On November 28, 1987, Tawana Brawley, 15, was found wrapped in a garbage bag behind an apartment building in Wappinger Falls, NY. The teen, who had been missing for four days, was barely conscious. Her clothes were torn and burned, and her face and body smeared with excrement.
Emergency room doctors found racial slurs written on her body. When Brawley regained consciousness, she had a story to tell.
She said three men, including a uniformed police officer, took turns raping and beating her. But there were no bruises or abrasions on her face and body. A forensic rape kit found no evidence of rape.
Over the next few days, Brawley’s story changed. She could provide no descriptions of the men other than they were white and one was a police officer. Her story fell apart when a witness came forward to say she saw Brawley climb into the garbage bag and lay still on the cold ground.
The media, which at first was sympathetic, began to turn on her. The Rev. Al Sharpton and other black leaders pledged their support and advised Brawley to stop talking to the media. Her claims made headlines around the country.
In October 1988, a grand jury concluded Brawley was lying.
Twenty years later, on October 22, 2008, Ashley Todd, a McCain volunteer claimed she was attacked by a knife wielding “Obama supporter” as she stood at a bank ATM machine.
Todd claims her assailant was a 6-foot-4-inch man who jumped her when he spotted a McCain bumper sticker on her car. The man allegedly punched and kicked the 20-year-old before carving the letter ‘B’ in her right cheek with a knife.
She claims the thug robbed her of $60. She couldn’t provide a description of the man or the direction he ran off in.
Police say Todd waited until the next day to report the beating and robbery.
A photo of the “victim” shows what appears to be two black eyes. We don’t know the true extent of her injuries because Todd refused medical treatment.
There is no swelling around her eyes and the whites of her eyes are clear. The ‘B’ is backwards — the way it would look if she carved the ‘B’ on her own face while looking in a mirror.
All signs point to another Tawana Brawley like hoax. But the media storm is already gathering strength and the satellite TV trucks have been dispatched.
Oh, and McCain and Palin have already called Todd to pledge their support.