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This Is Equal Parts Bizarre And Sad As Heck

, , , , , | Legal | September 28, 2021

This was in the early 2000s when chat rooms and Yahoo/AOL were the de facto standard of communicating on the Internet and it was a lot harder to verify things people would tell you about themselves.

I had a girl who looked to be in her late teens move in with me after I advertised an empty room in my house. One grating thing about her that I discovered right away was that she talked incessantly and often told far-fetched stories about herself. Many of her stories often appeared to garner sympathy — i.e. being sexually assaulted in a subway, having to give the resulting child up for adoption, etc. As tempting as it was to give her back her rent money and tell her to move along, I grinned and bore it only because I lived with my elderly grandma from ages seventeen to nineteen and drove that poor woman up the wall with my teenage antics.

Over the following two months, I noticed that my roommate received an unusual amount of mail and packages. The packages were always small gifts like teddy bears, chocolates, inexpensive jewelry, and such. I figured they were from her family and found it endearing. The house phone also frequently rang with calls for her.

One late evening, I was coming from work and was shocked to find a mass of police cars, EMT workers, and an ambulance congregating around my house with my front door smashed in.

After letting someone know that I was a resident of the house and wanted to know what in the world was going on, I was let in. There was my roommate sitting on my couch with officers screaming at her: “You need to stop lying! You have the entire police force here looking for a dead woman, etc., etc., etc.! This is the third time I’ve had to deal with you this past year alone, and this town has been putting up with your s*** since you were ten!”

As it turned out, when the story unfolded, the girl had been talking on romance chat rooms and dating sites posing as a dying cancer patient, using fake photos of a seriously ill and emaciated cancer victim, and getting lonely and gullible guys to shower her with gifts and money.

One of the guys fell so much in love with her that he insisted on coming to visit her even though he lived several states away. Figuring that the jig would have been up with this particular mark, she then pretended to have a medical emergency on the phone with him and, according to him, began gasping and wheezing and became unresponsive.

What she didn’t count on was him dialing 911 in his state, giving the dispatch my address, and that dispatch quickly connecting to the dispatch in my area to alert them. After the police broke my door in, since no one was answering, they found the idiot hiding in a closet.

The girl turned out to be only seventeen years old; she’d left home and gotten a fast food job, and her parents simply never reported her missing.

I ended up giving her a three-day notice.

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