The Life and Crimes of “Gone Girl Faker” Sherri Papini I want to Getting the treatment of a lifetime this weekend – and the former mayor of the town she terrorized with her lies says she’ll enjoy every moment of it.
Papini, 40, was sentenced to 18 months in prison in September after pleading guilty to orchestrating an elaborate fraud in 2016.
Dubbed a “super mom” in the press at the time, Papini disappeared while jogging in Redding, Northern California on November 2, 2016.
She then mysteriously reappeared 22 days later on Thanksgiving, claiming to have been kidnapped and held captive by two gun-toting Hispanic women.
To sell the lie, Papini branded herself, shaved her hair and broke her nose.
No arrests have ever been made in the case with police trying to find a motive for the seemingly random crime.
After a six-year investigation, Papini was taken into custody in March 2022 after it was found that she was indeed staying with an ex-boyfriend during the time she was believed to have disappeared.
The strange case shocked the small town of Redding, leaving residents terrified that a “booga was on the loose,” according to then-mayor Missy MacArthur.
Papini’s crimes are set to be revisited in a new Lifetime movie, Hoax: The Kidnapping of Sherri Papini, which will debut on the network on January 28 at 8pm ET.
McArthur told US Sun that she suspects Papini will enjoy the attention and notoriety the show can bring her.
“I can’t get inside her head because I don’t think like her – obviously – but from all indicators you can tell she’s someone who definitely likes the attention,” McArthur said.
“There were a lot of things that came up during the investigation … even going back to high school … that showed that she was someone who always wanted to focus on her.
“And this is another way to get that.”
McArthur previously told The US Sun how she met Papini in the days after she returned home, where the mum-of-two put on an “Oscar-worthy performance” pretending to be injured by the mock ordeal.
After Sherri was finally convicted in September, McArthur said she was relieved to finally see her held accountable for her lies.
“I think it was a reasonable outcome,” he said. “I feel bad especially for the damage she would have done to her children by doing this, because I can imagine they have been hurt by it.
“Especially as they grow up and learn the full extent of what happened.”
As for Papini, McArthur says she doesn’t feel sorry for her at all and doesn’t buy the apology she wrote for her actions after her arrest.
Papini said in a statement released by her lawyer that she is “deeply sorry for the pain I have caused my family, my friends, all the good people who have suffered needlessly because of my story and those who have worked hard to help . my.”
“I will work for the rest of my life to make up for what I have done,” he said.
But McArthur believes Papini is only sorry she got caught.
She also doubts that the community will welcome her with open arms once she is finally released from prison.
“[Sherri’s] she was only caught regretfully,” said the former mayor.
“The fact that she kept telling the police over and over again, even when it became clear they knew the truth, continued to expose her lies.
“I mean, that doesn’t sound like a contrite man to me.”
THE GONE GIRL FAKER
The twisted saga began on November 2, 2016, when Sherry disappeared without a trace after leaving her home in Reading to go jogging.
She failed to pick up her children from a daycare later that afternoon and was reported missing that same day by her husband, Keith.
Keith told Good Morning America at the time: “Everyone who knows my wife knows there’s no reason for her to leave… She was definitely taken against her will.”
A motorist then found Papini on Nov. 24 in rural Yolo County, about 150 miles from her home in Redding.
She was emaciated and tied at the waist with a chain, which was attached to her left wrist with a zipper.
Tube clamps were attached to her ankles in what the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office later described as “pain compliance restraints.”
Papini was also covered in bruises, had her long blonde hair shaved off, a ‘brand’ on her right shoulder and a broken nose.
She has since admitted that she inflicted these wounds on herself to substantiate her false claims.
After a six-year investigation, authorities determined that Papini was staying with her ex-boyfriend, James Reyes, at the time she was presumed missing.
The couple meticulously planned the ruse on cellphones weeks before Sherry disappeared, court records say.
The curious case has previously been likened to the plot of the 2014 film Gone Girl, an adaptation of a novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn, in which the protagonist stages her own kidnapping to spite her husband.
The comparison earned Papini the unfavorable nickname, the Gone Girl Faker.
After her arrest last spring, Papini struck a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to two counts of mail fraud and lying to a police officer in addition to paying a $300,000 fine.
He was sentenced to 18 months behind bars, but the judge presiding over the case expressed doubts that he would ever be able to pay the aforementioned fine.
“I would rhetorically ask who will employ her in the future?” said U.S. District Court Judge William Shubb.
Before learning her fate, Papini publicly apologized in court, saying: “I choose to humbly accept responsibility.”
“I am guilty of lying. I am guilty of dishonor. I stand before you willing to accept, repent and admit,” Papini said.
“What’s done can’t be undone. It can never be erased. I don’t choose to stay frozen like I was in 2016. I choose to commit to healing the parts of me that were so broken.”
Sherry’s family stood by her account, up until the point of her arrest.
In a lengthy statement posted on Facebook, Papini’s sister, Shelia Koester, apologized to the Redding community for her brother’s “disturbing” act.
Koester said Papini admitted the whole thing was a ruse the day before she pleaded guilty.
“That Sherri could deliberately mislead her own beautiful children, her devoted husband Keith, our families, the authorities and all of you for so long is completely understandable and was done for reasons that only she knows,” Koester wrote.
“Unfortunately, despite what he has expressed in the media, he has no remorse or guilt for the untold damage he has caused or for taking critical criminal, financial and mental health resources that should be going to help real victims in need.
“It pains me deeply to say this, but my sister is very distraught and I hope, for the sake of her children, that once she is released, she will finally receive the treatment she clearly so desperately needs.”