Monday, May 2, 2011

wherein the "moar llamas" people get their wish

Yes, this is about llamas. And other stuff.

Oddly, there are people out there seriously weighing in about the llama thing - like how could I believe that "Jesse" was a llama rancher? Don't I know how time-consuming llama ranching is? And he was an EMT? And a volunteer fireman? And a journalist?

First - I'm a city mouse, born and raised in cities all my life. What the fuck do I know from llamas? No idea what it takes to take care of a llama. "Jesse" had I think four llamas (hey a four-L llama! [sorry, old fire engine limerick memory jog]), the photo is archived and I can't be arsed to dig it out. The llamas were used more as pets/sometime work animals than for whatever it is llamas are used for when they're ranched.

Second - "Jesse" was mostly an EMT when we first met, and he wasn't in a big city, but a long way outside one (part of the reason he said he had a PO Box in Denver, since he only had some sort of rural route address - again, I know nothing of living in the sticks [ha! Styx!]). Point being, there weren't too many accidents, so "Jesse" wasn't that busy as an EMT. He then accepted a proper job with the US gov. fire service, but quit because it WAS too much for him. He was more an ex-journalist than a current journalist, although he'd do stringer or research work now and then for someone else's byline.

Third - most of the time I knew him, "Jesse" didn't work much because he was either recovering from his suicide attempt (which occurred prior to his bipolar diagnosis), or spending time in a psychiatric facility voluntarily so his sister (who was his guardian) couldn't commit him. Of course, during the brief interlude when we didn't speak, from October - December 2005, it turned out that "Jesse" visited Los Angeles to work on a story, but he didn't get in touch because he thought he'd be bothering me.

Jesus, it sounds nuts just typing it. But, like I said, I don't know from any of these professions except journalism, and "Jesse" was convincing enough about that, so why wouldn't I take him at his word about the others, especially since other friends of his (including Janna) corroborated the story?

I should do a timeline, but hell, I'm too tired for that crap now. Hope that was llama-y enough for you odd people!

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

why are you SO obsessed with Janna?

ephemerina said...

Anon1: Uh. I see you're from DL (the New Hampshire branch, to be precise), so I assume your question is unserious. For shits and giggles, let's pretend you're serious for a moment.

If your question really means, why did I press charges against Janna, I suggest you read this blog and not just Josh's wildly inaccurate article about my story. But the question begs: why are you people so obsessed with ME?

I've got a lawsuit instituted against Janna St. James. Because the legal system is the legal system, it takes forever to get from point A to point A.1. Every time it hiccups forward to the next little step, folks come out of the woodwork again - newspapers, teevee shows, blogs, and with them come the curious, the sympathetic, and the trolls.

Most of the time, I barely think about Janna. If you go back over this blog, you'll see that there is very little in the way of posting beyond the initial first year, other than updates as to how the legal process is going.

Of course, last year, when other people who'd been duped by Janna got in touch to let me know she was going at it again hammer and tongs, I felt obliged to expose her deception again, so there's that.

And of course at times like this, when there's renewed interest due to the courts making a decision, I can't help but think about Janna because there's always some asshole that thinks they have a right to opine on my life. Right now that asshole is you. Hope that answers your question.

ephemerina said...

Oh, and any further trolling here from DL will not be published or responded to. Stay under your bridge, little trolls.

Anonymous said...

I for one can tell you why I am obsessed with you and your story. For one reason quite simply, you've got balls, and I really admire that. Coming forward and telling your story must be hard. You've got people judging you so harshly without really knowing and understanding the full story. If it was me, I probably would have fell for her BS too. She put a lot of time and effort pulling the wool over your eyes and I mean A LOT of effort. But I don't know if I would have been as brave as you are. I hope I would have been, but seeing how you are being so bashed..I don't know. I want to say keep on keeping on. There are a lot of people out there supporting you! I hope Janna gets what she deserves but mostly I hope she gets the help she needs. She is obviously a very sick lady!

- Kristy

ephemerina said...

Anon2: or hey wow a name! Hi, Kristy. It's tough sometimes, as I've said, and because the media attention and the attendant fallout IS getting to me, I've told my lawyer I'm not doing any more interviews. I really just want this to get to trial already.

As for those who judge, I don't know how people who take the words in one newspaper article as gospel dare assume they wouldn't be taken in by someone impersonating 20 different people. I just truly hope it never happens to them.

But it's the support of people like you at times like these that keep me from calling it a day, so thanks for that. I mean it.

Sheila said...

