When Bethany Storro appeared on national television with her face covered in bandages, she replayed the details of a horrific attack by a stranger that would leave her scarred for life. But after discrepancies emerged during the subsequent police investigation, Storro has confessed that the entire story was false.
Storro had originally told police that an unknown African-American woman passing her on the street had thrown a cup of acid in her face. But on Wednesday, she admitted to police that her injuries were self-inflicted.
"When I first saw her, [the so-called attacker] had this weirdness about her. Like jealousy, rage," Storro told reporters following her invented ordeal.
But in a press conference Thursday, Vancouver Police Chief Clifford Cook said her story was invented. "Ms. Storro admitted her injuries were self-inflicted and the attack itself had not occurred as she had previously reported."
A purported "copy cat" acid attack took place just days later in Mesa, Ariz. when the victim, Derri Velarde, a 41-year-old mother of five, stepped from her car. "There was a woman walking from the back side of my car. ... She had what I thought was a glass of water in her hand, and then she just stopped abruptly and looked at me and just threw it in my face."
Velarde was splashed with what she thought might be water, but it turned out to be acid. "It just instantly was like fire. It started burning intensely, instantly," she told CBS News from her hospital bed.
There is no evidence to suggest the attack on Velarde was a staged hoax, however. She was left with severe burns on her face and neck, and along her arms.