Woman admits she faked daughter's cancer, defrauded Utah community

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  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 6:08 p.m.

    What a disgrace...I don't understand how anyone could use a child for their own means.

  • sid 6.7 Holladay, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 4:15 p.m.

    You know what they day about Karma. Here's to hoping it visits Ms. Winkler ten fold.

  • rpm9 Lehi, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 1:52 p.m.

    This is despicable...but why would we expect someone to go to jail for this? She didn't harm anyone. No one gave her any money against their will. All that so-called victims lost is trust in this woman (and maybe people in general) and some cash that they freely gave.

    The question that should be asked: If no one knew the truth, would they be any the worse for the actions of this woman?

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    Oct. 31, 2013 10:52 a.m.

    Though it is a bit off the train of thought in the article, I agree with bdckpakccd and NedGrimley. The real rip off is with organizations that benefit by cancer (and other illnesses). Sad that greed is such a prevalent character trait.

  • Vince Ballard South Ogden, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 10:38 a.m.

    Thirty days in jail for such a faithless, remorseless crime? This is one example of what is wrong with our legal system.

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 9:50 a.m.

    bdckpakccd: Well said. There is far more money to be made in "treating" cancer than in curing it...

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 8:13 a.m.

    Despicable...Kharma has an ugly and uncanny way of evening the score. How anyone could do this is so far beyond reason...

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Oct. 31, 2013 7:54 a.m.


    Yes, she said the words in court, but that does not mean that she is seriously remorseful.

    She has shown herself to be a pathological liar. The judge should have taken that into account when he handed down the slap on the wrist.

    We'll be on the lookout for her down here in TX....

  • ISLANDA Stansbury Park, ut
    Oct. 31, 2013 7:49 a.m.

    Where i come from isn't going to be tolerated....I don't care what disease she's got or syndrome it's just flat out unecessary. I think that's almost worse than homocide, should spend more time in jail and more community service.

  • thebigsamoan Richmond, VA
    Oct. 31, 2013 7:16 a.m.

    What this lady did was beyond despicable. What's more important now is that she's sincerely remorseful and willing to accept the consequences of her behavior. I'm saddened for those who had been betrayed and defrauded, especially the children that's been affected. So Sad!

  • bdckpakccd Plano, TX
    Oct. 31, 2013 7:07 a.m.

    This woman is punished for faking cancer because she took money from the community to seek a cure that wasn't needed. Yet we all line up like sheep to buy pink products from companies that will give mere pennies from the price of the item. The recipient of those donations will then spend millions in administrative costs and even dole out that money to OTHER organizations (ie Planned Parenthood, LGBT groups, etc). We continue throwing our money at this disease and somehow, we're no closer to the elusive cure. Groups such as Komen have a lot of financial interest in keeping breast cancer alive and well. And emotional. But they're honorable and the woman in this story is going to jail. Makes no sense to me.

  • citi1 Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 6:58 a.m.

    As a parent whose child really does have cancer, I find this despicable. I had to go jump through all kinds of hoops and even send a letter from my daughter's doctor to get a fundraiser approved by the state of Utah and I am glad I had to do it. That way all of our friends and neighbors, who generously donated to her cause, knew that the funds were really going to medical expenses. So sad that others have to prey on the love and kindness of friends and strangers. I want to publicly thank all of those who continue to support those of us dealing with this horrible disease even after reading stories like this.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Oct. 31, 2013 6:57 a.m.

    To make the punishment fit the crime, she should have to undergo Chemo.....

    I'll bet she wouldn't pull the cancer scam again....

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 6:19 a.m.

    @ BYR
    I get that around Halloween. Stays with me through Thanksgiving and Christmas.
    Around January 1 I resolve to stop snacking and exercise.

  • 1hemlock Tooele, Utah
    Oct. 31, 2013 5:39 a.m.

    Actually, Münchausen syndrome by proxy. The parent is "addicted" to all the attention and sympathy she and the child get. At times these parents will physically hurt their children by feeding them poisons or starving the child or hurting the child some way. A few years ago there was a mother that would drop bleach into her infants eyes for the attention.
    This case is really no different. She emotionally abused her child (children) by telling them they had cancer.
    Hard to treat. Someone in Texas should remember who she is and her history. Sad.

  • southmtnman Provo, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 5:10 a.m.


    No, she is not faking her own illnesses. This is a form of child abuse known as Münchausen by proxy, and it cost her her children and her freedom. A very sad story for everyone involved.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Oct. 31, 2013 4:31 a.m.

    more like "greed syndrome"

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 3:20 a.m.

    This appears to be malingering, rather than Münchausen, which is why the comment by Lori Haslem is almost as disturbing as anything else in this story. If what Winkler did was "sick," then that is something that would be outside of Winkler's control; hence it would not be reasonable to classify her behavior as "despicable."

    But the judge did call it "despicable," precisely because her behavior was not a matter of involuntary "sickness," or "illness." Rather it was indicative of a good-old fashioned character disorder. Hence the outline for repentance formulated by the judge.

    We as a society need to get away from psychobabble notions and terms such as like "sick" where there is no actual sickness involved. In such cases, terms such as "bad," "evil," "wicked," "immoral," "sinful," or "criminal," may well in order, instead -- especially if the motive is spiting an ex-husband, or monetary gain by fraud.

  • poyman Lincoln City, OR
    Oct. 31, 2013 12:42 a.m.

    Had she been less attractive I am wagering that the punishment would have been more severe.... The primary reason that people who look like she looks does what they do (that are despicable actions to the rest of normal America) is because they are continually enabled... No one wants to come down hard on a pretty face... And if you ask me, that phenomenon continues with the level of punishment that she received today. 30 days in jail, and on to the next scam.

  • BYR West Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:09 p.m.

    Münchausen syndrome?