, 2012
On May 8th, the sports blog Deadspin published an article titled “Mike Leach Appears To Have Autographed A Copy Of His Book With A ‘Craig James Killed Five Hookers’ Reference”, which featured a photograph of an autographed copy of Swing Your Sword with the abbreviation CJK5H (shown below) written on the title page. The following day, D Magazine published an interview with James’ spokesperson Meredith Turney, who denied the rumors and claimed they were part of an Internet smear campaign.
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