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the woman who wasn’t there


Tania Head became famous after she claimed she was a 9/11 survivor, one of only nineteen people to escape death above the point of impact in the South Tower.

Tania Head’s survival story was made all the more harrowing as she tragically lost her fiancé who was killed in the North Tower.

America took Tania Head into their hearts both as a victim and as the woman who publicly fought for the cause of the 9/11 survivors.

But in 2007 Tania Head became infamous as the woman who made it all up.

People were left stunned as the woman confessed to the lies before the New York Times could beat her to it with their exposé.

And the extent of her cruelty continues to be revealed.

As part of the fantasist’s web of lies Tania Head forced a genuine survivor to relive her trauma and mocked her when she found it difficult, as revealed in a new book,  The Woman Who Wasn’t There, to be released next month.

Tania Head became infamous as the woman who made the 9/11 surviving story up

Tania Head became infamous as the woman who made the 9/11 survival story up

Spinning her story to a wounded nation, Tania Head rose to become president of the World Trade Center Survivors’ Network with politicians, media, fellow survivors and the families of those who died in the attacks all being inspired by her tale of tragedy and triumph.

Inevitably, Tania Head also became friends with fellow survivors, including her closest friend Linda Gormley.

The fraudster convinced Linda Gormley that they should be leaning on one another to get through their trauma and implored Linda to help her with her therapy.

Linda Gormley was reluctant to talk in depth about the terror but couldn’t say no to her forceful friend who, she believed, had suffered more than she had in the attacks.

Linda Gormley had seen people die but Tania Head had been badly burnt, nearly lost an arm and lost the love of her life, Dave, in the North Tower.

Tania Head told Linda Gormley that she had was undergoing an intense form of treatment to help deal with her post traumatic stress.

The treatment involved Tania Head reciting the terrible incidents of the attacks – and recording them.

Tania Head told Linda Gormely that, as part of the therapy, she had to then listen back to the tape until her fear receded and to enlist the help of a friend if she needed support.

So Tania Head asked her “fellow” survivor to listen to the graphic recital with her but Linda wanted to avoid reliving the nightmare – and tried to postpone it.

“You’re scared! Ha! Why should you be scared? I’m the one who went through hell. All you have to do is listen to a tape with me,” Tania Head taunted.

And trapped in Tania Head’s apartment Linda Gormley, who had herself seen people die in the attacks, was forced to listen to the tape which brought back the terror of her own ordeal.

The Woman Who Wasn’t There will be released next month

The Woman Who Wasn’t There will be released next month

The genuine survivor was made to listen to Tania Head talk about looking at the lifeless body of her secretary who has been almost decapitated.

“She has no head!” Tania Head cries in the tape.

“Oh, my God! I can’t breathe! My skin is burning! They’re all dead, Everyone is dead!”

Linda Gormley is desperate to turn off the tape but doesn’t dare to stand up to Tania – whose forceful nature she was already aware of.

Tania Head’s tape shines light on the minute detail that Tania went into to fool the entire nation into believing she was a survivor.

The tape starts with Tania Head talking about and her future husband, Dave, having breakfast – two sunny side up eggs for her and three over easy for him before they go to work together in the Twin Towers.

Tania Head, whose real name is Alicia Esteve Head, was in fact thousands of miles away at business school in Barcelona.

The Woman Who Wasn’t There reveals the intricacy of the web of lies which allowed Tania Head to become the face of the survivors, the woman who gave Rudy Giulani and Michael Bloomberg a tour around Ground Zero and who fooled the nation with her story.



Tonya and Bryan Ricks, from Colorado Springs have been sentenced to 25 years in prison for abusing and starving their child resulting in serious bodily harm and failure to provide medical attention.

Tonya and Bryan Ricks pleaded guilty to starving their teenage son until he weighed just 37 pounds (17 kg) and leaving his seizure disorder untreated for five years.

According to doctors, the teenage boy would have suffered from as many as 12 seizures a day which compounded by malnutrition, left him bedridden, incapable of speech and unable to support his own body weight.

Tonya Ricks

Tonya Ricks

Tonya and Bryan Ricks’ son was found in his own urine and faeces in 2009.

The couple’s other five children, age six months to ten years were also taken into custody and were severely malnourished.

Bryan Ricks

Bryan Ricks

Tonya and Bryan Ricks made an emotional appeal to the judge prior to the sentencing, asking for mercy and expressing remorse over what they put their children through, KKTV reported.

“I am truly, truly sorry for putting them in this situation. It would mean a lot if they [her children] could hear it from me,” Tony Ricks said.

Though the judge applauded them for pleading guilty and not putting their children through the trial, he said it did not outweigh the “severe, continuous abuse”.

Tonya and Bryan Ricks’ 16-year-old son wrote a letter asking for a lengthy sentence which was read out to the court on Monday.

“I’m hoping my parents go to jail for a very long time for what they did to me,” he wrote.

The Ricks family problem was first noticed by Robert Stout, a Colorado Springs electrician in 2008.

The electrician told 11 News he reported the living conditions to police and was most concerned about the boy.

Robert Stout described him as being “frozen” and did not even flinch when a fly landed on his face.

“The thing I thought of was my son, that I would hope that somebody would call for my son if he was ever in trouble. So that’s why I had to call somebody, just to look in to see if what I saw was right.”

All six children were severely malnourished and had health problems which went untreated for years, doctors testified in court.

The children had rotting teeth, brittle hair and alligator-like skin and also suffered from viruses, infections, and many of the girls had asthma.

Two of the girls were suffering from fevers of more than 100 F when they had been taken from the home.

Another girl had a heart condition called ADT, a hole in the heart and the 16-year-old boy suffered from untreated daily seizures, numerous each day.

Neither of the children could hold a fork, tie their shoes or even owned a toothbrush. All children are now in foster care.

According to the foster mother, the 16-year-old has gained 60 pounds (15 kg) since he was taken from the home but “may never be able to walk again or live on his own”.

The teenager’s feet are turned in, from lack of growth and development, inhibiting his ability to walk.