Bethany Storro: Acid Victim Admits to Hoax

Many of you have probably already heard of Bethany Storro,  a Vanouver, Washington resident who, back in August, claimed an African-American woman in her 20’s threw acid on her face as she called out, “Hey pretty girl, do you want to drink this?”.

Recent news coverage now says that the story that Storro told was false and that the wounds that she suffered were self-inflicted.

Storro’s attack allegedly had happened outside a Starbucks coffee shop but no witnesses could be found. Now that we understand that this was a hoax, many red flags come up:  no witnesses in the vicinity of a Starbucks coffee shop?

We now know that Storro fabricated the whole event in almost its entirety.

Discrepancies in her story led to a search of her house and eventually when questioned by police she admitted to self inflicting her injuries.  According to another article on CBS’s website, fundraisers reportedly raised $28,000 dollars to support Storro and her family.  However, Storro allegedly spent lavish amounts of those fundraiser dollars on a dinner, which cost $1,500, a new computer and new clothes none of which was reported to have been spent on any medical expenses or needs pertaining to future medical needs.

In light of the overwhelming evidence that supports her confession, Storro is being charged with felony second degree charges and an arrest warrant has been issued as of Monday September 20, 2010.  Coincidentally, she was hospitalized (again) Monday September 20 for unknown reasons.  If convicted of charges she could spend a maximum of 5 years in jail.

Other red flags now appear in her story: according to the article “We didn’t know she had problems” posted on September18, 2010 in Mail Online World News, Storro has been almost deaf since childhood, which makes it questionable as to how she could clearly understand what her assailant said.  She also supposedly had just purchased a pair of sunglasses, which she was wearing during this night time attack and which proved helpful in saving her eyesight which would have been severely damaged.  After spending hundreds of hours on the case, according to Vancouver police Commander Schuman, police eventually began to entertain the idea that this could be self inflicted when doctors suggested that the wound pattern resembled that of pouring or rubbing rather than throwing.  There were no injuries to her neck area which is odd.  Storro also withdrew from a scheduled appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show.  Perhaps her withdrawal was due to guilt and her sincere remorse for her hoax?

Storro’s verbal statements and body language could provide some insight into her deception.

Take a look at the video below and pay particular attention to Storro’s verbal statements and her body language.  While it is hard to read her facial expressions because of all the bandages, we can pick apart her words to see if there are any inconsistencies between what she is saying and what her body language is showing.

Do you see any hot spots now that you know she was being untruthful? What do you think these quotes reveal about the inner working of this young, psychologically distraught woman?

Storro’s story is an excellent example of how just checking the facts of a story can help you decide whether the story was true or false. In order to get the truth, its important to get the whole story and then verify if those facts add up.

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7 responses to “Bethany Storro: Acid Victim Admits to Hoax”

  1. Gianluca says:

    Ok, I try: When she’s talking about the fact that the aggressor wreck her life, she ends with an asimettrical shoulder shrug.
    When she’s talking about her sunglasses she shakes her head like no..

  2. A says:

    “I can’t let what she did to me… um…. wreck my life”.

    Pausing at this point, as if she’s trying to remember what she wanted to say, or figure out what she’s supposed to feel.

    “If we can catch that girl, oh, that would be awesome. A miracle”.

    It would be “awesome. a miracle” if they catch the girl who mutilated her face. Weird choice of words.

    Then she says she’ll forgive her someday. It seems way too soon, still with bandages on, to say something like that.

  3. TrevorGoodchild says:

    At 5:43 did he say “not here in a TRUE civilization”? LOL! Thats just wrong.

  4. Russ Conte says:

    She has not been nearly deaf since childhood. My master’s degree is in working with people with disabilities, with a speciality in working with the Deaf. She has a hearing loss, she is not deaf. She’s not even close. Everything about her speech indicates that she can understand speech, she can understand what people say to her. Not 100%, but she is doing well in communication on her own. I have had friends who are Deaf since birth. Their speech is not like this at all. Not even close.

    I think her story is a great example of getting all the facts, and making sure they line up, to get at the truth.

    Russ Conte

  5. Russ, thanks for your comment. Maybe you can clarify to readers (and to us) the difference between a loss of hearing and being deaf. Several news sources claim that she was “partially deaf” since childhood. Perhaps the term “deaf” is being misused?

  6. Russ Conte says:

    Glad to help. Deaf is a very rich culture, and there is much more to it than I’ll say here. In general, a person who is Deaf has virtually no hearing. If they are pre-lingually Deaf (lost all hearing before learning language, as she was supposed to have done), then language development is extremely limited. It can be done, but imagine learning to speak Greek or Hungarian or Japanese in silence. Virtually all of those people that I’ve known use American Sign Language to communicate. This is a very good example of what it sounds like:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssoAXO3hb3g&feature=related

    On the other hand, a person who has some hearing will more accurately produce speech, such as Bethany Storro. If you watch the first couple of minutes of this video, you’ll be able to tell right away who is hard of hearing and who is pre-lingually Deaf (and their is a voice over translation for the person’s ASL):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6S7H7mWP1-I

    I hope this helps.

    Russ Conte

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