Minnesota man claims losing sons, one in WTC, one in traffic accident
January 16, 2002 10:17 AM   Subscribe

Minnesota man claims losing sons, one in WTC, one in traffic accident and collects $6,000 in donations. Reporter hears story, checks on it, finds no corroborating evidence. Fabricated? Granted, the man didn't ask for money, but what should he do now? If you had given him money, what would you want him to do?
posted by yesster (10 comments total)
I would want him to give the money back, leave his job and I wouldn't want to see him again. If he wants attention, maybe he can get it in the local jail.
posted by msacheson at 10:46 AM on January 16, 2002

Kaycee Nicole, anyone?
posted by thebigpoop at 11:08 AM on January 16, 2002

the guys a friggin hero. a genius of capitalism. a shining beacon of the entreprenaurial spirit. put him in charge of enron.
posted by quonsar at 11:10 AM on January 16, 2002

thebigpoop: my words exactly.
posted by adampsyche at 11:15 AM on January 16, 2002

Crook. Jail. EoS (End of Story)
posted by UncleFes at 11:50 AM on January 16, 2002

I doubt he was being consciously conniving -- i.e., hoping people would start a fund for him. I think he's probably plain crazy.

One sign: People who invent stories of terrible tragedies happening to them almost always embellish the stories with ludicrously horrifying details -- blood everywhere, body part scattered and still moving.

One woman I knew in college, who I only later figured out was completely insane, told stories about discovering her friend who had just hanged hersef -- and whose tongue was flopping around on the floor in a pool of blood! "Billy"'s story of the hand with the wedding ring on it reminds me of that.
posted by argybarg at 1:37 PM on January 16, 2002

I knew this gal in high school who had a fondness for tall tales... one was that she had been accepted early-entrance to Harvard, so I jumped on that and said "Gee, I've never seen a Harvard acceptance letter! Can you bring it in tomorrow?" Cue a lot of hemming and hawing, the end result of which was that she claimed her mother "threw it away." Right.

Was I evil in that I pursued this particular fabrication purposely in front of an equally-skeptical audience? Perhaps. But it put the kibosh on future tales, so...
posted by evixir at 5:00 PM on January 16, 2002

I feel that same dilemma when people tell stories I know are urban legends (I'm sure I tell them too). Should I jump in, look like a smartass, and kill this bit of folkloric propogation? Or should I just file it away for my own interest? I must admit I usually pick the former.

Incidentally, my most recent case of this dilemma: Someone told me that Jamie Lee Curtis is a hermaphrodite.
posted by argybarg at 6:06 PM on January 16, 2002

Also found at Obscure Store January 14, 2002.
posted by sillygit at 6:56 PM on January 16, 2002

I believe you mean Obscure Store.
posted by argybarg at 8:57 PM on January 16, 2002

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