Are you really surprised that the "balloon boy" incident was a hoax?
On Sunday, in Fort Collins, Colo., Sheriff Jim Alderden announced that the Heene family had staged the inventive saga to build interest in a reality show that the family was pitching to various networks. Last Thursday, Richard and Mayumi Heene grabbed international attention with their anguished claims that the youngest Heene child, Falcon, had floated away, trapped in a homemade balloon. The story exploded on Twitter and cable news. Far away from a TV set, I checked my Twitter stream (@allaboutrace) constantly, anxious for any updates on the whereabouts of the Heene's youngest.
But the wacky story just got stranger once Falcon was "discovered hiding" in a small space safe above the garage of the Heene home.
Ironically, it was father Richard's own fake tear-filled press performance, errr... conference, and young Falcon's candor during a CNN interview that popped the story wide open.
I was skeptical once I found out that the Heenes had met in acting class and had appeared on 'Wife Swap,' but now I'm just ticked off. Those minutes I spent concerned about this kid are gone for good. And reflecting back on it, what a shame that a tall tale of a child afloat in a silver balloon garnered so much attention while missing women and children, and acts of violence taking place every day, get little more than a line or two of copy -- if that.
The Heene parents are facing felony charges, and as more reports appear, the story gets more twisted. It turns out that there has been at least one incident of potential domestic violence against the mom. And Child Protective Services was called in to investigate the family. The children remain in the home for now, although Mayumi was encouraged to head to a women's shelter. She refused.