Bataan Death March Reaches Topeka!

Well, here’s one weird-ass story:

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Days after an elderly social service worker admitted concocting a story about surviving the Bataan Death March, the decomposed body of a woman was found in her home. An elderly woman was in the home when the body was found Monday and she was taken to a hospital, police said. But officials would not say whether the elderly woman was Juanita L. Smith, who lost her job as director of the Topeka YWCA’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program last week after she admitted her lie about serving as a Navy nurse during World War II.

Police Maj. John Sidwell declined to identify the dead woman, saying detectives were trying to notify relatives. Sidwell said the investigation suggested the woman may have died in March. An autopsy was being performed Tuesday. According to voter registration records, Shannon N. Smith, 39, was registered at the same address. The lies came to light after Smith was profiled May 2 in The Topeka Capital-Journal and the newspaper received e-mails questioning the Bataan tale. Thousands of Americans and Filipinos surrendered to the Japanese on the Philippines’ Bataan peninsula in 1942, only to be marched more than 60 miles to a prisoner-of-war camp. About 16,000 of the 70,000 soldiers didn’t survive the march.

Smith told the Capital-Journal last week she had made up the death march story in the early 1990s to make an impression during a job interview.

—I’m putting that on my resume from now on, too.

That’s just creepy. I wonder if the old bird bumped off the younger woman. I swear, Kansas has been the source of some very weird news stories as of late.

“Did I say ‘Bataan Death March?’ I meant ‘there’s been a dead woman in my house since March!’ I’m sorry for the confusion. Can I have some ice cream now?”

No, no, obviously at her interview she said baton death march!

“This one time? At band camp? I killed this woman and left her body in my house for three months?”

The following is a link to the article in The Topeka Capital-Journal. The paper just started a registration thing, so you may or may not be able to view it without registering. Tell 'em what you feel like.

I live in Topeka and have been following this story. I remember the article a few weeks ago about the social worker’s “experiences”. Then last week the paper had a front page retraction, said how the woman had resigned, and so had the editor who had passed on the story. “Hmmm,” I thought, “strange and said, but it will blow over.”

Guess not. This one ranks right up there, on the weirdness scale, with Fred Phelps, also a resident of Topeka.

Maybe she meant the “Bacall Death March?”

“That’s not a dessicated mummy, it’s Lauren Bacall!”

Maybe it was the Rattan death march.

“Wicker? I don’t even know 'er!”

Nah. Go for the obvious and claim to be heir to the mustard fortune.

I’ll revise my biography accordingly.

“She was sick of the jokes by second grade. But, the truth was that she was heir to a vast fortune- due to a mustard recipe. She often claimed to have trouble making ends meet. But that secret recipe had made her quite wealthy- spicy, decadent, sophisticated, and certain to leave your lips tingling. The recipe was good too.”

Maybe she meant she was in a Batman Death Match.

In which case Juanita L. Smith might actually be … the Joker.

The Bataan Death March was 62 years ago. If Juanita Smith was 18 at the time, she’d be 80 now. And she was still employed as the director of a teen pregnancy prevention program? Or say that she wasn’t that old. Didn’t anyone notice that she wasn’t old enough to make her story plausible?

The article in the Capital-Journal said that various ages have been listed for Smith, but the May 2nd article, in which she told her “story” again, said she was 86.

Maybe she was a writer for some recent seasons of Saturday Night Live, so she actually said she was a vet of the Chris Kattan death march.

Actually, it’s not unusual for social agency workers in Topeka to reach their mid-to-late 70s and keep on working. When auntie em was working at her agency in Topeka, I was surprised by the number of 70 year-olds in managerial positions. I have no idea about Juanita, of course, but I suppose I wouldn’t be too surprised anymore to see an 80 year-old still working behind a desk.

You know, I can imagine people saying a LOT of things in job interviews. “I have experience in the field of mathematics”, maybe. Maybe even “I spent a great deal of time supervising others.” But when was the last time you put “Suffered through the Bataan Death March” on your resume?

What was the interviewer gonna say? “Well, she’s got stamina and that’s important.” :confused:

No, the interviewer would probably say “She’s a whiner. Can’t stop complaining about things that happened decades ago.”

Yes, they make excellent role models as their pregnancy rate has consistently remained relatively low compared to their younger charges.

What she failed to mention was that she was in the Japanese Army at the time.

Unfortunately, because the elders have to nap a lot during the day, those same younger charges see that as an endorsment of “sleeping around”.

I should put on my resume ‘Stormed the beach at Normandy’

If they point out that D-Day was decades before my birth, I can respond ‘I didn’t say that I participated in D-Day. I said I stormed the beach at Normandy. And I did. It was during the trip to Europe Uncle Moishe gave me for my Bar Mitzvah.’

Actually she was a lesbian with a Philipina mammary fixation who annually goes to those islands for the lesbian get-together. So what she actually said was she was a veteran of the “Bataan Breast Munch.”