I reread Josh's article just to be sure I was right, and it seems that I am--one thing that Josh neglected to mention was the fact that Janna not only pretended to be 'Jesse' and 'Alice', but also pretended to be an entire extended cast of friends and relatives that added to the illusion that this person existed. I think a lot of the folks who blunder in and wonder how you could have fallen for it aren't aware of that part.

ephemerina said...

Sheila: Josh neglected to mention a lot of things, and a lot of things he did mention were so, so terribly wrong. I regret giving him the go-ahead for that article, in hindsight I would have forbidden it. But anyone who blunders in to castigate me solely based on that article when they have the story here from the horse's ass, if you will, doesn't deserve my attention.

Mary said...

I suspect that any photos of llamas were llamas that were actually owned by Anastasia Fogelberg. Man, Janna really loved these themes that ran throughout her various scams. She loved that story about being raped and beaten and left for dead out in a field. She loved to bring llamas into her fabrications. With you did she ever kill off close friends by having them involved in car accidents with "drunk Indians" or Native Americans as most of us might say? What a head case she is.

Les

ephemerina said...

Mary: It's been confirmed that those llamas did belong to Anastasia. I don't recall any "drunk Indian" car crash deaths, but the thing about her is she spooled it out slow, so I'm sure I would've heard about that at some point or other. She did have a huge obsession with AmerInds though, she said her dead (not really) husband was part Native American, and she said she had a special NA name, can't remember what it was, but I'd assume something along the lines of Lies-Through-Her-Teeth.

Mary said...

Lies-Through-Her-Teeth would work. Others come to mind that most likely I shouldn't say. And yes, she really wrapped herself up in the whole Native Americans/Santa Fe thing. And another theme...lung issues. With the Fogelberg boards she said that she had COPD, and would likely die without a lung transplant. That's why she moved away from Pagosa, supposedly...too hard to breathe at that altitude. But maybe she was really chased off by other things. One can hope...

ephemerina said...

Mary: She told me she lost a lung in the notorious Mexican cornfield rape/beating. and that her jaw was reconstructed from the inside so that there'd be no scarring on the outside.

She should be glad that my friends didn't include me in their confrontation. I would've stripped her down to check for the lung operation scar and shone a flashlight in her mouth to see the reconstruction scarring inside. For a start.

She slunk out of Pagosa because she was found out by the people she'd been scamming, plus her wicked plan to break up Dan Fogelberg's marriage didn't work out quite as she had hoped.

Anonymous said...

I still don't know from a legal precedent what your lawsuit would mean.

1. Undercover agents who fabricate a whole new life - are they now going to be held liable for their cover because they purposely deceived?
2. Schizophrenics with multiple personalies - can they now sue each other because they assume various identities to amuse and keep someone company?
3. Were you coerced into sending the Republic of Janna the gifts? It's like when I give a panhandler a dollar because he claims to be dying. Can I now sue him for wantonly disregarding the truth?
4. If your lawsuit were successful, can I sue the entire Fox News Org for malicious manipulation of the truth? I really want to hold those bastards accountable.

Seriously, Bon Hombre, I really hope you can just drop it. It'll save you in the long run. The earlier you cut off all ties, the sooner you can heal. And our legal system can focus on more important things. Like Trump's falsely claiming hair.

Again, good luck.

Anonymous said...

You'd have really stripped her down? As in taken off her clothes? Man, you're much more brave than I thought! :)

Anonymous said...

Paula, just a note -- DL is anonymous for a reason, and the anonymity is pretty well enforced. You might want to do some research on Datalounge (an LGBT board) to see why it has been anonymous since its inception in 1995. Last year I was banned briefly for identifying myself. (That's why I won't ID myself here.) While a few people use IDs, most do not, and no one uses their real name or posts email addresses.

Slamming DL for being anonymous is inappropriate. If you don't like what someone on DL says, then address what they say. This uninformed ad hominem "you're anonymous therefore you suck" stuff is childish.

Nikki said...

the more and more i read about Janna, the more and more i see how sick she is. i read up on some of the stuff she did to folks on the fogelberg boards... pitting women against each other via "dan" saying that he'd never be with them because he respects motherhood? that's...well.. beyond anything for me.
Janna grosses me out... the more i read about her... i even read her blog as well... she rambles incessantly. i wonder if any of those pictures she posted of "friends" are even real. *shrugs*

ephemerina said...

Anon3: Your whole premise behind this is assuming that there aren't already laws defining fraud in the real world. There are. Hence, I'm sure law enforcement knows what is and isn't possible within those parameters.

