The internet continues to burn with the story of the mommy blogger who alleges her son was accosted in a Davenport, FL area Wal-Mart. The story has spread to MSN, the Daily Mail, even Gawker after being posted by the mother herself on reddit and Huffington Post.
But almost from the start people expressed doubts about the veracity of the story. Internet searches revealed background claims by the mother that only confirmed for many that her previous statement that she used to be a “pathological liar” might apply to this tale as well.
Now removed from her site claims included having survived 3 failed kidnapping attempts and 1 successful one; claiming to be a stewardess for an airline and quitting just weeks before the flight crashed twice in three months; that she was “meant to be in NYC on 9/11, but I cancelled last minute”; that she missed catching a train that later crashed. When called on the truthiness of these claims, Katie responded:
And yes, much of that list was tongue in cheek to drag out some of my sillier stories into much bigger dramas than they were. When I wrote it more than a year ago, I drew people’s attention to it as a FUNNY (though accurate) representation of some of the stuff I’ve been through in my life.
Soon after the internet began questioning why, if it’s a big enough deal to craft what she no doubt hoped would be a viral blog post, she didn’t contact the store or the police Katie began claiming she was being harassed. Saying her milk supply was drying up and that she was receiving “threats of pizza deliveries to my house”, she closed down her site. 30 minutes later Katie claimed to be on the phone with the sheriff’s department “waiting for them to show up”. Despite a fatal car crash that closed down roads for two hours, according to her a deputy arrived, took a report, and left within an hour of her call.
Debate continues online with some people saying it doesn’t matter if the story is true because it started a discussion about gender issues, and others pointing out that if the story is untrue, using such issues for page views and attention is probably doing a disservice to the LGBT community.
I was unable to reach the Polk County Sheriff’s Department for confirmation or statement and Wal-Mart has yet to publicly respond to Katie’s claim. We await further developments and welcome any tips or information. We will update this post as information becomes available.
UPDATE: Apparently Katie has now been placed under psych observation. From the Orlando Sentinel:
According to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office report, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office became aware of Carpenter’s blog post detailing the alleged incident at a Four Corners-area Walmart.
Since Polk County was eventually mentioned specifically in the blog as being the responding agency, a Sheriff’s Office lieutenant requested a deputy go meet with Carpenter.
When the Polk deputy met with Carpenter — it’s not clear when that happened — she began making suicidal statements, the Lake County report said.
A deputy added that “possible video of the incident may be obtained and viewed to in fact verify that the incident actually did occur or if it was all made up.”
UPDATE: HuffPo has removed her post saying “We have also confirmed with investigators that they are in contact with the author.”
UPDATE: She has now been released and told The Ledger that “she doesn’t care whether deputies find proof in the Wal-Mart surveillance footage.” She added “I don’t think it will do any good…I just want it to go away.”"
UPDATE: The “A Mother Thing” Facebook page has disappeared.