Current Netlore: Sick, Dying & Missing Kids
Internet hoaxes, email rumors and urban legends
|Hoax = False, deliberately deceptive information
UL = Urban Legend - a popularly believed narrative, typically false
Rumor = Anecdotal claims - may be true, false, or in between
Junk = Flotsam and jetsam of the Net
NOTE: You can also locate specific items by typing relevant words into the Search box at the top of any page.
2-Year-Old Tsunami Victim in Khao Lak, Thailand
TRUE/OUTDATED: Emailed images of a 2-year-old tsunami victim found battered and bruised but alive in Khao Lak, Thailand.
10-Year-Old Orphaned Female Tsunami Victim in Phuket Hospital
TRUE: Emailed image of a young girl in Phuket Hospital, a victim of the Indian Ocean tsunami whose parents are still missing.
Aaron Russell Steinmetz: Missing Child
Another defunct alert. Andrew Steinmetz was kidnapped by his father, then recovered safe and sound by authorities.
Alyssa Bruno Chain Letter
AUTHENTIC: Chain email asks all recipients to send a birthday card and a penny to Alyssa Bruno, who has been diagnosed with brain cancer and will be celebrating her sixth birthday on August 2, 2006.
Amy Bruce Chain Letter
Yet another opportunity to save a dying child who doesn't exist.
Asha Degree: Missing Child
TRUE. A valid email alert which unfortunately contains no contact information.
Ashley Flores: Missing Child
Email flier seeks help locating an allegedly missing 13-year-old girl from Philadelphia named Ashley Flores.
Braedon Hembree Prayer Request
This call for prayers for a young boy who was very ill has been outdated for quite some time.
Cecilia Zhang: Missing Child
OUTDATED: The remains of 9-year-old Dong-Yue (Cecilia) Zhang, who was abducted from her home in Toronto on October 19, 2003, were discovered in a ravine outside the city in March 2004.
Christopher John Mineo Jr.: Missing Child
An AOL chain letter that has no basis in fact, so far as we can tell.
Craig Shergold Chain Letter
Story of the little boy whose life was saved by a chain letter that won't die.
Dave Matthews Chain Letter
Rock star philanthropist offers up his email address to help sick & dying kids.
David 'Darren' Bucklew Chain Letter
This one's a rewrite of the old "Timothy Flyte" chain letter (below) - just as bogus, just as annoying.
David Lawitts Chain Letter
Supposedly dying of lung cancer due to secondhand smoke.
Debbie Shwartz Chain Letter
Email plea from a troubled woman calling herself 'Debbie Shwartz' claims AOL will donate 15 cents on her behalf for every 12 times the chain letter is forwarded.
Delaney - 8-Month-Old Burn Victim (Prayer Request)
Outdated but basically accurate email prayer request on behalf of 8-month-old Delaney Parrish, who was seriously burned by hot oil from a Fry Daddy deep fryer in 2001. She is now mostly recovered.
Evan Trembley: Missing Child
Hoax "Amber Alert" claims 15-year-old Evan Trembley of Wichita Falls, Texas is missing.
Fake Amber Alert via Text Message
False messages claiming two girls were kidnapped by the driver of a brown Jeep Liberty are circulating via cell phone text messages.
Fatima Hareez Chain Letter
Practically a carbon copy of the "Kalin Relek" hoax below.
Jada Cohen Chain Letter
Here's the logical question: Why would a billionaire use a chain letter to help save a dying child?
Jasmine (Child of WTC Victim) Chain Letter
In which we are told that the Red Cross will donate 10 cents toward saving Jasmine's mother's life every time this chain letter is forwarded.
Jessica Cortez: Missing Child
OUTDATED: Four-year-old Jessica Cortez, reported missing on August 11, 2002, is back, safe and sound, with her parents.
Jessica Koopmans: Missing Child
OUTDATED. This email alert was valid, but the child's body was discovered on May 11, 2001. Police say she was murdered.
Jessica Mydek Chain Letter
Jessica Mydek, a 7-year-old girl supposedly dying of cancer, does not exist, nor will the American Cancer Society contribute money for every time this chain letter is forwarded.
