May 20, 2001
Saying it Out
Now the silence may be lifted. For all those of you who asked, YES. Yes, I was talking about Kaycee and Debbie and Randy Vanderwoning when I wrote the entries about being skeptical and feeling that a scam was afoot and bearing silent witness and being duped.
Mr. Vanderwoning has started telling the world how he was duped. In case his site and that of Debbie manage to disappear for unknown reasons, here's a link to a thread at MetaFilter that has many of the details.
And it was I who first brought the thing to Saundra's attention, and who have worked with her, albeit in very minor ways, to dig deeper into this story.
I first wondered at the veracity of the story when I went through the archives of Debbie's site, and those of Kaycee's site. I did this after Kristin posted to a thread at ThreeWay Action that she thought there was no truth to the story being presented, and had received lots of e-mail from readers suggesting that she donate to Kaycee. Which, by the way, she did not do.
I was hoping to find something positive, that would answer Kristin's questions. I would have been polite in replying to her, but I wanted her to be wrong.
But she wasn't wrong. When I started reading those archives, I found lots of holes. The one that really struck me was that Debbie had Kaycee's birthday in the wrong month.
I'm not going to list them all. I didn't bother to write them all out. I will tell you that a lot of the list Saundra had were the same things I found.
Saundra got into the search for the truth after I asked her if she had been following the Kaycee story. She wrote back and said she had seen a mention of Kaycee on another site, and asked what I knew of the story. I took several paragraphs to tell her what I thought, and why, and how it sickened me. It made Saundra angry, too. Saundra first pointed out to me that the writing styles were the same. And the more the two of us read, and dug, and consulted with Kristin and Wendy and a few other people, the more we were convinced we were right.
And Saundra caught a lot of flack about her entries---if you wrote her and were ugly, you owe her the courtesy of an apology. I asked her to leave my involvement out of her entries until I was ready to go public. When we got word of the break in the story, in mid-afternoon today, I told her to "out" me if she would like---she was adding some to her previously-written entry. She was most gracious in naming me.
I wanted to refrain from naming names until I was sure I was right, because two people I care about a great deal were staunch believers in Kaycee's story and in the veracity of things posted on the various sites. I did not want to hurt these two people needlessly; I certainly did not want to accuse them of lying, because they were not. They are two loving people who were grieving for someone they felt they knew. They believed. And they both suspected I was talking about the three personas involved in this tale, but I would neither confirm nor deny their suspicions until now.
Except for the fact that I love truth, I have no pleasure in writing these details. I do not enjoy knowing that people who matter to me have been hurt. I do not enjoy the fact that I have spent a lot of time digging up slime this weekend.
The only enjoyable thing about this is getting to know Saundra better, and having the chance to introduce her to Wendy in a chat setting. But frankly, I wish to the bottom of my soul we had had something more fun to chat about!
If you are angry at me (or us) for seeking the truth, please ask yourself why that is, before you write to me.