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Though occasionally a venue for thoughtful dialogue, reader comments often read less like logical debates and more like transcribed bar fights. Case in point are the debates unfurling right now under The Tennessean
's coverage of newborn Yair Anthony Carrillo's kidnapping. With immigration emerging as a hot topic, a quick cruise through the comment boards reveals a fusion of thoughtful discourse, drolling egos, race baiting and political blunder. But amid all that is one particularly interesting voice.
It appears that the Lebanon woman first suspected of the crime, but later cleared, is trying to kick up a little online love
for her plight. Either that, or someone is impersonating her.
Lisa Sampson, 30, was identified early as a suspect, tracked to New York, interviewed and then cleared last Wednesday. But starting Saturday night, following an arrest and the baby's return, a Tennessean
commenter with the handle "Alwaysjokersgirl" blitzed the message boards, posting the following on four of the paper's stories
about the case.
Its about time that woman was caught. Because of her, my life was ruined. My face was plastered all over this newspaper, FBI at my door, my grandmother almost had a stroke. I am glad that the baby and the mother are well, but because of this I had my family and friends turn against me for no reason. I wasnt even IN TN when this happened. I was 800 miles away helping my grandmother. but you guys didnt print that did you? DID YOU? No, you didnt. Why dont you print a formal apology to me and my family for all the bull you guys have caused with my family?? Can you apologize to my children?? Can you guys tell my potental employers that you guys made a HUGE mistake."
Later that night, she commented again:
I was that first "PERSON OF INTEREST" and my face was all over this newspaper. EVEN MY LITTLE CHILDREN saw it. They need to apologize to me. Seriously. p.s. I cant speak spanish.
And finally, on Sunday, Alwaysjokersgirl countered with this after another commenter praised the police department's work in the case:
Not on my end. When you are a "Person of Interest" and your face and name is all over the united states on the television, in the newspaper, and you are completley innocent, it is the worst. Seeing I was 800 miles away when all of this happened, they finally cleared me of everything. But now my life is ruined. I was even turned down for a job because of this mess. All because the police go a tip from my idiot ex boyfriend whom I just uped and left. So in my opinion, even though I am EXTREMLEY GLAD that they found the monster who did this and that the baby is okay, mine and my familys reputation are forever ruined and I think the police department and the FBI sucks.
Whether Alwaysjokersgirl is who she says she is, indeed Sampson has been through an ordeal. TV and print media -- including The City Paper
-- posted her picture and used her name. Now that the child has been found and is in foster care, Sampson has been largely forgotten. But it seems the woman does deserve an extended apology from authorities. Meanwhile, the irony here is that she doesn't seem to be finding sympathy from the online community at The Tennessean
's site. As of this afternoon, nobody's responded to Alwaysjokersgirl's comments.