Jewel Strong: Missing Child
Email flier seeks help locating Jewel Strong, a 3-year-old girl reported missing by her family in Panama City, Florida in May 2006.
Joe William Sheffield Prayer Request
TRUE: By dialing an 800 number set up by the First Baptist Church of Tifton, GA, you can send a 'prayer beeper' message to 9-year-old cancer victim Joe William Sheffield and let him know you're praying for his recovery.
Kalin Relek Chain Letter
Katie Relek says her son is dying. Problem is, as far as we can tell she doesn't exist and neither does he.
Katie Fitch Prayer Chain
Prayer chain letter circulating via email tells the story of 3-year-old Katie Fitch of South Carolina, who suffers from hepatoblastoma, a form of liver cancer.
Kayla Wightman Chain Letter
Hoax email claims the Make-A-Wish Foundation will donate 7 cents toward paying the medical bills of Kayla Wightman, supposedly a 15-year-old dying of lung cancer, each time the message is forwarded.
Kelsey Brooke Jones: Missing Child
The latest word is that this apparent hoax may have been a valid alert after all. Briefly.
Krystava Patients Schmidt: Missing Child
A message still circulating more than a year after the fact pleads for help finding a missing child. The youngster has been home safe and sound the whole time.
Madeleine McCann: Missing Child
Email flier seeks information on the whereabouts of missing child Madeleine McCann, who was abducted while on holiday in Portugal on May 3, 2007.
Madison Marie Crowder Prayer Request
Emailed prayer request from Kathy Hayes on behalf of her seriously ill granddaughter, 6-month-old Madison Marie Crowder.
Matt Dawson Chain Letter
Circulating via email and on MySpace.com, this hoax claims 23-year-old Matt Dawson is suffering from lung cancer and a brain tumor, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation will donate 7 cents toward paying his medical bills every time the message is forwarded or reposted.
Michael Novenche Prayer Request
A sincere and authentic request for prayers for an ill 2-year-old boy, in circulation since April 2000.
'Natalie' Chain Letter
A newborn baby named Natalie suffers from brain cancer, and AOL has promised to donate 5 cents toward her treatment for every time this message is forwarded. Sound familiar?
Ola Kuczma 'Chain Letter
Email hoax claims that 3 cents will be donated toward the medical care of 14-month-old burn victim Ola Kuczma each time the message is forwarded.
Penny Brown: Missing Child
Highly suspect email alert claims to seek information about an allegedly missing 9-year-old girl.
Rachel Arlington Chain Letter
Your chance to save another "dying child" who doesn't exist.
Reachelle Marie Smith: Missing Child
Via forwarded email, details of the case of 3-year-old Reachelle Marie Smith, who was reported missing in May 2006.
Rebekah Tauber 'Prayer Pager' Request
Chain letter urges recipients to send prayers via 'prayer pager' for 17-year-old Rebekah Tauber of Houston, Texas, who is under treatment for cancer.
Rick Connor Chain Letter
"David Lawitts" (or "Tamara Martin") by any other name.
Sabrina Fair Allen: Missing Child
TRUE. Five-year-old Sabrina Allen was abducted by her non-custodial mother in April 2002 and remains missing.
Shane Bernier Chain Letter
Email chain letter solicits birthday cards for leukemia victim Shane Bernier of Lancaster, Ontario, who turns 8 years old on May 30, 2007 and hopes to set the Guinness World Record for number of cards received.
Shane (NOT Bernier) Chain Letter
Email chain letter requesting birthday cards for a young leukemia sufferer in Crystal Lake, Illinois (or Schuylerville, New York) named Shane so he can win a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records is a hoax.
'Slow Dance' Chain Letter
Smarmy poetry and another opportunity to help save the life of a dying child who doesn't exist.
Tamara Martin Chain Letter
A rip-off of the "David Lawitts" chain letter above.
Timothy Flyte Chain Letter
A fictional (quite literally) character is dying of the dread disease "Ostriopliosis." Forward this chain letter to save his life.