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Kaycee Nicole Hoax

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 7 months ago

About the Kaycee Nicole hoax:


Kaycee Nicole started out as a created persona from a teenaged girl. It was probably an attempt to make herself look just a little better than life.


The really twisted part of this saga is that at some point, Kaycee's persona was taken over by the girl's mother, who eventually faked Kaycee's cancer and death.


It caused a lot of problems, because the people on the other end of the modem really believed Kaycee existed. They had emailed, read her journal and site, cried at learning of her 'illness' and grieved her death.


How utterly betrayed they were.


It's one thing to go online and not give your name, show your picture, not give your number out etc. It's okay to use a nickname or some other name you just like to have. Sometimes, under certain circumstances, it's okay to pretend you're something you're not, that's how kiddy porn sites get busted and shut down.


But headgaming people by pretending to be somebody dying of an illness, or some other really tragic thing that actually causes others to weep over your sad experience, when none of the such happened, 'slimy' doesn't go far enough in describing how low down that is.


Chain mail often does the same thing, only not quite to the extent as the Kaycee Nicole hoaxter did. It's just sick. Infuriating how social parasites can get away with so much.


Links from the Kaycee-Nicole Yahoogroup page:


Kaycee Nicole FAQ Detailed accounting of the affair from start to finish. If you're writing a story on Kaycee, start here. The Kuro5hin story is more detailed and accurate, though, and this FAQ has come under fire for taking conjecture and assumption as fact. http://rootnode.org/article.php?sid=26DanHartung


"Kaycee"/Swenson Family/Julie Photo Archive If you have more photos to add, please send them to caren@blueeyes.co.uk http://www.simplycaren.net/kcsimplycaren


CollegeClub Photo Album Photo Album belonging to Kaycee at CC.com http://www.collegeclub.com/f/d.asp?u=http%3A%2F%2Fphotos%2Ecollegeclub%2Ecom%2Fj%2FLogin%3FUser%3DKutebabe%40collegeclub%2Ecomsimplycaren


CollegeClub Terms of Use For reference. http://www.collegeclub.com/about_us/channelarticle.asp?id=42&article_id=34441DanHartung


Debbie's Final Post BWG has left her final blog post as the only remnant of the two weblogs he hosted. http://vanderwoning.com/living/mblog.shtmlDanHartung


Debbie's Return? No proof yet, but it does sound like something she could have written. Maybe she'll try to explain herself more in the future. http://livingcolours.blogspot.comDanHartung


Deconstructing Kaycee A psychologist's take http://psychcentral.com/blogs/kaycee.htmacridrabbit


Gracemont High School Girl's Basketball Team Photos of the Gracemont High School Girl's Basketball Team maintained by the Swensons. These photos helped track down the name of Julie Fullbright via the team roster. http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Frontrow/3838/gracemont/index.htmlnightngle


Halcyon's Kaycee Flash Last year, Halcyon created this little cartoon to introduce people to Kaycee. http://www.prehensile.com/loves/kaycee/kaycee.htmDanHartung


Host of Kaycee's Blog Apologizes Direct link to Randall van der Woning's apology. Randall goes by the moniker "bwg". http://www.vanderwoning.com/mess.shtmlDanHartung


KCsCoolMom page at College Club Debbie created this page in the persona of Kaycee's mother. http://home.collegeclub.com/KCsCoolMom/allstar.htmlDanHartung


Kaycee Geocities page Part of a site apparently set up by Kelli's father. Not linked to from main site. http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Frontrow/3838/kc.htmlDanHartung


Kaycee Nicole: Internet Hoax A list of links to articles and other resources, put together by About's Chatting Online Guide, Julie Martin. http://chatting.about.com/library/blkaycee.htmjournalistic...


