There are few things as crazy as catfish stories. Whether a catfish has been caught red-handed, unmasked gradually, or just suspected, the experience of being ‘catfished’ is typically a roller coaster of emotion for the person tricked.
Ordinary lives are turned into stories that resemble the plots of soap operas. Catfish can come in all shapes, sizes, and from locations around the planet.
Sometimes people are catfished by someone who lives in the same city, but often a catfish live elsewhere, even in another country.
While catfish are usually strangers, the victim doesn’t know. Personally, that is not always the case. There have been many instances when a catfish tricks another to think that they are communicating with a sexy, charismatic stranger, only to later find out they were set up by someone they know in real life.
To add to the zany fun, play our new game to test your sleuth skills and determine FACT from FICTION. The three following stories are 2 Truths and 1 Lie.
The answer to which catfish story is not true will be revealed at the end, so don’t scroll ahead until you’ve guessed!
CATFISH STORY #1
The ideal aunt is someone who is always there for their niece when they need them. Such was the case with Marissa Williams’ aunt, who even invited the teen to come and live with her.
Williams had only been staying with her aunt for a few months when it was discovered that the 19-year-old was regularly befriending men on social media sites and inviting them over to the home.
Worried about the safety of her home and, especially, the fate of young Marissa, the aunt instructed Williams to immediately stop inviting strangers over and going to parties with them. In response, she was blocked on the girl’s social media accounts.
To get a better glimpse into what the girl was doing and help her learn some well-needed lessons, the savvy aunt created a fictional profile for a handsome guy named Tre “Topdog” Ellis.
Within their first day of communicating, Williams had already invited the made up man over to her home to get drunk and have sex, if he would pay her $50 cell phone bill.
The aunt found that concerning, but had no idea she would soon discover the teen had a sinister plot to have Tre murder her! At first, Marissa only complained that the aunt was overbearing, but within days asked him to come to the home and murder not only the aunt, but the aunt’s fiance, Williams’ cousin, and the family dog.
Disturbingly, Williams gave the fictional Tre information on how to get into the aunt’s room and what order to do the murders. She said she would pack up the car so they could leave together, as soon as he was done committing the crimes.
Horrified, the aunt immediately reported the information to the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, who interviewed Williams. The girl admits to her actions online, though she insisted she hadn’t met it all seriously. Police didn’t agree, taking her to jail and booking her on solicitation of murder charges.
CATFISH STORY #2
Sarah Peterson was only 18 years old and in her first year of college when she found out that her father’s best friend of 20 years had been posing as her boyfriend for a year and a half.
After initially meeting through Instagram when she was only 16, Peterson was instantly interested in Kirk Brown, as they had so much in common. They soon began messaging regularly through the app Kik.
A high school runner, Sarah found the fact that Kirk was a college athlete on a scholarship very appealing. He had come from a life of hard knocks but was the specimen of maturity, good health, and showed compassion for everything she would go through.
He told her to keep away from other boys and wanted to date her. Both sporty, they would encourage one another and communicate via messaging all day long.
The reality that they lived in different states did not matter, as they decided they would keep their connection strong throughout college and then travel the world together.
Even though they were both too busy with college and sports to meet in person, Kirk would send her care packages. They would also talk on the phone, though never web cam. She thought his deep voice was funny considering his boyish good looks.
It wasn’t until a suspicious friend commented that the packages seemed to be shipped from somewhere closer than another state, that Sarah began to worry. Though she trusted Kirk implicitly, she asked her family for help.
Worried about their daughter, they agreed to hire a private investigator as Sarah was a minor when she first began communicating with Kirk. Not only that, but it turned out Sarah had even sent him nude photos.
Nothing prepared her family for the reality that her father’s best friend Brad Waters had preyed on the teen, by setting up the entire charade and using a voice changer when they talked on the phone. Due to the exchange of nude photos when Sarah was only 16, investigators arrested him.
Upon searching his home computer, they found which illegal images of teens from age 14 to 16. Smith was jailed and is now on a sexual predator registry for life.
CATFISH STORY #3
What if your favorite person to follow on Instagram was an imposter? Such was the case for those who were following Leah Palmer.
A fan favorite, the glamorous social media profile photos for Leah had been swiped from Ruth Graves (birth name, Ruth Palmer). The imposter didn’t only take a few photos to perpetuate their catfish lie – in total, they swiped upward of 900 pictures over three years, even engaging in online relationships which left their additional victims with broken hearts.
To her followers, Leah Palmer seemed to have it all- a successful relationship in the fashion industry, exciting travels, and high fashion-forward friends.
The catfish didn’t stop there; they even made up fictitious storylines about other people Ruth had posted about, casting Ruth’s real-life ex as “psychotic.”
Multiple men thought they were in relationships with the attractive Leah and were heartbroken when Ruth discovered her images were being taken and contacted them.
Ruth’s real-life Catfish remains at large, but the fake profile seems to have been taken down (though it did re-appear for a while). The scariest part?
Ruth’s profiles were private most of the time she had them. Would someone in her real life do such a shocking charade? In the world of Catfish, anything is possible.
CATFISH STORY #4:
It’s tragic when anyone dies before they reach the ripe old age and the football defenseman from Notre Dame, Manti Teo, was devastated. Though he had college success in his chosen sport and even appeared on a Sport’s Illustrated cover, in 2012, his gorgeous online girlfriend passed away of Leukemia. He posted online about his grief for the passing of Lennay Kekua, whom he had cared for deeply.
It took a reporter from Deadspin looking into the tragedy a few months later, to uncover the truth. Lennay had never existed and indeed hadn’t died. The reality was that a man, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo – who Manti knew in real life – had assumed the identity of a woman, to perpetuate his crush on Manti.
Though Ronaiah reached out to Manti and eventually apologized for the hoax after he was caught, it’s safe to assume the two are not the best of friends now. Ronaiah even appeared on Dr. Phil to explain his actions where he claimed much of his lying stemmed from his struggle to accept his sexual attraction to men.
AND THE “LIE” WAS …
Catfish Story #2! Did you guess correctly? Post on social media and see how your friends do at our guessing game! Who knows, they might even find out they are being catfished!