As for the rest, you're making the kind of arguments that Janna's lawyers tried to make. I was not coerced into sending gifts, but every time I talked to Janna about the gifts I was planning on sending to "Jesse" and his family, she certainly didn't try to dissuade me, in fact she encouraged it. She also gave me some cock and bull story about a bunch of scarves that "Jesse" knitted in the weeks prior to his death, and how he'd been planning on selling them so he could give the money to charity. I told her I'd buy the remaining scarves from her, and she promised to take my money along with more she'd already received for some of the scarves and donate it to the Carter Center in "Jesse's" name.

Janna committed fraud against me, plain and simple. She misrepresented herself to me to obtain gifts and money over an almost two-year period. She cost me further money that would not have been spent were it not for her misrepresentations.

Anon4: Yeah, I probably would have. I would have also gone through her phone, all her belongings, and then I would have called the police and pressed charges immediately.

Anon5: You say tomato... I'm sure DL isn't anonymous so its residents can call me a cunt to my face. I appreciate your attempts to clarify the purpose of the board. I wasn't slamming DL for being anonymous, I was slamming many of the uninformed people on there for saying things I doubt they'd be brave enough to say to me if they were looking me in the eye. And if the point of DL is to enable cowards by turning them into raging assholes, I'll just leave you to it.

The people who don't understand the difference between bitchy and douchey should stick to talking about the penis size of celebrities and what Lady Gaga didn't wear at her last live performance.

In any case, I won't be back there, and if you have any doubts about that, I'm sure someone can check the stats to see if I'm lying.

Nikki: I can't even remember what pictures Janna posted on her blog, she's had so many different blogs, and she's ritually removed posts from all of them. She is a rambler, though.

Anonymous said...

Anon3 here. If Miss Piggy sent you back the gifts or reimbursed you with interest, would that make this whole? I would guess that it wouldn't.

A macho dying guy who knits scarves? *giggles*

Pls do not take umbrage at my advice to drop it. Shake the dust from your sandals and be on your merry way. Be at peace, knowing that this sordid episode has revealed more about you: that you are loving and generous and trusting. Be at peace with that knowledge. And don't let bad stuff change your inner goodness. Don't let Miss Piggy steal that from you as well.

Annie Moose #3

Madb said...

Wow. I've read this blog over the past few days and just...wow.

I'm in awe of your determination to see this through, I'm grateful to see it even. People like her are the reason that people with real problems are often accused of lying.

I'll be sitting in the metaphorical stands cheering you on.

ephemerina said...

Anon3: Again, you're missing the point. She can't give me my time back. She can't take back the incredible stress I went through after "Jesse's" "death," or the prolonged illness that followed after lack of sleep and proper nutrition hammered my immune system down to nil. She has done this to others before me, and after me.

I completely understand why someone wouldn't want to go through this shit - many have not, and I don't judge them for it. It's a huge row to hoe. Many of the other women I've spoken to, though, have regrets that they didn't take action when they could have. Having experienced it myself, it's an awful feeling to have someone get in touch with you to tell you they think they've been fleeced by Janna St. James. I don't judge them for declining to prosecute Janna for her actions, so why should anyone judge me for doing the opposite? What gives you, or anyone, the right to judge me, other than the twelve good men and true that will be chosen to decide this case?

I'm emotionally strong enough, and also flush enough, to be the one who takes her to court so we can change the laws about internet fraud. She's bullied and embarrassed women for thirty years into keeping their mouths shut. Homey don't play dat. I don't see what's so hard to understand about that.

I can only assume that many of the people (who don't know me) that are telling me to hang this lawsuit up are people who might be affected should a new law regulating internet behavior come about because of my action against Janna Saint James.

And newsflash: I don't take the advice of anyone I don't know, who doesn't know me, to heart. Not anymore. So there's that.

If you can't see how the internet has allowed Janna and her ilk free rein to defraud people left, right and center, and if you don't see something wrong with that, I don't believe we will ever see this issue eye to eye. I'm sorry about that.

And as for the rest of it, I'm doing my best to continue on business as usual, I may be a little more neurotic when it comes to befriending someone online - I insist on a meeting at the first available opportunity - but the way I am in my day-to-day life has changed little. I'm thankful for that.

The lawsuit, I just have to see it through to the end. It won't break me.

Madb: yeah, there's that also. That the stories she tells trivializes the real stories that other people have had to suffer through. There's not much more abhorrent than lying about being raped, especially when adding the vile vulgar racist fabrication of three Mexican men committing the fictional deed. Of course, even more abhorrent is the act of child molestation. I'll tell you a red flag that popped up, probably about a month prior to Janna being found out.

