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Not all hoaxers are minorities. With whites, however, the motive is usually to implicate someone else in a crime that they committed themselves, and the account seems more credible if, under the circumstances, the offender is Black or some other minority. Several of the cases discovered also involve false rape accusations directed toward anonymous black males. Cases where the motive of the hoax is to falsely implicate minorities in anti-white racism are apparently rare. Cases Benjamin Hull, a lab technician at Sun Ridge Foods in Sunnyside, Washington, reported that a group of Hispanic youths shot off his leg on New Year’s Day 1991 when he surprised them outside his place of employment. Hull filed disability claims and collected some $95,000 in benefits. Nearly two years later Hull plead guilty to filing false claims and theft. He admitted that he shot himself to end pain in his leg resulting from a 1973 industrial accident. Hull was sentenced to an additional six months of work release because of aggravating circumstances in the case. According to Yakima County Superior Court Judge Susan Hahn, "The aggravating circumstance is his use of a negative social stereotype, especially here when we fight this every A day. 0ur quality of life depends on us making significant headway on these problems. Another case in which a minority was falsely blamed in conjunction with the cover-up of a crime involved the widely-publicized 1989 Boston case in which a murder, committed to collect insurance, was falsely attributed to an anonymous black man. On the evening of 23 October 1989 Charles Stuart and his pregnant wife, Carol, left a childbirth class at a local hospital and were on their way home when, according to Charles Stuart, a black gunman forced his way into their automobile. The gunman forced them to drive to another location where he demanded cash and jewelry. Then the gunman shot Carol Stuart in the head and wounded Charles Stuart in the abdomen. Charles Stuart called police on a car telephone to report that his wife had been killed and he had been shot by a black assailant in the Mission Hill district. The gruesome scene, including a dramatic tape of rescue efforts by police and paramedics, stirred a volatile mixture of fear and outrage. As a victim, Stuart became a media hero. In the meantime, Willie Bennett, a black man, was arrested after Stuart identified him as looking "most like" the murderer. The story began to unravel when skillful police investigation produced evidence that pointed to Stuart as the killer out to collect on a substantial insurance policy. Charles’ brother, Matthew Stuart, went to police and confessed to being an accessory after the fact. He had helped Charles dispose of incriminating evidence. with police closing in, Charles Stuart committed A suicide by jumping off a bridge into the Mystic River. Willie Bennett was, of course, exonerated. What was scary about the a case is how journalists initially bought Charles Stuart’s story when there was evidence to doubt it from the beginning. According to news reports, "Many Boston journalists concede that they were aware of rumors and inconsistencies almost from the start about the husband’s account..." It’s important to note that the purpose of Stuart’s fabrication was not to commit a "hate crime" hoax, but to divert attention from himself. His designation of the killer as a black man was credible in a community with a high black crime rate. Statistically, the killer was more likely to be black than white. Occasionally one member of a "victimized" class will perpetrate a hoax or fabrication against a member of another "victimized" class. .The most common example is when a woman claims to have been raped by a member of a minority group. This happened at George Washington University in the District of Columbia in December 1990 when a student, Mariam Kashani, reported a rape incident which never occurred to the campus paper (appropriately named The Hatchet). She told of an incident in which two young black men "with particularly bad body odor" had raped a white female student at knifepoint, and The Hatchet reported the incident without sufficiently confirming the authenticity of the various sources. According to New York Times reporter Felicity Barringer: "The effect was electric. Students called their parents. University administrators called trustees. The campus police called the District of Columbia police. Then, the day after the newspaper report, a lawyer for Mariam Kashani, the sophomore who said she knew the victim and was the newspaper’s main source of information about the attack, called the campus police to say she [Kashani] made up the report." Ms. Kashani, an active feminist who had been involved in rape crisis counseling at Tulane University, had also said that the rapists had told the victim, "You were pretty good for a white girl." When confronted about the incident, Ms. Kashani used an excuse often invoked in hoaxes. She said that she "had hoped the story, as reported, would highlight the problems of safety for women." Ronnie Thaxton, campus black activist, said, "I was outraged. think it was just another attempt by some white people to discredit young black males in this country." In December 1993 a 15-year-old Norwood, Massachusetts, white girl falsely claimed that she had been attacked by four black women who shouted racial slurs at her. According to news reports: "Norwood Police Detective Sgt. William G. Brooks said the girl who reported being attacked December 23 by four strangers...was actually injured in a pre-arranged fight with another young woman. Brooks said that when the victim sustained cuts and scratches, she invented the story about being jumped to explain the injuries to her parents." Police charged the girl as a juvenile with falsely reporting a crime, a misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $500 or one year in jail. In Hazel Park, Michigan, a 31-year-old white woman "told police that three bat-wielding black men beat her and kidnapped her friend last November (1989) at an automatic teller machine in Ferndale." According to police, the whole thing was a hoax devised by the woman, who is married, concocted after her boyfriend beat her up. In October, 1989, two white women from Sterling Heights falsely reported that two black males robbed and beat them in the Oakland Mall parking lot. The women said that the man fired a shot into their car. According to news reports "Police investigators said the women, both 18, were indeed robbed, but police said the assault occurred as the women were trying to buy marijuana in a Detroit alley. Police said the women made up the story to explain the damage to the car. 1 "Judge Hands Stiff Sentence To Han Who Shot Off Own Leg," The Oregonian (21 November 1993). 2 Bill Hewitt, et. al., "A Cold Killer’s Chilling Charade, People Magazine (27 January 1990). 3 Alex S. Jones, "Bias and Recklessness Are Charged In Boston Report of Stuart Slaying." New York Times (14 January 1990). 4 Felicity Barringer, "False Report of Rape Upsets Washington University Campus." new York Times (12 December 1990). 5 Ibid. 6 Indira A. R. Oakshmanan, "Police Say Norwood Girl Lied Abut Racial Attack," Boston Globe (30 December 1993). 7 Susan Watson, "Boogeyman of Racial Hysteria Wines, Dines Among Us," Detroit Free Press (7 January 1990). 8 Ibid.