Becky Says...

May 2002

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May 18
Remembering the Hoax

A year ago yesterday, Saundra posted an entry written as satire, on how to fake a death. A whole lot of people figured out she was talking about Kaycee. And she wrote her May 18 entry to confirm that was exactly the deal.

Then all hell broke loose. We spent countless hours online, firing instant messages back and forth, being in touch with other people, and making some truly bad jokes.

After a lot of puzzle pieces fell into place, Kaycee's creator was finally outed as the perpetrator of one of the worst things I have ever heard of---the making up of a sick child, then having that child die.

There were quite a few repercussions from all that! I lost one friend over it. I had to try to explain what the hell was going on to a friend who isn't online but who called in the middle of the investigating (I changed the subject when I could hear her eyes glazing over). I had to explain why it was such a big deal to a couple of other friends. I made some new friends. I got some new readers. I got some really sad mail from people who had been fooled. I finally outed myself as the bitch I can be when need arises. Thanks to Saundra, I've been mentioned by name on BBC Radio and several other places. I'm still getting hits from people searching for information on this story. Repercussions more temporally related to the busting of the hoax may be found here.

No doubt I'm leaving out some, but those are the ones that came to mind.

And a year later I'm still not sure we know all the story. I'm not convinced that the person who took the responsibility actually did all the stuff without help. I don't think all the truth will ever come out on that one, though I'd love to see it if it does. Several people have thought, over the course of the year, that there might be another Kaycee tall tale arising from the ashes of the first; I've not been terribly convinced this was the case, but I have been interested to see their information.

I just hope anyone else planning to pull such a hoax will think long and hard before posting the first words of it to a website. It would be wise for any such person to remember there are those of us who will call your efforts repulsive, no matter how cleverly they are constructed.

Text copyright 2000-2002 Becky