GoFundMe campaign to help homeless vet was 'predicated on a lie,' prosecutor says
By AARON KATERSKY
Nov 15, 2018
The "heartwarming tale" of a New Jersey couple helping drug-addicted homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt was "predicated on a lie," designed to dupe thousands of people into contributing to a GoFundMe campaign, a prosecutor said Thursday.
Bobbitt, and the couple, Kate McClure and Mark D'Amico, allegedly conspired to concoct a story to tug at the hearts and wallets of kindhearted individuals, Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said at a news conference Thursday. They initially sought to raise $10,000. But the wildly successful GoFundMe campaign brought in over $400,000.
But every shred of the trio's story, including the part that Bobbitt used his last $20 to help McClure out of a roadside jam when she ran out of gas, was all bogus, Coffina said.
"The entire campaign was predicated on a lie," Coffina said. "Less than an hour after the GoFundMe campaign went live McClure, in a text exchange with a friend, stated that the story about Bobbitt assisting her was fake."
In one of the texts read by Coffina, McClure allegedly wrote to a friend, "Ok, so wait, the gas part is completely made up but the guy isn't. I had to make something up to make people feel bad. So, shush about the made up stuff."
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And yet when this report from the VA came out in April, no one cared.
Analysis of a nationally representative survey of U.S. veterans in 2015 shows that veterans with a history of homelessness attempted suicide in the previous two years at a rate 5.0 times higher compared with veterans without a history of homelessness (6.9% versus 1.2%), and their rates of two-week suicidal ideation were 2.5 times higher (19.8% versus 7.4%).Oh, sure, they go onto Facebook, find something they can use and bingo! Instant fame...and usually fortune follows.
In one of the earliest reports from NJ.com on this scam, there was this toward the end.
In the weeks since, she’s returned to the spot along I-95 where Johnny stays with cash, snacks and Wawa gift cards. Each time she’s stopped by with her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, they’ve learned a bit more about Johnny’s story, and become humbled by his gratitude. Eventually, the Florence Township couple knew they had to do something more.“I would say, ‘I keep thinking about that guy,’” D’Amico said. And McClure was thinking about Johnny, too.
So they launched a GoFundMe campaign, putting an ambitious $10,000 goal and hoping to rein in a few hundred dollars to book Johnny a motel for a few nights where he could clean up, and start to get back on his feet. In just over a week, the campaign has garnered more than $5,000 in donations, and continues to grow.Associated Press picked the story up two days later on November 22, 2017.
After all, I do not believe what I see on Facebook unless I can track it back to...you guessed it, an actual news story.
Assuming that reporters actually did their jobs, asked questions and made sure what they were told was actually the truth, should have all of us questioning other things they "shared" that turned out to be far from the truth.
If you read Wounded Times, I am sure you know exactly where I am going with this. Straight to the crap about "raising awareness" on "22" veterans killing themselves and how the talkers seem to be getting a lot more attention for a rumor than the veterans they are supposed to know about.
After all, how can anyone "raise awareness" unless they have vast knowledge on the subject. You know. Taken a lot of time to understand what they are supposed to be sharing with the masses. You'd think a topic as important enough to cause them to spend so much time putting attention on, would actually do something to address the "problem" they claim matters so much. But then again, you'd have to assume they had any intention of changing the outcome.
So, social media pushed their stunts and pushups but it seems as if no one on social media bothered to ask them what their stunts would do to save a life.
No one asked them what qualified them to take on such a serious matter, or even why they deserved the money. No one asked if that number was the truth. Hey, maybe everyone just assumed that since they read about it in news reports, it had to be true.
The problem is, the people getting all the attention, and funds, for talking about the headline, did not even think it was important enough to read anything beyond the headline.
Gee, do you think they might have found the report itself important? Do you think they may have wanted to see what had been done over the previous 4 decades to discover what worked and know what failed before they took to social media and contacted the press?
Now there is an awakening going on but it is too late for far too many to apologize, unless you want to go to a cemetery, if they had enough money for a funeral.
Next time something is worthy of your support, make sure it really is or we are going to continue to see the "awareness" folks get rich off the suffering they had no intentions of changing.