Kaycee's College Club Page Original Webpage at College Club since ca. 1998 http://home.collegeclub.com/kutebabeDanHartung


Kaycee's Photo Double From the evidence, it appears that the photos passed off as Kaycee were of Gracemont basketball star Julie Fullbright. http://sports.snu.edu/players/Basketball/women/Julie_Fullbright/DanHartung


Kaycee: Faking Life and Death Online? An online community is devastated to find out that a friend they have followed for several months was not real, but a made up persona. Find out more about the story of Kaycee Nicole and how to keep yourself safe when pursuing online relationships. http://netconference.about.com/internet/netconference/library/weekly/aa052201a.htmKutebabe


(Kaycee) College Club Profile Sketchy personal information here. http://www.collegeclub.com/userprofile/asp_profiledetail.asp?CCSection=MatchU&userid=10000000260545DanHartung


Lies Online About's Chatting Online Guide, Julie Martin (not Fullbright), covers the story of Debbie's confession. http://chatting.about.com/library/weekly/aa052101a.htmjournalistic...


Lies Online II About's Chatting Online Guide, Julie Martin, shares some new answers. http://chatting.about.com/library/weekly/aa052301a.htmjournalistic...


MIRROR of many Kaycee sites Christine is compiling a mirror of whatever she can, before they're taken down. http://www.strangecat.org/kaycee/DanHartung


MIRROR: Logboy's Archive Includes mirrors of the MeFi threads, Debbie's final posting, as well as a chatroom. http://www.logboy.com/jr/main.aspDanHartung


MIRROR: SimplyCaren's collection of Kaycee images Some are mirrored from the various Kaycee websites, others come from third-party sources. The most complete collection of images of "Kaycee" or as we now suspect Julie Fullbright. http://www.simplycaren.net/kc/DanHartung


More pictures from Kaycee Some pictures of interiors and landscapes that are stored on Kaycee's MSN community page. http://content.communities.msn.com/isapi/fetch.dll?action=get_album&ID_Community=KCruisin&ID_Topic=1y6y6y6 DanHartung


Munchausen By Internet article Munchausen's syndrome (faking illness in self or others) in internet forums http://healtheoffice.com/munchausen_by_internet.htmDanHartung


New York Times article on College Club Quotes a Kaycee Swenson. Appeared to help establish her bona fides at the time. ("channel" free ride doesn't work.) http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/00/08/circuits/articles/10dorm.htmlDanHartung


Possibly a photo Debbie From http://www.vanderwoning.ca/archives/2001may20.html#scam http://www.vanderwoning.ca/images/KCmom.jpgcaptcrackpipe


Swenson Family Page Switchboard page for Debbie Swenson and family. Only shows two children, Kelli and Bryan, who do match information given in "Kaycee's" blog. http://home.switchboard.com/swensonupdatesDanHartung


Tazwoman page at College Club Peter was an online friend of "Kaycee". Some high-quality pictures here. http://home.collegeclub.com/Tazwoman/DanHartung


the e-mail of kaycee nicole Collection of e-mail sent by kaycee during '98 through 2000, includes her collegeclub host application and many personal messages. http://www.mojofat.com/kayceepoorbob


Blog Post-Mortems Responses by various webloggers to the situation after it became clear Kaycee was a hoax.DaveNet: Faking a Death Online Dave Winer's response to the brouhaha. A concise summary of events. Compares public reaction with 1938 Halloween War of the Worlds broadcast. http://davenet.userland.com/2001/05/20/fakingADeathOnlineDanHartung


Deconstructing Kaycee John Grohol, net.personality in the psychology arena, analyzes the Kaycee creation ... and creator. http://psychcentral.com/blogs/kaycee.htmDanHartung


Derek Powazek post His perspective on online communities has been jolted by this situation. Several interesting additional posts by readers. http://www.powazek.com/zoom/log/archive/00000058.shtmlDanHartung


Halcyon Radio Show 5/23 Halcyon hosts an internet radio show every Wednesday. This is the first post-hoax show. Several of the people who were duped and who helped uncover the hoax call in. One hour; Windows Media Player required. http://img2.com/asx/firstluuuv05-23-01.asxDanHartung


Halcyon: Hoax John Styn was perhaps the most well-known of the online friends of "Kaycee". (He won a Webby.) His thoughts on the aftermath are here. Previous posts on Kaycee are also available in his archives. http://cockywrds.diaryland.com/010520_63.htmlDanHartung


Kaya, Kaycee and Me E-mail post-mortem between Jim "Kaya" Styn and Jimformation. http://www.jimformation.com/misc/kaya.htmDanHartung


