From the Mouths of Babes: Balloon Boy’s Statement May Lead to Charges For Parents

lcsostaralderdenSheriff Jim Alderden of Larimer County appears on the verge of charging Richard and Mayumi Heene with a criminal hoax after their six-year-old son Falcon made a revealing statement during an interview on CNN. In the meantime, Falcon is saying a bit too much in another forum: the video below where he raps about “killing the faggot.”

The suspicion of sheriff was aroused during an episode of CNN’s “Larry King Live” when the Heenes asked their son why he had not come out from hiding when they called his name. He responded “You guys said we did this for the show.”

Their attorney, Denver David Lane, gave a guarded response to the news, which he called speculation: “All I’m saying if you’ve got some reason to arrest him, let me know, he’ll turn himself in. If you got the goods, just tell me.” The biggest problem for Lane in any trial would be Richard Heene’s tearful reunion with Falcon and his emotinal first interview. If there is evidence of fraud, a jury would be outraged by such a video. A judge in a bench trial would be equally angered.

The goods may come in part from 25-year-old researcher Robert Thomas who worked with Richard Heene and said that, while a student at Colorado State University, he worked for Heene as a “stenographer” taking down Heene’s ideas for reality shows. He told Gawker that Heene told him that it would be easy to stage a Roswell UFO incident with a weather balloon.

Frankly, that would not be enough. Weather balloons are commonly mistaken for UFOs and it is far from sinister to observe that such a thing could be staged. The mere fact that a weather balloon was involved in this controversy could be a coincidence.

a3fc3595e51a0cd1082b53bc41c87704What adds to the suspicion is the family context. These are two trained actors who were so desperate for fame that they participated in the reality show “Wife Swap.” They have also been pitching a reality show based on their family. Such a controversy could result in heightened interest in such a show. However, this remains highly circumstantial stuff. . . which leads the investigators back to Falcon. If Richard Heene relied on a six-year-old in a hoax, he is not only a poor father but a poor criminal.

The parents could pay dearly for any hoax. They could be charged with conspiracy, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and attempting to influence a public servant as well as filing a false police report. They would also be subject for payment of the costs from the balloon chase and search. Finally, if they accepted any gifts or money during the controversy, there could be fraud charges.

In the meantime, the children — ages 6, 8, and 10 — are shown in a rap video with their parents that has some disturbing elements like singing “kill the faggot” in a tree.

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24 thoughts on “From the Mouths of Babes: Balloon Boy’s Statement May Lead to Charges For Parents”

  1. There’s an award-winning children’s picture book on the subject of a hot air balloon flight that took place in France in September of 1783. The passengers in the basket on that flight were: a duck, a sheep, and a rooster.

    The book, “Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride,” was written and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman.

  2. The first person to do a helium balloon and lawn chair flight used 45, 8ft. diameter weather balloons. This photo is not of his flight but a later one. Those are big balloons, a lot of big balloons. Even downsized for the weight difference you need something much larger than what the heene’s had.,2933,288809,00.html

  3. lottakatz:

    I heard that someone did and according to the guys calculations it could lift 80 lbs.

  4. What is amazing is that anyone seeing that balloon could think it was large enough to lift a 6 year old, a 40/55 lb weight. I dangle (very light) stuff from helium filled balloons as cat toys regularly. A fully inflated balloon from a store (somewhat lass than a cubic foot) won’t lift a full cigarette pack. How come none of the networks that covered the event bothered to call a scientist?

  5. Gyges:

    come on, that is classic Americana! It doesnt get any “better” than that. What a baritone that guy has. And besides my grandmother used to watch that stuff on saturday or sunday night when I was kid so I have been inoculated to it’s Siren Song.

  6. Seamus:

    no need to throw out the jazz and blues, just send them to me. I will make good use of them.

    The 5th dimension is the reincarnation of the 3rd dimension. They wanted to appeal to suburban whites.

  7. Gyges,

    Thanks for the belly laugh. I guess my suspicions about my suspicions about my grandparents’ covert pot use may have been founded.


    I’m glad you’re down with the people my brother. I guess I was foolish to have thought the 5th Dimension sounded like crappy over produced muzak. What was I thinking!!?? Clearly it is the most profound manifestation of the overwhelming cultural (and athletic as you pointed out) superiority of the black man. I will throw out all of my blues and jazz records when I get home. Thank you for opening the eyes of this poor cracker.

  8. Seamus:

    you really did not know? You should have figured though. Most good musicians are black, hell most good actors are black, as well as athletes, wholly cracker Robin.

    What is a talentless white man to do?

  9. I think we need to talk to Dan Snyders son and see if he is screwing up the Redskins on purpose or just because he is rich he thinks he can do anything. It must be hard for someone that makes money in one venue to fail in others. I think 6 flags is in chapter 11.

    Dan sell the Skins now so we can have a real team and not be the laughing stock of the league. Oops we aren’t the laughing stock you are. Or at the very least give up control of the day to day operations and just write the checks when your GM needs something. The first step on the rich mans 12 step program is to admit you aren’t good at everything and that a man has got to know his limitations. Free yourself so we can again have a real team in DC.

    Otherwise you and balloon boys father have a lot in common, delusional thoughts about your place in the world and your abilities.

  10. Holy White-Bread Pop-machine Batman! The 5th Dimension was a black group!!! I’ve been listening to that song for 40 years and never had a clue they were one smidge darker than the Osmonds. Thanks for the link Mespo. I finally learned something from this blog.

  11. Let us not forget where the primary blame belongs. Stupid press corps.

    Once upon a time, when they could still be shamed by their own shabbyness, they would have been more careful.

    Now they love being played because there is no shame.

    Guilt follows the story now.

    The waste of the air waves is the fault of kooks, yes, but the kooks are the lame “journalists”.

    Wally Cronkite is turning over in his grave.

  12. mespo, elainem and others,

    can you not just take a joke? That is all it was meant to be. golly geeze sarge, I am sorry. Shazamm.

  13. Elaine M:

    “I can’t help but wonder if this man may be abusing his wife as well as his children.”


    I think putting a mother’s child up to lying, hiding from searchers, and getting him so upset that he throws up twice on national TV would qualify as abuse of the mother under most statutory schemes.

  14. James,

    Certainly, you know a fagot refers to a) Cigarette; b) a kindling stick; c) a cinder ember used to ignite a flame; d) a gay person; e) someone you don’t like. The list is not inclusive or exhaustive by any stretch on the imagination.

  15. My major concern in regard to the “Balloon Boy” incident/hoax: How these children are being raised and used by their parents. I can’t help but wonder if this man may be abusing his wife as well as his children

  16. There are many more considerations as well. The FAA has not chimed in nor TSA. This stunt closed the major Denver Airport. Was this within the Zone of Danger or foreseeable consequences that Cardozo is trying to figure out if the victim in the Palsgraf case is a foreseeable victim of the harm.

    “Would a small explosion at one end of a train platform likely cause a scale to fall on a person standing at the other end of the platform? His answer was no… the victim was not within the zone of danger of the explosion and so it is not foreseeable that the victim would be hurt.”

    Sure we have stupid parents and it does not seem like the sheriff is doing much better.

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