This wasn’t the post I had intended for today, but I watched something that made me think I had seen what it must be like to live in one’s own Hell. We had all witnessed what could be described as Hell on September 11, 2001, but the actions of one woman, “Tania Head”, in the aftermath of the most deadly and devastating attack that this country has ever experienced, could only be described as insane and evil. The report about her, “The Woman Who Wasn’t There” on Identification Discovery, brought all sorts of horrible memories back, and she, herself, turned those already awful thoughts into a new and even worse sort of tragedy.
Many of you have probably already seen the program – it has aired more than a few times, and has been spoken of and written about nearly everywhere. It deserves to be seen and repeated because of how it portrays this woman as the worst example of those who lie, defraud, manipulate and act out of sheer narcissism, simply for the sake of attention. Tania Head wanted to be a part of something, and she chose to become a part of an event that brought our country to its’ knees – something from which we may never really recover.
Her name isn’t really Tania Head. She never even knew the man – a man who died on 9/11 – who she said she was engaged to and then married to and then engaged to, again. She didn’t work for Merrill Lynch. She lost her arm in a car accident in Spain, not in the World Trade Center. In fact, she wasn’t even in New York that day, and only arrived months later after she had finished her studies in Barcelona and received her MBA. She even lied about owning a dog. None of that, however, stopped her from insinuating herself into the world of the victims and survivors of 9/11. She joined, and then ran, the Survivors’ Network by making her status as a survivor bigger and more important than the others.
Some who actually did live through the horror began to question everything that she had told them. You see, even the best of liars forget that the hardest thing to do is keep up with a lie. Memories that never actually happened are difficult to keep straight, because imaginations are flighty and confusing. When it all began to unravel, and reporters began to investigate, she, at first, tried to dodge them and deflect their questions. When that no longer worked, she simply fled. When the lies no longer worked, this fraudulent heroine turned back into what she really was – a coward.
She can’t be charged with a crime. “Tania” didn’t commit any act that the law can charge her with and punish her for. She never made any money from her fraud. She did steal things though. She stole other peoples’ stories and their bravery and their grief and their loss. She took their trust, mocked it and broke their hearts, all over again. She stole a part of an event that changed Americans and maybe, for that, there shouldn’t be a man made law or human form of justice. Maybe, for someone like “Tania” there will be something or someone much greater awaiting her and then, just maybe, she’ll realize the enormity and importance of her crimes.