Janna was telling me a story about some hippie dude who had some sort of love-in festival in Colorado, that he was a friend of John Denver's and she would go to this gathering, it might have been yearly, the details escape me at present. But she finished recounting that story and then after a pause, she speculated that this hippie guru guy may have molested her daughter Jessica.

That brought me up short, and of course with my 20:20 hindsight I can see that this was part of her obsession. At the time it seemed a little odd, but in my typical overthinker way, I drew the conclusion that the reason she bonded with "Jesse" may have been because she had the taint of child molestation in her family as well. It's easy to leap to conclusions if you're operating under the assumption that things are as they appear to be.

And, thanks for the support. It's been a rough week.

Anonymous said...

Paula I still just DON'T get it. Weren't you EVER suspicious? Why would you not get on a plane and go to effin' Colorado to JJJ's house (how many llama ranches can there be?) and see if he was real? Did "he" warn you to never show up without notice?

Why rely on all Janna's multiple personalities, also "people" you'd never met, as proof that JJJ was real?

ephemerina said...

I booked a (nonrefundable) plane ticket about three months after we started talking, when we had a misunderstanding over the phone. I thought the only way to resolve it was to talk face to face, and I emailed "Jesse" to let him know I was headed to the airport. I was going to ditch work, rent a hotel room in Denver, and wait for "Jesse" to show up. "Jesse" called me while I was driving, and pleaded with me not to do it that way, that he was falling apart because his grandmother was dying, his dog had just died, and that one of us needed to be a responsible adult.

I didn't know where "Jesse" lived, exactly, it was a few hours from Denver, and again, I must stress, this was not a llama ranch, it was just a house on some land that happened to have a few llamas on it.

I also happened to be working six day weeks, and ultimately seven day weeks, so there wasn't much possibility for me to do much traveling until I was done with my project. I didn't even have Christmas off that year, but even if I had, conveniently "Jesse" attempted suicide in October, and then we weren't really speaking until after Christmas. In fact, we didn't speak from mid-October till New Year's Eve.

We planned to get together during the Easter holiday, we were going to meet at a hotel a couple of hours drive from my house, but circumstances once again kept that from happening (but I still had to pay for the hotel because, hello, no cancellation policy for Easter, and I didn't find out till the last minute).

Once my job ended in June, I made plans to move to Colorado, to get my own place and find a job working in Denver, to see if "Jesse" and I could make something work, but as I was preparing to make the move, "Jesse" died.

As for believing 20 other people, there were about 60 people on the Deadwood message boards, I'd met about 20 of them in person, including several of the actors in the show who were also posting on the board, so I knew they were real. Janna was real; I had an address for her. I'd spoken on the phone to "Jesse" as well as his "sister" - I had both their cellphone numbers, which were Colorado numbers. I had an address for "Jesse," which was a PO Box, sure, but there was a convenient backstory for that too.

I had emails from his friends, I had correspondence via the US Postal service from "Jesse" from some of the places he'd traveled to, like Ohio, New Hampshire and Alaska. I had things mailed to me from his "son" and from his "friend" "Cakey." and of course from Janna. Post "Jesse's" death, I even heard from his therapist/Janna's bestie, who was/is a real person, albeit a person who'd never heard of Janna St. James till I tried contacting her after Janna was busted.

Does this help clarify things somewhat?

Anonymous said...

Anon #3.3 here.

No, as far as I know, your lawsuit will not affect me personally. Your assumption is cynicism at its worst.

No more unsolicited advice from me. But I will tell you what I know: I read the musings of one very angry, duped, hurt, broken person who hides behind the perceived selfless sacrifice and honor of a lawsuit.

Because I was once that capricious too - that I often mistook "fighting" as the honorable, sublime thing to do. The whole idea of "doing this for the greater good" was intoxicating. But in the end, my lesson learned has been magnanimity.

Grifters and liars have been around forever. Pls beware of the arrogance that makes you believe you can change things for the better.

The fall might be even more jarring after the "fight" is gone.

You might even miss the angels amongst us while your busy feeling self-righteous.

Good luck again.

- No, not some religious right wing nut

Anonymous said...

I hope all goes well with your lawsuit...but how wrong is it that I want you to tell me if you've met Ian McShane? X XXX XXXX XXX XXXXXX XXX. (<--- deleted x-rated ideas for him.) I love him! Oh, and bah -- this anonymous person who seems to be alternating between putting you down and holding you up should be ignored, methinks.

LQ again...

ephemerina said...

