“An Online Imposter Faked Her Death and Sent Me Ashes”
October 31, 2013
In a Dr. Phil first, a catfish who orchestrated several online dating deceptions faces her victims, in-studio. How did Jeanne, a married, stay-at-home mom, trick Bart into two fake relationships? And, why did she do it? Jeanne admits she used the photos of two former classmates — who confront her on Dr. Phil’s stage. How do they feel about being pulled into her drama? Plus, Jeanne says when she killed off one of Bart’s “girlfriends,” she even sent him human ashes in the mail — whose were they? And, has she duped anyone else? Then, a controversial story ripped from the headlines: Ryan says his ex-girlfriend, Holly, falsely accused him of posting intimate photographs and videos of her online after they broke up — and took her story to the media. In a Dr. Phil exclusive, Ryan shares his side of the story for the first time. What does he say happened?
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Twisted Love TrapA few years after going through a divorce, Bart, a father of two young children, decided to try online dating. He met Megan, who said she was a pediatric oncology nurse. "Megan seemed like a nice girl, and she was very beautiful," he says. "We began chatting online and eventually, went to telephone, and to text and then to calls. Two weeks later, we set up a date to meet — my birthday, June 15 — that was going to be our first date."
But Bart never met Megan. He says the morning that they were supposed to meet, she called him and said she had been diagnosed with leukemia. "She had two brothers, Matt and Mark, and they began texting me when Megan got sick and was in the hospital," Bart explains. "She got worse and eventually, her brother Matt texted me and said, ‘If you have anything to say to her, you better say it, because she’s not going to be with us much longer.’ Within about two hours, I got word that she did not make it." He adds that after her death, he received a journal of Megan's, which included many entries about him.
Bart says that he soon received a text from Megan's best friend, Aly, and they began talking and texting. "Aly was great. Aly was like the best friend you could imagine. She really helped me through Megan’s death," he shares. Bart adds that Aly then gave him some of Megan's ashes, which he kept at his bedside. "I was so excited about this person ... and all of a sudden, she died and was gone, just like that."
With Aly's encouragement, Bart says he returned to online dating, where he met Alison, a DEA agent, who he says pursued him. "We just hit it off," he says. "We eventually worked out our schedule where we would be able to meet, and something always happened. She said that she was testifying at a trial in Chicago for someone who they had arrested awhile back and while she was there testifying, the gang put out a hit on her life, and she was going to go under protection with the U.S. Marshall Service. She would have to disappear for a while, until it was safe."
A few months later, Bart says that he was contacted by Alison's partner, who informed him that she was hurt and was in the hospital in the ICU. "When she was finally discharged, [her partner] confessed to her that he had kind of been a rogue DEA agent. He said that Alison could testify against him, and he needed her to disappear," Bart recalls. "Eventually, she escaped from this and in the process of her escaping, she got shot in the leg." Bart says he received a call from Alison's lieutenant who told him that Alison was hemorrhaging and lost so much blood, she died.
Bart says he was devastated, until he learned that Alison was actually alive. "I thought this has to be a cruel joke. I can’t believe she’s alive. If she’s alive, I would have heard from her, right?" he says. The next day, he got a text and phone call from her. "I found out she was going to be transferred a few days later, and she was going to fly on a medical flight to Walter Reed Hospital in Maryland. I guess the fatal mistake finally happened."
Bart says he flew around the country to get to the bottom of the deception, and eventually met the two girls behind the pictures.
Inside the Mind of a "Catfish"Jeanne, a married mom of a 4-year-old, reveals that she deceived Bart with the two fake online profiles. "I did all of this because I was just looking for a connection, for friendship and something to do — I was bored," she says. "I picked Danielle and Amanda because they were just really pretty. They are just gorgeous girls, and that’s what gets attention."
Jeanne admits that she felt bad when she was pretending to be Megan. "I did start to feel like this guy is a really nice guy, and I don't want to hurt him and obviously, what I was doing was wrong," she says. "When Bart started getting intense, it was scary, because that’s when I started to panic."
Jeanne says she created Alison to be Bart's dream girl. "Everything that he liked that we had talked about, things that he said he wanted in a girl — that’s what I used to create that profile," she reveals. "Eventually, Bart figured everything out." Fighting back tears, she continues, "I feel embarrassed. I feel guilty. If Bart was here, I would tell him that I'm really sorry."
“You basically had an emotional affair, under an assumed name, three times, with this gentleman,” Dr. Phil tells Jeanne. She nods. “How many times have you — or are you — doing this with others right now?”
“I’m not doing this to anybody else,” she replies.
Dr. Phil is skeptical. “You’ve not used faked pictures before? You’ve not tried to engage with other guys before?” he asks.
“There were many before Bart who I talked to,” she says, admitting that she also sent fake pictures. But, she maintains that’s not currently engaged in this activity.
The Women Behind the PicturesThe pictures that Jeanne used to portray Megan and Alison are actually pictures of two of Jeanne's high school classmates, Danielle and Amanda, respectively.
"I believe that Jeanne does have a few mental health issues, if she could so easily do this," Danielle says. "She had the opportunity to leave it after Megan’s death, yet she continued to do it."
Amanda adds, "I think Jeanne likes the drama, as far as so many deaths in the stories."
Revenge Porn?Ryan says his ex-girlfriend Holly falsely accused him of uploading naked pictures and intimate videos of her to at least 178 revenge porn sites. But Ryan vehemently denies the charges and says someone hacked his computer.
Ryan explains that while he was dating Holly, it was her idea to send him the photos. "The sending of nude photos actually began because Holly decided that looking at pornography was tantamount to cheating. So, she decided that if she was in the pictures, it would not be cheating," Ryan says.
Ryan says it wasn't until a few years after he and Holly broke up that he received a phone call from a detective. "Holly claimed that I had emailed her boss and coworkers with pictures of her naked and links to videos that had been posted online," he recounts. "She also claimed that I had physically stalked her outside of her apartment. None of these accusations were true, are true or ever will be true."
Holly sued Ryan in civil court, but the charges were recently dropped.
“I’m glad you came here to tell your side of the story,” Dr. Phil says.