Thursday, August 14, 2008
Pepe was a fake....
About a month ago, I, like so many others, was pulled into the story of Pepe, a young woman with CF waiting for her double lung transplant. I discovered her blog via another CF blog, run by a respectable guy who obviously didn't know he was being duped.
The original purpose of the blog was for friends and CF supporters to get together and send Pepe/Gina a Wii while she was in the hospital via a PayPal account. Her supporters raised almost $600 in December of '07 alone. As the blog progressed, Pepe/Gina's condition deteriorated. At this point, hundreds, if not thousands, of people were praying and commenting on the "Friends of Pepe" blog, only to find out she doesn't exist.
Or, rather, she DOES exist, but as a troll.
Once exposed, the authors took the site down, and readers were left feeling cheated in so many ways.
Not anymore. Consider this the first of many trolls to be publicly exposed and scorned for their actions.
After some digging, here's what we know:
Pepe's real name was Gina, which we knew from the blog. She's friends with Paul, from this site/blog (which is now down).
Paul has a Flickr account, which includes this picture:
The same picture that shows up under a commenter's mentioned troll name, jedisdream.
Jedisdream has a photo album here:
and YouTube videos here:
Of course, we expect both of these to come down ASAP, so here's some more information about the Gina/jedisdream behind Pepe.
She's 25, from Minnesota, and rides a horse named Gracie. She has a second horse named Chipotle. Both were mentioned several times on the "Friends of Pepe" blog.
Gracie and Gina have ridden at Dillman Training Center and Trott Brook Farms, and Gina posts under "chipngrace" on http://www.midwesthorsetalk.com/.
You can also find Gina here:
The photo above is of "Gracie", and was on her fotki page, as well as on the message boards.
Her name is not Pepe. Gina does not have CF, nor has she had a double lung transplant. She has, however, stolen money, and misrepresented herself to thousands of people. Gina has an accomplice in Paul, in some form or other. And she has misrepresented herself as the young woman above, and third from the left (who is believed to be a friend and completely unaware):
The woman below is the real Pepe/Gina, and her name is Gina Marie Fiorentino of Saint Michael, Minnesota. She has been publicly identified as a troll.