Kristin Thomas: Tell me what hospital she's in One doubter explains why -- and why it matters that we trust each other online http://www.sperare.com/archives/may01/20may01.htmlDanHartung


More on Debbie Swenson Personal thoughts on the Kaycee hoax. http://bonni.net/blog/archives/00000025.htmlalicorna


Steven Den Beste: Trust Online Thoughts compiled after the hoax became clear. http://home.san.rr.com/denbeste/trust.htmlDanHartung


Tranquileye: The Kaycee Effect Reflections on the Kaycee hoax. http://tranquileye.com/kaycee/jamesapatten


Doubts and Discussions From September, 2000 there were scattered instances of skeptical posts. (Many times these were drowned out by people defending "Kaycee".) The final chorus of inquiry started with Kristin at Threewayaction, moved to Becky's blog, then when "Kaycee" died to Headspace, and acridrabbit posted the Headspace to Metafilter. The Metafilter discussion spawned a weekend-long investigation, which led to the exposure.


Becky Says entry on Kaycee. Becky first raised doubts about the Kaycee construct in February (!), three months before her "death". http://becky-says.diaryland.com/20010520.html DanHartung


Becky-Says Aftermath The explanation of why and how this all got started http://becky-says.diaryland.com/20010523.htmlanywherebeyond


Discussion on Beth/Xeney's forum The discussion spills over from the blogger world to the on-line journallers world. http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=005H0yacridrabbit


Halcyon Board (9/2000) Cockybastard's discussion board introduced many people to Kaycee here. Doubts were posted (2nd page, end), and Kaycee was defended (3rd page, top: bwg). http://www.teacosy.net/ubb/Forum6/HTML/000018.htmlDanHartung


Headspace 5/17 Headspace raises questions in an elliptical, satirical format, suggesting BWG is the author of both weblogs. http://www.anywherebeyond.com/2001/0501/051701.htmlDanHartung


Headspace 5/18 Headspace admits previous post was about Kaycee and BWG, further detailing case. Sparked initial MeFi thread. http://www.anywherebeyond.com/2001/0501/051801.htmlDanHartung


Headspace 5/20 Final Headspace post on Kaycee, after brouhaha broke. http://www.anywherebeyond.com/2001/0501/052001.htmlDanHartung


Metafilter Thread #0 September, 2000 thread promoting Kaycee's blog. Skeptics and cynics abounded, even then: there was much acrimony. Perfectly illustrates the divisive effect of Munchausen by Internet (see that article) on a virtual community. http://www.metafilter.com/comments.mefi/3259DanHartung


Metafilter Thread #1 Does Kaycee Exist? Thread 285K http://www.metafilter.com/comments.mefi/7819DanHartung


Metafilter Thread #2 Kaycee Was a Hoax Thread, after BWG Posts Disclaimer 300K http://www.metafilter.com/comments.mefi/7841DanHartung


Metafilter Thread #3 BWG Removes Blog, Apologizes http://www.metafilter.com/comments.mefi/7856DanHartung


Threewayaction: November 2000 Skepticism Kristin posted some pointed opinions in the Threewayaction forum in November, during a conversation about the EverQuest guide-suicide hoax. http://www.threewayaction.com/ubb/Forum14/HTML/000041.htmlDanHartung


Wunderblog 5/18 Snarky journal-critiquer takes on the Kaycee situation. Helped focus attention on inconsistencies. Don't miss the comment threads. http://heliophobic.net/wunderblog/archives/00000097.shtmlDanHartung


Wunderblog 5/18 2 Follow-up anonymous e-mail posted. http://heliophobic.net/wunderblog/archives/00000100.shtmlDanHartung


Wunderblog 5/18 3 More snarky comments on people who were honestly mourning Kaycee. Links to other discussion boards. http://heliophobic.net/wunderblog/archives/00000101.shtmlDanHartung


Media Coverage Links to articles about the hoax A painful affair of the Internet heart MSNBC article about the hoax not 100% up to date, but good info on gift-giving aspects http://msnbc.com/news/576899.asp?cp1=1DanHartung