Anon3: I must say, you are coming off as not much more than a concern troll, so I think our conversation here is pretty much done.

LQ: No. and yes.

Anonymous said...

wow, things are really hopping on the ol' homested!

here's my two bits:

#1 JSJ isn't 'sick'. She isn't 'mentally ILL'. She's a psychopath.

#2 There is no treatment for pyschopathy.

#3 Those of you who think you have the wisdom to judge Paula for being duped have no idea what Janna brings to bear when she goes into full con mode. NONE.

#4 Those of you who question the worth of the lawsuit and the exposure, are doing so from a mindset that suggests you are 'safe', and beyond it all. Nothing like this could ever happen to you, because you are 'too' blah blah blah..hhahahhaaaa. YOU have know idea what JSJ is about. NONE.
She has gleefully ruined peoples' lives and will continue to do so for the rest of HER life. A court ordered psychiatric evaluation would change what is known about her; and add to the growing network of people who know who she is and what she does, and hopefully, create legislation that can be used when JSJ tries to screw YOU on the internet. Finding Paula's blog is exceptionally important to those who have been fucked over by JSJ; it can save lives. Seriously.

#5 There is a cost to what Paula is doing - and there are people out here on the web who are grateful that she has the willingness and the ability to go the distance. It is fucking hard on her - but don't kid yourselves, YOU have no right to question her motivation, it DIDN'T FREAKING HAPPEN TO YOU....fuck, I hate armchair critics.

#6 Someone actually castigated you, Paula, for not knowing how much work llamas require? Snort.

Anonymous said...

Asthma, degenerative lung disease, heart disease, multiple personality disorder, gender dysphoria, sheep as llama stand-ins,incestuous father and sister, rape....blah blah blah blah....
Stealing other peoples' stories, their photos, their lives....making scarves or t-shirts in the dying days...fake boys dying fake deaths, trying to fake kill themselves- all done to HURT and HARM others ON PURPOSE. No remorse, no empathy: psychopath.

Chris said...

"Concern Troll"? Haha! You're quite funny.

I know people who know people who can "take care of things." She's in Chicago, after all.

Kidding aside - the only winner here are the lawyers who'd sue a ham sandwich given their retainer fee.

I don't know you (or your friends) or JsJ to "judge" you. Even if I did, I wouldn't. Life is too short to spend on psuedo-pithy endeavors.

Plus I have a farm full of sparking ponies to tend to.

Actually, those who encourage you are just as specious, but it seems they are the only ones allowed in your corner. It's easier to fake acquiscence.

And to Miss Janna St Piggy, SHAME ON YOU.

Chris
From a 'burb of Philly

ephemerina said...

Chris, yeah, I'm funny all right. So are you.

I guess you weren't aware that my lawyer is now representing me pro bono. Ask one of the lawyers in the firm that employs you what that means (and do they know how you feel about their profession?).

For someone who claims they don't judge, you sure seem to spend quite a lot of time here doing just that. You ask for explanations, I spend time answering passive aggressive questions, then you mock me for my choices. Concern troll.

Ciao, bella.

Kristy said...

I wonder how Janna's family feel about this...? Judging by her blog she seems pretty tight with them. They have to know she's crazy right? Her daughter had to know Jesse never existed because didn't Janna once claim her daughter was involved with him?

Anonymous said...

@Kristy - In a fairly recent scam JSJ also scammed the adult child of one of her real life friends, who was a childhood friend of Janna's daughter. I kid you not. Then she made up a story saying it was actually someone else...blah blah blah. Can you imagine one of your Mother's friends doing that to you?

Don't know what her family thinks of her; and yes, they do seem tight...but it is obvious what regard she has for her family.

Anonymous said...

Mary, She killed off the significant other of her lead character (after she killed off the lead character)in a con a couple of years ago...in a car accident. Had the sibling commit suicide also, after the lead character died.

Anonymous said...

Janna St. James uses her daughter's name or derivatives of it in some of her scams. Why would you con someone using your daughter's name, a name that could link your lying hidden internet self to your real family????

Myst said...

I just wanted to wish you well. I stumbled upon your predicament after watching the film "Catfish" and then doing some internet research as I'm prone to do during bouts of insomnia. I have been taken advantage of myself so I truly feel for you. I spent quite a bit of time berating myself for allowing it to happen and then decided to look at it as a life lesson instead. In the wise words of Mr. Daltrey "won't get fooled again". Thats for damn sure. I wasn't born a cynic but the world sure did turn me into one.

Luck to you in all your endeavors,
Myst