msjones21 (msjones21) wrote,

When in Doubt, Fake Die

So for the second time (geez I hope there's only been two instances and not more that we just haven't discovered yet) in less than a year another falsified death has shaken the knitting community. The difference between this and the epic fake death of Danielle (of Mystical Creations Yarn fame), is that people thought Danielle was a jerk and knew she was shady before her alleged passing. The most recent fake death was perpetrated by someone beloved by the fiber arts community - a death that shocked and saddened many people.

I'm talking about none other than Gina (Gigi) Silva, proprietor of Socktopia, who offered up gorgeous sock patterns under the name MommaMonkey or Monkey Toes. When the knitting community heard of MommaMonkey's death (due to complications from Lupus) last January, there was a tremendous outpouring of sympathies and support for her remaining loved ones. Allegedly her "husband" was logging in using her Ravelry username and password to upload patterns, posthumously, and all proceeds were supposed to go toward Lupus charities. A good number of good-natured people also sent donations to the family and countless MommaMonkey memorial knit-alongs spread out across the internet.

Recently, someone put an e-mail address into the networking site Twitter and it came up with a profile for a person using the same e-mail address as MommaMonkey, only she was now going by a different username. But the profile info was pretty much the same, down to the name. There were children and a husband named Nico. There was also some sort of evidence that the new incarnation had shared photos online of her tattoos, which incidentally matched those MommaMonkey had proudly showed off prior to her "death".

Since the grand revelation, this new incarnation (whose name will be withheld since she still has a profile on Ravelry and is, no doubt, gleefully reading all of the negative attention she has received the past few days) has deleted her Twitter account, her blogs and her Flickr account. Also, the purchase option on the MommaMonkey patterns on Ravelry has been disabled until it can be ascertained whether or not the money was actually going toward charity.

What a sick, sad, stupid thing to do. There are people out there who have Lupus who were terrified when they thought someone so young had died from it. People wondering if any day they could end up being the next Gigi Silva - happily creating beautiful things and then passing away suddenly. There are people out there who were truly grieving over her death. And of course she's also put her business partners in a bad spot. Even if they had no idea she was taking people for a ride, people will always know they collaborated with her in the past and this shady incident casts doubt on them. There are people out there who are trying their damndest to keep their online businesses going and people who need charitable donations, and now people are going to be thinking twice before handing their money over to them.

So anyway, Ravelry rules may protect your new incarnation from exposure and I'll play by the rules even away from Ravelry because, unlike you, I respect the community and those who enjoy it. But you know what you've done and you'll know soon if there are people out there (and I kinda hope there are) who will seek compensation for the money you took from them. Faking your own death, coming back to see all the nice things people said about you, ripping people off and continuing the charade - yeah, I'm glad I don't have your karma.

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