Sunday, June 14, 2009

At least she didn't say a dingo ate it...


Some hoaxes are stupid. Some are weird. Some are boring. And some are completely freaking evil.

For the past six months or so, a blogger called April's Mom has been keeping hundreds of readers on the edges of their seats, awaiting the birth of her baby girl. In her first post, A.M. explained that prenatal testing had diagnosed April as having a potentially fatal form of brain damage. A.M. bravely decided not to abort, and to raise April herself. Her blog was filled with inspirational Christian quotes, messages, and songs, because A.M. had been born again earlier in her life.
Her blog is now closed to uninvited readers, but this page is still accessible for some reason. Her tags include "the ugly side of blogging", "oh the medical jargon", and "holoprosencephaly" (I assume this is what afflicted April).
She provided extremely detailed medical information about the progress of her pregnancy and April's chances for survival, and reflected on her fears for the future.
Those in the pro-life community were strongly drawn to her; some even sent gifts and letters of support to a Chicago-area P.O. box. They sweated out her pregnancy alongside her. Her optimism, faith, and pluck were irresistible, and made the end of the story even more heartbreaking.

Last Sunday, April Rose was born at home. Though she appeared physically healthy, she died within a few hours. Her mom posted black-and-white photos of the newborn.

This was her mistake. At least one reader instantly recognized the swaddled, adorably scrunchy-faced infant as a reborn doll manufactured by Bountiful Baby. (As dolls creep me out in a big way, I have no idea what a "reborn" doll is, and the website slogan is kind of unsettling: "Where Dolls Become Babies!")

A very small amount of digging revealed that April's Mom was 26-year-old Beccah Beushausen. She promptly confessed to a hoax and apologized to her readers, but continued to lie. In fact, about the only truthful thing she has said so far is that she lives in Illinois. She said she was a social worker, but is not licensed as one in the state of Illinois. She also pulled out the Kaycee Nicole defense, explaining that this really did happen to her - she lost an infant son - just not in the way she described.

She hasn't committed any crime, so Beuschausen is free to mind-freak lots of other kind strangers. Beware.

6 comments:

TK said...

If anything this seems even creepier than the Kaycee Nicole case, and that's saying something.

I don't get it. I just don't.

By the way, Reborns are fantastically realistic dolls that their owners take put for walks in pushchairs, and so on. It's pretty strange. And at first glance-- and certainly in a photo-- these dolls can absolutely pass for real. There was a documentary about it on channel 4 in the UK a little while ago. You can see clips of it here:

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/my-fake-baby/video/series-1/episode-1/living-doll

Again with the 'I just don't get it.'

TK said...

Hang on, if people sent her gifts, might it be a crime? Especially if the gifts were above a certain value?

If she profited from the hoax, she might be in deep $**t.

It's the cruel hoaxes by attention seekers feeding off the empathy of others that make me mad. Like Tania Head pretending to be a 9/11 survivor.

Garnering sympathy for a non-existant dead baby takes a kind of twisted I don't get.

SME said...

Unfortunately, TK, I let my curiosity get the better of me and found out what reborn dolls are. Gawd, I wish I hadn't. It's sadder and creepier than people getting Spock-ear surgery.

Apparently the gifts were of no real value, which makes me wonder why folks sent them in the first place. "Sorry about your baby! Here's a worthless trinket!"

These hoaxes are the worst kind, IMO. They prey on people's emotions, kindness, and best intentions, and people do get very hurt.

Anonymous said...

I just had to google "Spock-ear surgery". Gah!

SME said...

Check this out:http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=336

Makes the reborn dolls and ear surgeries look totally sane.

Anonymous said...

She supposedly had holoprosencephaly and trisomy 13. They were both supposedly detected by amino. for the first, that's impossible - it's an error in development and not a genetic condition.