Australian IT: Tell Someone Who Cares Article about blogging. Mentions several Aussie blogs, brief mention of Kaycee at end. http://australianit.news.com.au/common/storyPage/0,3811,2032359^501,00.htmlDanHartung


Corriere della Sera "Sono malata grande truffa su I" Italian News Coverage; cred to MetaFilter http://www.corriere.it/Primo_Piano/Cronache/05_Maggio/24/truffa.shtmlanywherebeyond


Dan Gillmor: Did Kaycee Live, or Die? First professional journalist to address the story, in his weblog. Very brief. http://web.siliconvalley.com/content/sv/2001/05/20/opinion/dgillmor/weblog/index.htmDanHartung


Fox News Network: "Girl Alive and Well..." Focuses mostly on Julie and Debbie, similar to the Eagle's story http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,25662,00.htmlanywherebeyond


Fraude na Rede Brazilian coverage of the story, w/ links to the MeFi Faq http://www.no.com.br/servlets/newstorm.notitia.apresentacao.ServletDeNoticia?codigoDaNoticia=21877&dataDoJornal=atualanywherebeyond


Girl's illness was web hoax Regionally-circulating AP wire story. Also picked up by FOXNews.com. http://cjonline.com/stories/052601/kan_webhoax.shtmlDanHartung


Inside: Webloggers Cope With Death, Denial The first real press story. May 21 afternoon. http://www.inside.com/page/page_display?process=StoryInsideDope&sub_process=cda.story&process_right=com.inside.cda.insidedope.InsideDopeRight&article_id=31316DanHartung


Italia Online "Impossibile visualizzare la persona" More Italian coverage http://scanali:sc2k!@stage-canali.iol.it/societa/primopiano.htmlanywherebeyond


Kaycee's Story (Local TV Coverage) KWCH-TV interviews Debbie, Julie, and devastated online friend (no video here, sorry) http://www.kwch.com/MGBGK4ZN3NC.htmlDanHartung


Kaycee's tear-jerking 'blog' was all online bilge Australian I.T. magazine http://it.mycareer.com.au/news/2001/06/05/FFXU2YJ4JNC.htmlanywherebeyond


Kur05hin: The Life and Death of a False Warrior Very detailed and accurate in its timeline. Marred by some guffaws from the peanut gallery in the chat section. http://www.kuro5hin.org/?op=displaystory&sid=2001/5/22/11120/1650DanHartung


MSNBC Front Page exposure Screenshot of the MSNBC front page with Kaycee Hoax coverage http://www.openwire.com/collections/Refs/kaycee_msnbcfront.jpgfooljay


Medica Guardian - UK A well written piece about the hoax, and the problem of online identity verification http://www.mediaguardian.co.uk/mediaguardian/story/0,7558,497418,00.htmlnightngle


Minneapolis Star - Tribune Article Their take on the situation http://www.startribune.com/viewers/qview/cgi/qview.cgi?story=84240541&timmopussycat (Link messed up, no other link found to work.)


Netslaves: Kaycee Nicole Rests in Pieces Netslaves offers its wry take on the proceedings. http://www.netslaves.com/comments/990564969.shtmlDanHartung


New York Times Coverage We've hit the bigtime, boys. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/31/technology/31HOAX.htmltweebiscuit


Oklahoman: Victim puts face on hoax Story from Julie Fullbright's perspective (as the woman in the photos used to portray "Kaycee"). See other link for photo. http://www.oklahoman.com/cgi-bin/show_article?ID=690065&TP=getarticle DanHartung


Peabody Gazette Follow-up article about FBI investigation. Includes picture of Debbie with her son and Julie. http://www.peabodykansas.com/23hoax.htmlnightngle


Peabody, KS Newspaper article Hometown newspaper of the Swenson's. Includes quote from Debbie. http://www.peabodykansas.com/21nichole.htmljennak1202


RWC Activist "Life and death..." http://rwcactivist.com/main.cfm?include=detail&storyid=77891anywherebeyond


Seattle Post Intelligencer Same story as the NY Times http://seattlep-i.nwsource.com/national/25411_hoax31.shtmlanywherebeyond


