A woman in the state of Washington has admitted that a story she told about a stranger throwing acid in her face was completely fabricated. Bethany Storro has received a lot of media attention for her case, according to Fox News. Ever since Aug. 30, 2010, Storro had maintained that an African American woman threw acid in her face, which caused horrible scarring.
However, investigators found several holes in her story, including the fact that she bought sunglasses 20 minutes before the alleged attack, when she admitted she doesn’t wear sunglasses at all. It turns out her wounds were self-inflicted. Prosecutors are still trying to determine if they are going to file charges against her for making false statements. Officials say that Storro has talked about her motive, but have not made that information public as of yet.
Recent Hoaxes and the Media
With so many media outlets and so many people connected to the Internet through blogs, social networks, and mobile phone access, news travels fast. In this fast-traveling news age, there are many recent cases of hoaxes involving people who have told stories about bad things happening to them when in reality something else happened altogether. Try out these other three hoaxes to see how they compare to Bethany Storro’s.
Jennifer Wilbanks was scheduled to wed John Mason on April 30, 2005. Four days before the wedding, she went missing in Duluth, Georgia. A massive manhunt ensued, including more than 250 volunteers in the Duluth area, according to MSNBC.
She phoned the day before the wedding saying she was sexually assaulted and kidnapped. As it turns out, Wilbanks simply got cold feet and didn’t want to get married. She was fined $2,250 for the stunt, as it cost the Duluth city government upwards of $60,000.
In October of 2009, people watched in amazed horror as a 6-year-old boy had allegedly climbed aboard his father’s homemade balloon in Colorado. Richard Heene spent hours tearfully looking for his son and then finally the balloon landed and his son was nowhere to be found.
Finally, the boy emerged and it was discovered he was hiding. Investigators realized it was a hoax when the boy admitted the Heenes staged the whole thing for a television show, according to CNN. Richard Heene resurfaced in August trying to prove that there’s life elsewhere in the universe after getting 30 days in jail, according to Time magazine.
The questions have now been answered. In a recent documentary titled I’m Still Here, Casey Affleck followed around Joaquin Phoenix for a year chronicling his life away from acting. When Phoenix showed up in a charity video earlier this year completely normal, there was speculation it was all an act.
Casey Affleck has come out to say that Phoenix’s entire shtick was an act for the cameras. Only Joaquin Phoenix himself, Affleck, and Phoenix’s agent were in on the secret, according to Yahoo! News. The documentary certainly hasn’t hurt Phoenix as he is looking forward to his next film role.
Hoaxes can garner a lot of media attention in this modern age. Unfortunately, some hoaxes can hurt many other people, and not just the ones who deliver false information to authorities. In the case of Joaquin Phoenix, the only thing he was hurting was his own image. As with Bethany Storro, there were serious consequences involved with Jennifer Wilbanks and Richard Heene.
Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, Time magazine, and Yahoo! News all contributed information for this article.