Kidnap victim’s story true or just an elaborate hoax?

Kidnap victim’s story true or just an elaborate hoax?


Sherri Papini – Redding, California


Initially at the news of Sherri Papini being found Thanksgiving morning in chains on the side of the road roughly 140 or so miles from where investigators suspect she was abducted from, it seemed as if a family’s prayers had been answered.

She had been abducted on November 2, 2016 so as you can imagine everyone feared the worst, 21 days had gone by after all.

Now it would seem, that the nightmare hasn’t quite ended.

I asked a very good friend of mine, a detective what his thoughts about this case might be…just a simple “hey what are your thoughts on the Sherri Papini case?” We didn’t get into this long drawn out discussion mind you, but he simply said that when he first heard of it, he was a little skeptical because it’s not often, although not unheard of, that a kidnap victim is found alive, not to mention lack of motive plays a big part in this.

He’s right about that. Most of the time when a kidnapping victim is found alive it is either because the police stumbled across the situation, tracked them, or they were kidnapped as children and forced to stay with the abductor and escaped or were found when they are much older.

Social media is on fire with those that firmly believe that Sherri’s story is nothing but a hoax, even some media has reported in such a way that would cast doubt on the story.

To be completely honest, even I find the story unusual, albeit not unlikely.

A couple of things before we delve into my thoughts here are some details about her case as released by investigators:

Sherri was released Thanksgiving Day in Yolo County

She had been bound with restraints

She described her alleged abductors as two Hispanic women with a gun

She had been battered but investigators did not elaborate on how badly, they did say that they appeared to be non-life threatening, she was treated and released from the hospital

The driver Allison Sutton who found her on the side of the road told the New York Daily News:

“ she didn’t look like she was hurt but she did look scared.”

The details her husband Keith released to Good Morning America are slightly different:

“Her signature long, blonde hair had been chopped off, she has been branded, and I could feel the rise of her scabs under my fingers. She was thrown from a vehicle with a chain around her waist, attached to her wrists and a bag over her head. The same bag she used to flag someone down once she was able to free one of her hands.”

Keith told another media outlet that her face was covered in bruises in varying stages of healing from repeated beatings and that at the time of her rescue she was only 87 pounds.

What’s more is that now according to a couple of media outlets, which users at Reddit jumped on, Sherri ran away back in 2006 and oddly,  staged her own abduction at that time.

With no obvious motive a great many are wondering if the tale is just an elaborate hoax.

A recent story has come out about a racist Facebook post that Sherri posted shortly before her disappearance.

I read the post, and will not post it here because it is part of the ongoing investigation, however if you were to Google it, you might be able to find a copy of it.

At any rate, while it was not over the top racist the impression I got when I first read it was that it had been written by someone attempting to lend credit to a story that was to be told or known about,  that had nothing to do with the point of it which was about halfway through the post.

Midway through it she attempted to make it about “Why Girls Should not Fight.” I don’t know to me it seemed like the switch was to throw investigators or anyone for that matter off the scent of the real motivation behind the post, which was to prove that Hispanics or Latinos are bad people.

Lastly another interesting detail is that according to CNN, Keith never really got around to telling their children that their mother was missing. That in and of itself is not that unusual for the youngest who is 2, but the 4 year old I am guessing might have noticed mommy gone for roughly 21 days.

While investigators have not released all of the details as one might expect and they should not, more questions about the case than answers have taken over social media.

What’s so odd and unusual in fact it’s perplexing is the story of two Hispanic women. So as I explained to my detective friend, I focused on just that.

It’s highly unlikely that any non-US born Hispanic or Latino women would abduct her, first you have to get through the why.  What would the motivation be? It doesn’t make sense.

US born citizens:

Gang initiation – doesn’t make sense because they tend to like to beat them, then leave them pretty quickly.

Cartels – highly unlikely, they do prefer dead victims

Sex trafficking – they tend to like them much younger and really drugged up – CNN did run a story a wee bit back that some in the sex trafficking trade were marking girls, they were doing it with ink, as in tattoo ink.

Perhaps, these two women are part of a party of three and were instructed to abduct Sherri? But again why?

Her facebook post? If she was racist it doesn’t make much sense than anyone other than who was on her facebook would have seen it, meaning the chances of someone who is not white seeing it are greatly reduced.

It could have been shared and inspired some anger…but then, the planning of the abduction, the watching her so the kidnappers could be sure not to get caught and then the subsequent beatings, then to just like that let her go in a really sloppy way. I mean the abduction left virtually no clues…Yet they dump her on the side of the road with a bag over her head?

Women, generally don’t abduct a victim unless they are highly motivated to do so, i.e. being instructed by someone who is more dominate than they are. They sometimes do it in an attempt to obtain a child after the urge to be a mother is far too great to control, the same goes for when they abduct a pregnant woman and cut the child from it’s mother’s womb.

Money is a great motivator…but again in this case no ransom was demanded and to everyone’s knowledge money hasn’t been exchanged so far as investigators have found. They could look into the GoFunMe money the family was able to collect since Sherri’s disappearance? Since she was found alive it’s not going towards a funeral and she was treated and released from the hospital so, I am guessing it’s not going to cover medical bills.

Not to mention that you never really hear of two female abductors being involved with a crime unless they are the submissives in some sort of group…

Investigators have a lot of work to do and they will not leave any stone un-turned.

Throughout history women have created, believe it or not some pretty elaborate stories and hoaxes in efforts to garner attention, keep a lover or husband, cover crimes and to gain a home, money or material possession.

They will change the way they look, they have been knows to self inflict wounds, have friends do it…you name it, it has been done.

In a case with no motivation, it’s difficult to determine if it was all just a lie.

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News


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