Suck.Com "Hit and Run" Umm, pretty much what you'd expect from Suck http://www.suck.com/daily/2001/05/24/1.htmlanywherebeyond


The sad yet Untrue Story of Kaycee Jon Carroll defends Debbie and her creation http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/06/05/DD140021.DTLanywherebeyond


Web community fooled by cancer victim hoax Hong Kong paper writes about hoax; interviews BWG (van der Woning). Also, states BWG was going to fly to US from Hong Kong only days after Kaycee "died." USERID: metafilter PASS: filter http://technology.scmp.com/ZZZ71F5UTMC.htmljennak1202


Wichita Eagle: "Girl's Leukemia A Fraud..." Mostly about Julie and Debbie; comments on whether charges will be filed http://web.wichitaeagle.com/content/wichitaeagle/2001/05/25/kansas/0525hoax_txt.htmanywherebeyond


Wired News - "They Think They Feel Your Pain" a very good article exploring the Munchausen angle, mentions the "Kaycee" hoax and includes other similar cases. http://www.wirednews.com/news/medtech/0,1286,44245,00.htmlnightngle


Members Websites Miscellany Related, ancillary material. Brill's Parody Cover A parody of the Brill's content

cover with Matt Haughey. Pokes fun at the investigative zeal of the Metafilter community. http://www.hijinks.com/~mark/brills.htmlDanHartung


College Club Meltdown Live As the original business burned, some ex-employees fiddled. http://www.spies.com/~gus/ran/0006/cclive.htmDanHartung


See Summer Swing Dance An online tribute to Summer Brannin, a 21 year old cancer victim who went skyward in 1998. There's a charity record called Songs For Summer you can check out and be sure that a worthy cause (Free Arts For Abused Children) will benefit. If that's not relevant enough to be a link on this page, in a strange coincidence, she knew John Halcyon. http://www.thesummersite.comsongsforsummer


Other Hoaxes Stories about other instances of hoaxing or identity shifting.


A Rape in Cyberspace Seminal 1993 Julian Dibble piece in Village Voice about Mr. Bungle's virtual misbehavior on LambaMOO (an online game/community) http://www.levity.com/julian/bungle.htmlDanHartung


Anandtech Hoax A poster on Anandtech created a female persona out of curiosity, then "married" her, then "killed" her in a car accident. Questions were raised, and he could not sustain the charade. http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/19045.htmlDanHartung


Arbeit Mach Fraud: the Wilkomski Affair New Republic book review concerning the story of a man who wrote an acclaimed Holocaust-survivor account (Fragments) that was later proven to be completely fraudulent. It is still considered moving writing, but due in no small part to the efforts of Holocaust deniers, truthfulness is very important in this topic. http://www.tnr.com/043001/alter043001.htmlDanHartung


Ben Brown Played Ben writes of an instant-messaging friend who repeatedly set up, then blew off, meetings with him. http://benbrown.com/daily/cds.cgi?c=2000/05/03DanHartung


Identity and Deception in the Virtual Community Academic paper from the MIT Media Lab. http://smg.media.mit.edu/people/Judith/Identity/IdentityDeception.htmlDanHartung


Jessa Journal Faked An early online-journal predecessor: Jessa admits in 1996 that she faked her journal and persona. http://toybox.groovegarden.com/jessa/journal/nov96/truth.htmlDanHartung


Kysa Braswell - Uncovered An expose on a hoax concerning a beautiful deaf girl w/ brain cancer. http://www.ratatak.com/mod.php?mod=userpage&menu=1100&page_id=5friendlyfascist


Life, Death & EverQuest A guide gets fired, commits suicide, is mourned, and then turns out never to have existed http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2000/11/21/virtual_suicide/index.htmlDanHartung


This American Life: Hoaxing Yourself Episode focusing on situations where people were so far into fake situations they believed it themselves. http://www.thislife.org/pages/descriptions/00/155.htmlDanHartung


oZ diary hoax Another online-journal predecessor: close to 2 year diary purportedly written by a woman under the pseudonym "Ophelia Z", but in reality imagined by Ryan Ozawa, founder of Open Pages webring/Diarist.net http://www.geocities.com/Athens/6666/Diary/diary.htmlbigfattycoon

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