Thursday, September 30, 2010

Jail Isn't The Only Punishment

There are a whole lot of different kinds of crazy out there. Some of the crazy is the kind where the person absolutely can do something to help themselves. And the other kind of crazy is the kind where the person absolutely needs some serious freaking help. And in situations where no one else is really overly harmed, I don't think that there needs to be much more of a penalty than getting the person some serious, and I mean freaking serious, help.

Take the case of a one Bethany Storro. About a month ago, she looked like this:

She's a fairly attractive woman in that photo. I don't know that from looking at that photo (or any photo, for that matter) that you'd be able to tell that she is one seriously disturbed individual. I say that because after August 30, she looked like this:

Yeah, see the facial disfigurement that you're witnessing there came from what she claimed was a black, female stranger coming up to her on the street and throwing acid in her face. Ouchie! She said that a woman who she didn't know came up to her on the street and said something to the effect of, "Hey, pretty girl. Do you want to drink this?" The alleged woman then allegedly threw an extremely caustic substance in Ms. Storro's face. The burning off of her skin did immediately commence.

And yes, that sounds like a tragic tale. Many people thought the same thing and the donations came pouring in to the tune of around $28,000. People can be really giving and generous at times. They can also get seriously pissed off when they find out that the person that they are giving money to staged the whole thing herself and doused her own face with acid. Wait. What now?

Correct. Ms. Storro has admitted to throwing acid in her own face and making up the entire story. According to the Daily Mail (why I can't find this particular bit of information in US media sources would be simply stupefying if I hadn't already come to grips with the fact that the media blows), Ms. Storro "...had poured the drain clogging chemicals on her own face after buying it from a DIY store." So, she burned her facial skin off with Drano, essentially? Seriously. What the what?

See what I mean? She's not well. And here's where the thing gets just a little complicated. (Not much, mind you. Just a little.) See, she took those $28,000 in donations and began spending it on herself and her family. Yeah, you can't do that when you're lying about stuff. It's really frowned upon. She allegedly bought a computer, some clothes, train tickets (people still take trains?), and took her family out for expensive meals. Kind of odd behavior (if you're asking me) from someone whose face was allegedly just ruined in a random, hideous attack by a stranger.

I'm guessing it was behavior such as that which sort of clued the cops in that there might be something more to this. That and the fact that the patterns in which the acid had scarred her face were not consistent with something being splashed upon her. And when she finally confessed that she made the whole thing up, that's exactly what the deal was. It hadn't been splashed. It had been dabbed on, as "...Miss Storro told police her original plan was to commit suicide, but she changed her mind as she dabbed the acid on her face."

Holy freaking hell. How on earth could you stand the pain of having just a little acid dabbed anywhere on your body?! Then again, how on earth could you think that dabbing acid on your face would kill you? I don't know either, but when she realized that she had chosen the wrong suicidal path, "She allegedly told police: ‘When I realised it wasn’t killing me, I thought maybe this was the answer to all my problems - to have a completely different face." Turns out, it was just the beginning of her problems, though she did accomplish her goal of a completely different face.

As is the case with most instances that are completely inexplicable (totally without splick), she thought that she was smarter than everyone else. She told the police, "I thought there would be no evidence of me doing it to myself. I thought that you guys would give up trying to find the person and it would be done." Wow. Not a lot of faith in the long arm of the law. Does she not follow any news at all? If a bunny rabbit gets a blister on its paw and it makes the news, people send in donations like there is no tomorrow. Of course it isn't going to go away that easily.

Because Ms. Storro used the funds that were collected under the guise of her poorly thought out ruse, that amounts to what is called 'theft by deception' and she was charged with three felony counts of it. My question here is: Is that really necessary? Look, I understand that it is not OK at all to take advantage of the inherently good nature of a lot of people. Does this really need to go through the legal system? Can't she just be committed to a mental hospital/facility for quite some time? She is obviously in need of some intense treatment for some severe mental issues. What good is dragging this through the courts going to do? I could see it if she was one of those scumbags who claim to have cancer and then the entire town holds a myriad of bake sales and the person turns out to not have cancer at all and has spent all of the proceeds on a new double wide trailer. Those people need be dealt with by an angry mob of the people that they ripped off. But this woman? Come on. Really?

I don't know how long it will take to treat a woman with the issues that Ms. Storro obviously has, but I hope it takes a really long ass time. I hope that the folks at the facility that she has already checked herself into are going to recognize the extreme depths of her problems and treat her accordingly (unlike the dolts at UCLA who let Lindsay Lohan out after a couple of weeks and said that she doesn't have a substance abuse problem). Make her return the money that she spent and drop the charges. Trust me, she'll be punished for the rest of her life having to live her life as herself. It's never going to be easy from here on out. Isn't that enough? I think that in this case that it probably is.

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