Over the years we have been exposed to all sorts of criminals whose deeds have left us shocked and disappointed in our fellow men – and women.
There have been those who assault those with physical or mental disabilities and of course those who injure or kill innocent animals. There have been the thieves who steal money from donation jars in convenience stores and the list goes on and on.
But today there is a new low (or high) for the year’s worst criminal.
Philly.com’s Darran Simon reports that a Delran, N.J. woman has been arrested and charged with allegedly engineering a scam that had people giving her money and all sorts of things because she claimed she was dying of cancer.
No, we’re not kidding. Here’s a link to the Philly.com story: http://bit.ly/Qfswqb
Here are some pieces from Simon’s story:
“Lori E. Stilley told friends last year that she had Stage IV bladder cancer and was preparing to die.
“Supporters raised more than $12,000 for expenses and prepared her meals. Her ‘Team Lori Rocks’ page on Facebook attracted more than 300 friends.
“Family members and others helped cover the cost for her to get married. It was the least they could do.
“But no one accompanied the Delran resident to see a doctor, an acquaintance now recalls. Or viewed the lab reports or medical bills scattered around her home.
“In November, when Stilley posted on her Facebook page that there had been a ‘miracle’ and hospice care was no longer imminent, her well-wishers grew suspicious.
“On Wednesday, Stilley, a 40-year-old mother of two, was charged with theft by deception in a phony cancer fund-raising scam.”
For anyone who has cancer or knows someone with cancer or has lost a loved one to cancer, there is no punishment severe enough if in fact Stilley is guilty of what she is charged with by police.
And it’s even worse.
Again, from Simon’s piece: “Stilley chronicled her struggle in what became a 306-page e-book, I’Mpossible – How a Facebook Group Loved Me Through Cancer, that she sold for $14.99 on her website, authorities said. It grossed more than $3,000.”
So it wasn’t enough to lie to everyone – she had the nerve to actually write a book about it.
Now it’s possible she was under pressure for money – hey, we’ve all been there. I’m there. But what I do is figure out a legitimate way to make some cash to bail me out. Faking a terminal illness has never quite crossed my mind.
And it’s just one of those crimes that makes you so mad your head is about to explode with the anger, and it leaves you basically speechless. What can you say? What is there to say? There’s no excuse, no explanation other than the obvious mental issues that must be part of this alleged crime.
There’s just no way someone could pull this off without feeling some guilt or remorse. With this suspect I’m not so sure.
I will follow Simon’s coverage of this crime. Unfortunately I am fairly certain that in the end she’ll get nothing more than probation an order to make restitution to those she fooled. I hope not. I hope the justice system treats this case very seriously.
If convicted this woman deserves a lot of jail time.
Oh, by the way, here’s a link to Aesop’s fables and the story of the Boy Who Cried Wolf… http://bit.ly/VP1avd
— Andy Hachadorian