A woman in Utah lied by saying her daughter had cancer. She lied to her community, her 4-year-old daughter and the child’s father in order to get money. She made false claims that her daughter had leukemia.
Abreail Denise “Abby” Winkler, the child’s mother, told her daughter that she would be treated for cancer. Whenever the daughter was with her father she would speak about having cancer. The little girl would talk about it constantly because she heard her mom talking about it with and around her. At 4-years-old the child had no real concept of the affects of leukemia, or cancer; she just knew she had it.
It wasn’t beyond reason for the community to believe the child was ill. First of all, no one would expect a mother to lie about something like this concerning their child and secondly, leukemia is the most common form of cancer that children get. It is a type of blood cancer that begins in the marrow of the bone.
According to Keith Campbell, an investigation was started in July where they quickly determined that Winkler, 30, was telling people in the neighborhood that her daughter had leukemia. Campbell, assistant chief of the Vernal Police Department, said that they determined that the 4-year-old never had cancer. Not one record of treatment was ever found.
It makes one question, “What is the truth actually worth these days?” This seems to be a day where lying has become acceptable. The lines, for many, seem to be blurred between truth and falsehood. Our politicians, religious leaders, teachers and even parents do it. It’s difficult to hold children to a standard higher than the ones they look up to live by.
Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher, said “I am not upset that you lied to me, but that from now on I cannot believe you.”
Everyone can attest to the truth that the consequences of a lie have touched them in a negative way at a few points in life. The truth of the matter is, one can never go back and UN-tell a lie.
Lies weaken and erode foundations. When people speak lies it’s usually the result of a moment in time they felt defeated and lacked the courage to own the truth. To be a person of integrity shows a strong sign of character. When people honor themselves along with their words, others will do the same.
There are generally three major issues behind the ‘why’ of lying:
- Liars usually will do it even if no money is involved. They do it whether money is on the line or not. They will lie as if millions were on the line simply because of the adrenaline rush they feel when they lie.
- Liars often do it to help others. These are people who want to help another so badly they would stake their reputation on it. They feel a false sense of joy in knowing their lie went to a good cause.
- Liars almost NEVER do it once. By the time the average liar is busted, there is usually a trail left behind that identifies a pattern of lying.
The investigation proved that donors gave in excess of $3,000; all of which they wanted returned to them. Campbell said that although Winkler wasn’t knocking on doors to request the money she was the recipient of funds she knew were given under false pretense. The drill team of the local high school had a fundraiser on her behalf as did a private dance instructor. Other victims of the scandalous crime were private donors.
The 4-year-old’s father lives outside of the home and whenever he inquired about the child having cancer Winkler would tell him not to be too concerned because the child was in treatment.
Abreail Winkler’s first court appearance for lying and scheming is scheduled for September 9. She is being charged with a third degree felony for one count of communications fraud, according to court documents. Winkler was booked and released from the Uintah County Jail by posting a $5,000 bond.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)