When Thelma Williams logged into Facebook on the afternoon of September 18, 2017, it appeared that her account had been hijacked. Someone identifying themselves as “Tony” claimed to have control of Williams’ account. In one post the alleged hacker wrote, “My name is Tony! Tell little Thelma she can’t hide forever. I see her when she’s sleeping. I’m like santie claws!”
The lack of comments suggested that not many took notice of these original posts. There were no responses. Williams set up a new account shortly thereafter, perhaps to explain the posts to anyone who happened to have stumbled upon them. Williams’ original account went quiet the next day. It would seem that “Tony” didn’t elicit the response he desired and went to find something else to do.
It wouldn’t be until the following Sunday that Williams’ original account would become active again. This time Tony became more forward with his intentions. A post time stamped for 8:03 am that day read, “I want Thelma dead. People think I’ve went away. They think she’s safe. She’ll never be safe.” Two minutes later a second post appeared. The alleged hacker posts, “Do you think she’ll look pretty with her insides spilled all over the basement floor”
Several more days pass with no further posts from Williams’ alleged hacker. Then on Wednesday, September 24, the hacker wrote, “Do any of you know where your precious thelma is? I do.” This time the post received more attention. Friends and other acquaintances began to contact Thelma Williams in order to find out what was going on. Several hours later they would all learn that Williams had been kidnapped.
Several photos and video appeared on the account depicting Williams in distress. A pair of panties had been stuffed into her mouth and she appeared to be tied up. Friends, colleagues and even complete strangers were expressing concern for Williams’ safety. According to a report from WCPO, a Florida woman called for a welfare check, that’s when Williams’ story began to unravel.
When police arrived at Williams’ Butler County home they found her loosely bound with her clothing torn. Sheriff’s deputies, with the help of a helicopter, proceeded to patrol the area in search for Williams’ kidnapper. It was an “all hands on deck” search effort according to Butler County Sheriffs, until Williams admitted during questioning that she had fabricated the entire story.
While police continued to investigate, Sword and Scale reached out to a friend of Williams’ through Facebook. According to a woman known as J., “Thelma’s fb acct was hacked recently by some psycho & he came after her, but the guy wasn’t there. She was treated for injuries & some cuts, but she’s safe.” At the time, rumors on whether or not the event had been staged were beginning to fly. J. said that she did not believe that the event had been a hoax, and that even Williams’ own daughter believed her mother’s life had been in danger.
Surveillance footage was able to corroborate the confession. A CCTV camera from a nearby McDonald’s captured Williams grabbing some lunch shortly after she allegedly had been kidnapped that same day.
Williams told police that she had been going through a rough time in her life and made up the entire Facebook hack and her own kidnapping for attention. Police arrested Williams for the hoax. She has been charged with making false alarms, a fifth-degree felony.