We've heard some strange cases of online impersonation, but this one, as the Brits say, takes the biscuit.
Last night Jessica Cooley of the Lufkin Daily News broke the story of Angela Buchanan, a 30-year-old woman evidently smitten with a 51-year-old lady. Buchanan and the woman had been messaging each other for the past seven years via Yahoo!, during which time Buchanan claimed to have survived breast cancer in 2008 and to have had twins via in vitro fertilization while living with a former girlfriend.
According to an Angelina County arrest affidavit, in March, Buchanan started contacting the woman posing as "Doc," a Lufkin gynecologist with whom Buchanan claimed to have a sort of mother-daughter friendship.
So, Doc and Buchanan are the same person operating two different Yahoo! Message accounts. Got it? (This does get confusing.)
What "Doc" messaged the 51-year-old was chilling. Buchanan had a precancerous mass in her breast. The best course of treatment, "Doc" advised, was for Buchanan to spike her natural hormone levels through having sex. Lots and lots of sex, specifically sex with the 51-year-old woman reading her messages. It was the best way to try to save Buchanan's life.
The older woman later told police she had religious qualms over the relationship at first, but soon overcame them to try to save Buchanan's life. Under the online supervision of "Doc, the women started having sex regularly.
And now the story gets really weird...
Buchanan pretended to check in with "Doc" for weekly blood draws, and "Doc" would send over results via Yahoo! Messenger. She would also "prescribe" the frequency, nature and duration of the sexual healing regimen.
The woman suspected that this might not be enough to save Buchanan, so she advised her to go in for a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Buchanan agreed and the two women went together. After the procedure was done, the older woman asked the surgeon about the lump. The befuddled doctor told her that all he'd done to Buchanan's breasts was augment them.
The woman hastened to a computer to get some answers from "Doc," and was told that the surgeon had performed the procedure "under the table" and had to lie because cameras were watching in the waiting room.
The woman bought that, and Buchanan's next whopper, too. Throughout June and July, Buchanan said that she was embroiled in a custody battle over her twins, and that it would really help her cause if they could travel to a same-sex marriage state and tie the knot. In August, they whisked off to Massachusetts and did just that.
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Around that time, the woman's daughter started voicing suspicions that Buchanan and "Doc" were one and the same, and she eventually won her mom around. She contacted Buchanan's ex, who told her that there had been no breast cancer in 2008, nor was there a custody battle. The woman then called the real Doc, and that was when police got involved. (Buchanan's "Doc" identity was allegedly based on a real Lufkin ob-gyn.)
Buchanan has reportedly confessed, saying she had to resort to such elaborate tactics because it was the only way the relationship could have occurred.
She's been charged with online impersonation, a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in county jail. Buchanan is currently free on $1,500 bond.