Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009

Balloon Boy

It took three days for authorities to determine what many already assumed: Richard and Mayumi Heene of Fort Collins, Colo., were trying to drum up interest in a possible reality show when they staged an incident in which their homemade helium balloon got loose and flew away — supposedly with their 6-year-old son Falcon inside. When Sheriff Jim Alderden of Larimer County announced on Oct. 18 that the Heenes, as their son had let slip days earlier on CNN, "did it for the show," the world uttered a collective "Duh" and moved on. Richard Heene pleaded guilty to a felony charge of knowingly and falsely influencing Sheriff Alderden. His wife, in an effort to avoid being deported to her native Japan, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of knowingly filing a false report. Their sentencing hearing is scheduled for Dec. 23.