There’s Something Very Strange About the Death of Obama’s Personal Chef

 There’s Something Very Strange About the Death of Obama’s Personal Chef

(Sam Greenwood)

Working in law enforcement and protecting the US President are well-known hazardous occupations. However, being a personal chef to the president might also carry unexpected risks, as some have suffered untimely deaths in curious circumstances. Most recently, in late July, Chef Tafari Campbell tragically drowned while paddleboarding near the Martha’s Vineyard estate of former President Barack Obama (via Associated Press):

Former President Barack Obama’s personal chef has drowned near the family’s home on Martha’s Vineyard. 

Massachusetts State Police confirmed that the paddleboarder whose body was recovered from Edgartown Great Pond on Monday was Tafari Campbell, 45, of Dumfries, Virginia. 

Campbell was employed by the Obamas and was visiting Martha’s Vineyard. The Obamas were not present at the home at the time of the accident. 


The search for the missing paddleboarder started Sunday after reports from a fellow paddleboarder that he had struggled on the surface, went under and didn’t resurface. 

The search was paused late Sunday but … state police said sonar from a boat located the body about 100 feet (30 meters) from shore at a depth of about 8 feet (2.4 meters). Campbell was not wearing a life jacket, police said. 

The circumstances around Campbell’s death have given rise to numerous conspiracy theories. The speculation has been fueled by several factors: an anonymous 911 call, uncertainty over the Obama family’s exact location at the time, and Obama’s visible injuries – bandaged hands and a black eye – sustained at a golf course shortly after the incident. While it could all be a coincidence, the circumstances have incited a flurry of conspiracy theories, despite numerous fact-checks.

However, fact-checking efforts have lost credibility in the eyes of many due to their perceived weaponization during the Trump presidency, akin to the FBI’s reputation damage. This skepticism has arguably only added more fuel to the fire of speculation. While it was later determined that the Obamas were indeed on the island, they were not at their residence during the incident, further adding to the intrigue.

The unusual aspect of Campbell’s death is its striking similarity to another case. Another personal chef who served a former Democratic president, the Clintons, and also the Bush White House, met a similar fate in 2015 – he too drowned (via NY Post):

The tragic drowning death of former White House sous chef and the Obama family’s personal chef Tafari Campbell over the weekend is sadly similar to the premature demise of another White House kitchen veteran. 

Campbell’s death comes just eight years after Walter Scheib, who served as the White House Executive Chef from 1994 to 2005, was found partially submerged in a ravine in the New Mexico mountains on June 21, 2015. 

The 61-year-old Scheib was first reported missing by his girlfriend on June 14, one day after he failed to return from a hike near Taos Ski Valley. 

Scheib died from drowning, an autopsy later revealed. 

The Culinary Institute of America graduate was appointed White House Executive Chef in 1994, after then-First Lady Hillary Clinton was wowed by his pecan-crusted rack of lamb at a West Virginia resort, according to ABC. 

Curiously, footage exists showing Mr. Campbell swimming proficiently, which raises questions about his inability to stay afloat. The theories surrounding the Obama family are usually centered more on Michelle Obama – those interested are encouraged to conduct their own research.

The fellow paddleboarder who was with Barack and Michelle Obama’s personal chef when he drowned near their Martha’s Vineyard compound is also a staffer to the former president — and reportedly tried to save the chef from drowning. 

The female staffer was with Tafari Campbell the moment the renowned chef fell off his paddleboard and into a pond before disappearing under the water, according to the Daily Mail. 

The woman, whose name wasn’t revealed, tried desperately to save her colleague, but didn’t reach him in time, Massachusetts State Police previously told MassLive. 

The woman then rushed back to shore, where she asked for help, with a Secret Service agent calling for emergency services from the Obamas’ estate in Edgartown, sources told the Daily Mail. 

Insiders told the outlet the woman was lucid and clear and did not appear to be intoxicated.

The witness said Campbell struggled to stay afloat and wasn’t wearing a life jacket while out on the water, officials said last week.

The Clintons, known for their political maneuvering, are often associated with the ‘body count’ theory, where many individuals who found themselves in the couple’s inner circle faced premature deaths. These conspiracy theories, however valid or invalid, continue to circulate.

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