Would she lie?
Sherri Papini’s kidnapping and sensational return on Thanksgiving day 2016 captured worldwide attention.
- 03/04/22 — California Mom Who Said She Was Abducted In 2016 Arrested For Making Up Story (Oxygen via Yahoo!)
- 03/08/22 — Woman charged with faking kidnapping released from jail (AP)
- 03/08/22 — Sherri Papini, accused of faking kidnapping, released on bail despite FBI claim she resisted arrest (redding.com)
- 04/12/22 — Sherri Papini admits to faking 2016 kidnapping, says she is ‘so very sorry’ (NBC News)
- 04/16/22 — California ‘Super Mom’ will admit her ‘kidnap’ was all a hoax, accept plea deal (Miami Herald)
- 04/25/22 — Sherri Papini’s Husband Files for Divorce After Her Hoax Kidnapping Admission
From the Wikipedia “Hoax” article:
An American woman named Sherri Papini disappeared from her husband and family on November 2, 2016, reportedly while out jogging a mile from her home in Redding, California. Papini was 34 years old at the time. She reappeared three weeks later on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, having been reportedly freed by her captors at 4:30 that morning still wearing restraints, on the side of County Road 17 near Interstate 5 in Yolo County, about 150 miles (240 km) south of where she disappeared.
From the Miami Herald piece:
Papini reappeared three weeks after she vanished, turning up on Thanksgiving Day near Woodland, 146 miles south of her home. She had a chain around her waist and one arm, and various injuries.
“She appeared to have lost a considerable amount of weight, and her long blonde hair had been cut much shorter,” court documents say. “She had been branded on her right shoulder, although the exact content of the brand was indistinguishable.
“Papini’s nose was swollen, she had bruises on her face, rashes on her left arm and left upper inner thigh as well as other parts of her body, ligature marks on her wrists and ankles, burns on her left forearm, and bruising on her pelvis and the fronts of both legs.”
Albeit her story of her kidnapping was very strange, I wonder what evidence the FBI came up with to indicate it was a hoax. I always wanted to believe her, and still do, based on the simple fact that she’s so pretty. That, and her reputation as a “Super Mom,” must also play a big part in why her case got international attention.
“Missing white woman syndrome” is real, and the fault lies at the feet of the “gatekeepers” — assignment editors and others who make the actual decisions about what constitutes news and about what will get reported. The most recent example was the tsunami of media attention to the disappearance of Gabby Petito. Not long before, I was concerned about the same dynamic as to inordinate media attention, at least in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region, to the case of Laura Wallen.