15 Minutes of Fame

September 28, 2007 at 7:40 am 12 comments

Have you seen this story in the news?  A woman claims to have been a victim of the World Trade Center bombing on 9/11.  Alleges she lost her fiance, was rescued by an unidentified man, suffered burns, and found an inscribed wedding band she later returned to its owner.  This story netted her a position as director of a non-profit organization for 9/11 and speaking engagements everywhere.  Nothing about her story checks out.  The family of her “fiance” have never heard of her.  The employer she said she had has no listing of her as an employee… there is enough fact disputing her story to identify her as a fake. 

What’s your first reaction to this?  Does it make any difference if I tell you that she didn’t get paid for her work with the non-profit organization or for the speaking engagements? 

I personally can’t judge her too harshly.  Like everyone else, I was horrified and saddened by the tragedy of 9/11.  But after hours, weeks and days of coverage…the novelist in me took over and I couldn’t help thinking of possible scenarios.  Like a man unhappy in his marriage who drops his monogrammed watch in the burning stairwell and slips unnoticed through rescue crews to a new life. 

This unfortunate woman used the worst tragedy to befall America in its history as a means to gain attention.  She might as well spend the remainder of her life with a big red L sewed to the front of all her shirts, or a perpetual suit of tar and feathers.  There’s no recovering from this kind of deception.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Shoes Be Good to Your Daughters

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. QuillDancer  |  September 28, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    I just saw the story today. My emotions are mixed. If we choose to ignore the fact that she has put the reputations of the charities that employed her at risk (I am not saying we should ignore it, just set it aside for a moment) what really is her crime?

    Many people/corporations sought to profit from 9/11. Does the fact that they profited honestly (especially news sources) make them more noble then this woman, who sought to profit for charity, and took nothing for herself but an opportunity to do good?

    So, the moral of this story isn’t don’t stand on the bodies of our dead to earn a profit, it is: don’t llie while you stand on the bodies of our dead to cry for charity.

  • 2. Dave M  |  September 28, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Its an amazing story. I guess she saw it as an opportunity to acheive some status and carried out the fabrication. But its like all lies and fabrications once you start then you end up getting deeper and deeper. I expect many people have seen similar deceptions but on a smaller scale. I believe the best outcome will always be to come clean and even if you have to face the consequencies thats the way it is. At the end of the day though its what you can live with, the conscious can be a great thing.

  • 3. Leesa  |  September 28, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    It is interesting that you labeled this woman as unfortunate (unfortunate: not favored by fortune; marked or accompanied by or resulting in ill fortune).

    It seems to me that fortune had little to do with a deception she herself set into motion. 9-11 gave many the opportunity to profit by overwhelming sentiments. Just because damaged people profited, I am unsure less compassion should be given those who were born in unfortunate circumstances and did not rise from their circumstances.

  • 4. nessa  |  September 28, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    I just saw this story.

    I am amazed that she was able to pull this off for so many years. I am sad for her that she felt the need for this kind of attention, but not surprised. I don’t have much sympathy for the organizations that were fooled by her (they should have checked.) While I am just as upset (still) as everyone else over the 9/11 disasters, this proves to me again why emotions should not be the determining factor in making decisions. I wonder, did she really not profit from this? Were her traveling and other expenses paid for by the charities she represented?

  • 5. stacy  |  September 29, 2007 at 6:52 pm

    I have mixed emotions as well. It would be better, for sure, if her whole story wasn’t a lie, but she has been working for the good. I think she should be dismissed, but maybe not prosecuted for anything.

    I never thought of anything like your story about the unhappy man using the day as a way to escape. It sure would have been the perfect day to do that wouldn’t it?

  • 6. Jon M  |  September 29, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    I have to admit, my first reaction was pretty negative but then as you say, she’s going to suffer because of that poor choice for the rest of her life. And when you think about it, she must have been a bit, not well (?) to have done that in the first place?

  • 7. hayden  |  September 30, 2007 at 12:02 am

    doesn’t sound like she had a “solid base” to begin with. I feel sorry for her that she needed to be special so badly that she would fabricate this. I don’t see that she’s harmed anyone but herself. As for the charities – shame on them for being fooled.

  • 8. Wanderlust Scarlett  |  October 1, 2007 at 6:43 am

    It makes me physically sick. If she wanted to truly help and volunteer, then she’d have done it without the recognition.

    She was after limelight.


    People volunteer all over the country all the time, and they actually do good where they work and by what they do without getting their names printed and their stories published.

    I’ll donate the first L for her shirt.

    PS – on an aside, I finished the most recent addition to Seamus’ story for the lions circle. Have passed it to Minx.

    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

  • 9. Catch  |  October 1, 2007 at 8:17 am

    Nothing suprises me too much anymore Kat. people are just nuts. Obviously she needed the attention….shame on her for lieing.

  • 10. Absolute Vanilla... (& Atyllah)  |  October 1, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    I haven’t seen the story but it seems like such a strange thing to do. I suppose one needs to ask two questions: Did the woman achieve any good with the work she did for the non profit organisation, did she add any value and; what were the circumstances of her own life before she did this? We are always quick to judge others often when we have very little background information with which to judge. It is easy to see the bad in others but but do we ever truly understand their motivation. Ultimately one might feel sorry for her – for whatever reason, she dug herself a hole from which she will now be forcibly and harshly evicted. Shame on her for lying, certainly, but why did she lie – and can we ever know or understand that?

  • 11. John Linna  |  October 2, 2007 at 4:14 am

    Since she gained nothing from it she may honestly just wanted to be of help.

  • 12. Janet  |  October 6, 2007 at 7:35 am

    It doesn’t matter that she didn’t benefit financially. She out-and-out lied. If she was prosecuted she’d probably claim post-traumatic stress. If I’d listened to her and believed her, I’d feel suckered. People like that cheapen the organizations they claim to be helping.


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