To the Surprise of No One … Balloon Boy Incident was a Hoax & Publicity Stunt … Heene Family facing Criminal Charges
It’s official … “Balloon Boy” incident was a hoax. Sheriff anticipates criminal charges.
Charges expected in Colorado balloon case. There may also be federal FAA charges as well. Richard and Mayumi Heene will not be winning any parent of the year awards anytime soon as they face many criminal charges in the near future including contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
This probably comes as a surprise to no one as many had speculated why law enforcement had not stated as much sooner. As we stated early on in this story, we should have all known better when the balloon at the center of the story looked like a tin foil hat. However, as Larimer County law enforcement gathered the facts and became increasingly suspicious of the story, it is as Sheriff Jim Alderden stated Sunday in a press conference … “Authorities know there was “a conspiracy” between Richard and Mayumi Heene and “It has been determined that this is a hoax,” adding police “believe we have evidence at this point that it was a publicity stunt.”
“It has been determined that this is a hoax,” the sheriff said, adding police “believe we have evidence at this point that it was a publicity stunt” by the family in hopes of “better marketing themselves for a reality show at some point in the future.”
The dramatic announcement included an admission by Alderden that authorities misled the media on Friday when they said they still believed it was not a hoax.
In fact, after a comment on CNN Thursday night by Falcon, the 6-year-old boy, “it became very clear to us at that point that they were lying,” Alderden said. But in order to get to the truth, “it was very important that they maintain their trust with us.” So investigators misled the media while they carried out their “game plan” of gathering the truth.
No charges have been filed yet and no arrests; however, this is only a matter of time. The Heene’s are facing a myriad of charges from conspiracy to delinquency of a minor. The Larimer County Sheriff stated that all three of the Heenes’ sons knew of the balloon hoax; however, they would not be charged of any crimes due to their ages.
The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office will recommend charges of conspiracy, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, false reporting to authorities, and attempting to influence a public servant against the Heenes.
No charges have been filed yet, and neither Richard or Mayumi Heene are under arrest. Some of the most serious charges each carry a maximum sentence of six years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
One must admit that as the story evolved of “Balloon Boy” it became more and more obvious that the story was a scam. How ironic that in the end it was not just the silver flying saucer balloon that was full of hot air, it was the Heene family.
People were questioning the truth of the story; however, when Falcon Heene stated the following in an interview with Wolf Blitzer, “We did it for the show,” all bets were off. It was some what stunning that a news organization like CNN did not pick up on this comment and question what the 6 year old meant. What would Anita Dunn say?
Out of the mouth of babes, “We did this for the show”
For the first time, 25-year-old researcher Robert Thomas reveals to Gawker how earlier this year he and Richard Heene drew up a master plan to generate a massive media controversy using a weather balloon. To get famous, of course.
Thomas spent several months earlier this year working on developing a reality science TV show to pitch to networks.
One had to speculate when this first occurred how could a video be running of the silver balloon when it was tethered by string not show the 6 year old boy getting into the balloon?
Authorities believe the family planned the hoax for at least two weeks prior to Thursday’s saga. “On the bizarre meter, this rates a 10,” Alderden said.
“These people are actors. Not only have they appeared in several reality shows…the way they established their relationship was at an acting school in Hollywood. They put on a very good show,” Alderden said. “Clearly we were manipulated by the family.”
Acknowledging that the media grew wary of the Heenes’ story before Sunday’s announcement, Alderden insisted that his office built an investigation based on facts.
“There was a lot of skepticism, a lot of conjecture,” Alderden said, “but we have to operate on facts.” Officials, alarmed by a series of bizarre television interviews given by the Heene family, carried out an investigation with “the goal of getting a confession” from the family, Alderden said.
UPDATE II: Watch Sheriffs Press Conference Here
The liar, lawyer, reprsentinging the parents of balloon boy said that his clients are willing to turn themsleves in and face the charges. Well that’s mighty big of them seeing they soon will not have a choice and the minute charges are formally filed they will be doing a perp walk.
Denver attorney David Lane says he’s representing Richard and Mayumi Heene. He says he wants to avoid “the public spectacle and humiliation” of police arresting them in the presence of their children.