I thought ABC's Nightline did a very nice job with the story. If you want to see it, the link to the full version is below:
My random thoughts:
1.) Thanks to all who contacted me over the past two years to share their experience with Hope as we all tried to put pieces of this crazy puzzle together and we've still not got a perfect fit; items are still missing and questions unanswered. I appreciate your sharing and totally respect the fact you did not want to be a part of the story. There is no reason whatsoever to be embarrassed because you were scammed by her; you are loving compassionate people who opened your heart to a very believable yet very evil woman. I'm sorry you were scammed and I hope your hearts are not hardened.
2.) I don't believe Hope is sorry, only sorry she got caught, but like I told the reporter (which was cut) it's not for me to judge her or anyone else. She will meet her maker one day and she needs to live with what she's done. I wish the story would have stressed the fact she confessed to doing this for a period of 4-5 years and that there were MANY others involved, despite the fact they did not want to be mentioned. And some of these great groups and organizations did indeed send her money and gifts over the years, but they did not want to press charges or be associated with this; I understand. (And there are probably many others who have no idea they were dealing with this sick woman.)
3.) Hope Jackson served 7 weeks of jail time and her probation includes not being on the Internet. (I doubt that is able to be enforced, especially since she is again homeschooling her two children, Chase and Faith. That really saddens and sickens me. I am glad the state of Alaska refused to allow her into their state when she tried to move and I'm glad she is remaining in Douglas, Wyoming where people are aware of her and can be on the watch. She had been working at an Arby's there.
4.) While I had heard that "So Much Cooler Online" song (and loved it -what a hoot), until this story aired last night, I did not know that it was a Brad Paisley song and I'd never even seen Brad or Kim Paisley! When the show started, I liked them immediately! They seemed so down to earth, sweet, gorgeous and intelligent individuals with hearts of gold. I just wanted to say to the TV, "THANK YOU, awesome Paisleys! Without you being brave enough to come forward, Hope NEVER would have been caught! I applaud and commend you for pressing charges when others didn't want the hassle or bad press. Time and time again that happened and without you, she would not have been stopped (or at least slowed down, I really can't believe she will stop - but I want to believe she will). It's fantastic to know there are great people like you in the world!" May God richly bless sweet Brad and Kim!
5.) It was really neat to "see" people I've been talking with over the years trying to get this story, with so many fragmented pieces, sorted out. Alissa, one of the story's reporters and writers was a doll! I'd emailed with her and talked with her on the phone, but never knew what she looked like! And Kevin Lovewell who when I first spoke with him a year ago, I actually pictured him wearing a cowboy hat so imagine my shock and surprise last night to see him wearing that big hat! I loved it! Last night, I wanted to jump off my chair and shake his hand! I remember when he called me to tell me he found her, cuffed her and put her in the back of his cruiser when it seemed like the case went cold and other authorities were no longer interested in trying to pursue Hope or were not able to because they could not cross state lines - crazy! The night Kevin called me, I felt like my deceased father was sitting in the passenger's seat in that cruiser and Christi's little angel wings were going crazy with excitement and she was escorting the police car to jail because Hope had been on the run for about 9 months and it didn't seem like anyone was going to ever be able to find her!
6.) I was trying not to cry on the air, but my voice certainly was shaky. It's hard when I talk about Christi and like I told the reporter, I don't like to think of bad times, but of good times with her! As I shared with the ABC reporter, what was the hardest for me was on Christmas Eve, about two years ago, having to identify the worst pictures of Christi - about 20 of them that Hope used to scam members of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders (another group of sweet, loving, compassionate and amazing people). I needed to verify that the pictures were my pictures of Christi that I took and put on Christi's website with no permission for anyone else to use them. Of course these were not the great pictures of Christi I treasure and love to see, but of the ones near the end of her life and of getting her torturous treatments where she is in pain and looks gruesome. I took them at that time to document her life. I thought things would get better and one day we'd say, "Christi, you don't remember this, but look how sick you were; we were really worried about you!" I also wanted the world to know of the harsh realities of childhood cancer and the fact that is vastly different from adult cancers and that it is dramatically underfunded. I believe awareness is the first step toward a cure and even though a cure would not help Christi, it will help others yet to be diagnosed. No family should ever watch their child suffer and die. It still haunts me! Anyway, the sweet producer, after I said how hard it was to look at bad pictures of Christi, said, "Email me some photos you like and we'll use those." It was great to see "good ones" on TV last night - thank you, sweet Jake for making that happen! She sure was a little cutie pie with beautiful blue eyes and I know she loved that the cat made it to the big screen too! THANKS!
In closing, I actually believe Hope has some skills and I just wish she would have used those talents and gifts to do great things for others instead of hateful cruel things that had a powerful ripple, hurting many. Christi was a great gal with an amazing personality, incredible wit and spunk and a true zest for life. She taught us how to live and to take each day by storm! I hope she's having a great day in a much better place until I see her beautiful smile again and hold her in my arms!
Finally, I appreciate what the judge said to Hope which included (from the court documents): "My concern is that you're just sorry you got caught, which is typically what I see from people who commit crimes. I think you need to ask yourself how would you feel if some nut called your kids on the phone and started telling them lies. Your actions are of somebody who is totally self-centered and narcissistic. Normal people don't do this. It's not clever; it's not funny. It's strange is what it is. And I think most people would be embarrassed by what you did. You know, the only thing I can say is in this final analysis is that this whole scenario was shameful. It played on the sympathy of others. You impersonated a child with cancer. Listen to what the Paisleys wrote in their impact statement to describe you: con artist, person with serious emotional, mental illness, vindictive, psychotic deception, criminal and twisted. That's the impression you left and it's hard to argue with that. Still in the end the Paisleys said they did not want more jail time. They are ok with probation; they are showing the compassion that you yourself did not have." Hope was to pay $150.00 to the victim compensation fund, $75 for addicted offender assessment, and $20 in fees. She was to pay her public defender a mere $200.00 for his services of representing her. She is not have any access to computers, no contact on email, Facebook, Twitter, blogs or any other multimedia site. She can have no contact with the victims. She was to enroll in a parenting class and to regularly see her psychiatrist. May God help her get the help and comfort she needs to pull her life together now!
Thank you, sweet Christi fans for checking in! Please have a great rest of the week!
If you feel Hope is up to her tricks again, here is Hope's info:
Date of Birth: July 18, 1976
Social Security Number: 517-92-2730
Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color: Brown
Height: 5’ 8”
2011: Divorced from Rich Williams (Married August 14, 1999).
Mother of two elementary aged children: son (Chase) and daughter (Faith)
Hope was employed at Taco Bell in Billings, Montana
Hope Graduated in 1995 from Laurel High School in Billings, Montana.