Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 17, 2006 / 19 Nissan, 5766

When a bundle of joy is a barrel of lies

By Mitch Albom


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Six babies is a lot of babies. Especially at one time. If you knew a husband and wife who just had six babies, and they asked for help, you might say yes.


But would you first make them prove the babies exist?


No, because it's not common decency. But that trait is disappearing fast in this country. It's clearly gone from a conniving Missouri couple named Sarah and Kris Everson, who tried to pull off a six-headed fraud.


Telling a local newspaper reporter that their babies were in critical condition in an unnamed hospital, the Eversons laid out a story that was as rich in detail as it was in deception. They had names and weights for the six kids, they talked about their looks, their lips, their hair, they had fake sonograms, they even posed for photos holding up six tiny outfits.


Sarah Everson reportedly wept when she spoke of her inability to hold the tiny, delicate infants. "I don't like being away from them," she told an Associated Press reporter, who said she broke into tears.


Not surprisingly, people in their community rallied to help. A realtor tried to raise money for a new home. A Web site was established. An address was given to receive gift cards or money.


Only one problem: There were no babies.


The whole thing was a fraud.


Now, this is not the first time people have tried to bilk money from strangers. Snake oil salesman did it many years ago. Unscrupulous preachers have done it forever. The Internet is chock full of phony pleas for financial help. But what makes the Eversons' case notable is the extent of their charade, and how well they knew to use the media.


They claimed the secrecy was for the protection of the infants. They had a photo ready of a pregnant-looking Sarah. They had a nursery room. They even spoke of how difficult it had been for Sarah to sleep with six babies inside her.


"You see programs on TV with people who have multiples," Kris Everson told a reporter from the Independence (Mo.) Examiner. "You never expect it to end up happening to you."


Unless, of course, you fake it happening to you. I'm not surprised the guy mentioned TV. I'm guessing this couple had seen enough TV news reports on multiple-birth parents to know how it works. You act surprised, but happy. You get on a morning show. You talk about how you'll love the kids all the same. Sometimes, you even drag religion into it.


"If G-d was going to let it happen," Sarah Everson told the Examiner, "I was going to be able to get through it."


Wow. She was good.


Now, I don't know this Missouri couple. But I wasn't surprised at their hoax. We have created a society where fame is a drug, where attention can mean money, and where everybody wants a piece. Just as men once rushed west to dip pans in rivers, so do people now race to the spotlight, looking for gold.


People see Hurricane Katrina stories, they see the outpouring of generosity, and some say, "How do I get me some of that?"


They see human-interest features, tragedy turned into bestsellers, and they say, "I want mine."


You wonder how dumb — or conniving — the Eversons had to be to think they could pull this off without ever producing any babies. But their sick plan isn't the worst part.


The worst part is that people who were willing to pitch in — authorities said the couple already had collected $3,500 before their hoax was revealed — may be less inclined to do so next time around.


And that's a shame. After all, the response to the sentence "I need help" should never have to be "Prove it."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

MITCH'S LATEST
"The Five People You Meet in Heaven"  

A novel that explores the unexpected connections of our lives, and the idea that heaven is more than a place; it's an answer. Sales help fund JWR.



Comment on Mitch's column by clicking here.



Mitch's Archives


© 2006, THE DETROIT FREE PRESS DISTRIBUTED BY TMS, INC.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles