The episode that transfixed the nation last week — a spaceship-like balloon floating through the Colorado skies with a 6-year-old boy named Falcon believed to be inside — was declared “a hoax” by the Larimer County sheriff’s office on Sunday.
"It has been determined that this is a hoax, that it was a publicity stunt," the Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden said at a news conference in Fort Collins, Colo., one day after re-interviewing members of the now-famous Heene family about the case. "We have evidence to indicate it was a publicity stunt done with the hope of marketing themselves to a realty [sic] television show sometime in the future."
Richard Heene and his wife Mayumi have not yet been arrested, but the sheriff said that among the charges being considered are three felonies: conspiracy between the husband and the wife to commit a crime, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and an attempt to influence a public servant, the last of which carries a prison term of six years. The charges could also include a misdemeanor, filing a false report.
True liberal that I am, I refuse to endorse torture or the death penalty for these people, no matter how much it is warranted. Although I admit to wavering as applied to Wolf Blitzer.