This blog was started on May 14, 2012 to expose the story of “Warrior Eli” Dirr as a hoax.

Hundreds of people came together to help investigate, gather information and theorize about the identity behind the hoax.  It truly was a group effort from men and women around the world.

After that, I made a private Facebook group with people who had helped research Emily Dirr, and readers started sending us suspicious blogs and Facebook pages to investigate.  The Warrior Eli Hoax group was born.

This blog is written by Taryn Harper Wright but researched by many.

Comments and questions are welcome at warriorelihoax@gmail.com.  We also love checking out suspicious pages so keep us busy.


25 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hi,
    This is sickening! I can’t believe that people can do this, although we live in a sick world and I shouldn’t be surprised!
    Please will you keep me updated on your findings? Eli’s so called prayer requests etc have been posted on a page belonging to a friend of mine whose 10 year old daughter died of cancer 7 weeks ago. She has no objection to sharing stories and prayer requests but not for people who are scamming others!
    May God help you find the real Eli (if there is one)

  2. I am disgusted by this. I do not know, nor have I ever known, a child with cancer. But all sick children have a special place in my heart. I have prayed for Eli before, as have my friends. Thank you to whoever discovered it was all a hoax. It is absolutely terrible what this person (or people) has done, if we can even call his actions human. It takes a real monster to fake cancer, in a child, thinking they’ll get away with it.

  3. we donated $50 last night too Alex`s lemonade stand. When I heard this all a hoax I contacted them and they said they got the funds and even offered to transfer the money back. I am just glad the money went to this amazing foundation. Our daughter is fighting cancer and I am so disgusted that there are people out there that would do such a hoax. My big question is now, we paid with paypal, is there any way they could get access to our paypal account? or why would they do such a thing if they did not even get any of the money? Usually these kind of hoaxes are done so that the scammers get lots of money. I really do not get it.

    1. The Dirrs, whoever the heck they are in real life, would not have access to your paypal information. I am so happy to hear you’re not requesting the return of the money. It really is a very legitimate charity and I’m rooting for your daughter too.

      1. thank you so much and I agree the charity is totally legitimate and I am very sad that they have all this extra work to figure all this out. Thank you for shedding light on this cruel hoax. I wish there were more things we could do to protect our kids & families and also the caring public from hoaxes like this!

  4. I found this after googling the email address that someone listed earlier. This person has a profile on http://www.peejeshare.com using a screen name that is totally different. They give a response to someone’s question and then direct them to email them at the same email address that has been listed on this site already. http://www.peejeshare.com/health/what-will-therapy-leukemia-5-year-old-consist-81217 Do you have any idea what dleonkolsch could stand for?

  5. I was following Warrior Eli’s Facebook for some time as well, and was heartbroken when I learned of “Dana’s” tragic death. I hadn’t even considered that they could be fake people, so I am curious as to who YOU are? And how did you determine that Warrior Eli was fake? I know you posted a link earlier and said to click on it to learn when/how you began questioning the validity of the website, but I clicked on the link and I don’t find it leading me to anything that answers HOW you determined Warrior Eli was fake. And also… who is “Emily” that you are referring to? I understand you are discussing her as “JS’s sister” but if JS is not a real person, then who is Emily in real life? And how did you contact her/get information from her? None of this information is available on this blog, making me think that THIS too might be fake…?

    1. …especially because- like you mentioned that there were no news articles about “Dana’s” car crash- there are also no news articles about such a huge scam, and one would certainly think that something like this would make the news at least SOMEWHERE…

    2. Emily Dirr is the lady who created “the Dirr family.” (yes, she used her own last name). She used stolen pictures to pretend she had a gigantic family of children, one who had cancer several times.

      There’s a lot written in this blog about how we uncovered it. I was a member of a site that has discussed a trainwreck Mommyblogger (mwopblog.com) for quite some time. A member posted about the Dirr tragedy. It didn’t ring true. Several people started investigating and I put it online as an easy way to keep things together. Since then, hundreds of people have emailed info and I’ve tried to sort through it and make it easy to follow.

      My name is Taryn Wright and I really have gone through a lot to verify my identity with people here. I blog at http://www.innerfatgirl.com for one thing. I’ve never met Emily, the “Dirr family” and I haven’t even been to Ohio or Canada in at least five years.

  6. Hi, I can’t even start to express how terrible i find this whole story, I read on and on in this blog in disbelief….. It is beyond me how anybody can do something like this…..
    I am writing because, reading through the conversation here
    I realized a page at http://caringbridge.org is mentioned.
    I tried to get to the page using the pagename warrioreli to find out more, but I get the message “Sorry, the author has restricted access to this website.”, means, you can only access it when the owner invites you.
    Maybe somebody who you know or somebody reading here has access to that page, so it can be verified it is really about the eli who does not exist and let Caringbridge also know the truth.
    Best wishes from Germany, Inge

      1. Thank you, that’s what I feared….
        My point was — did somebody let Caringbridge know that their side is being misused here?
        The page still seems to be online, though use has been restricted by the owner….

  7. I found a link to this site on a friends facebook page. Never heard of it or any of it’s stories before today. All I can say is WOW. Some people really do put a whole lot of effort into fantasy. Why not use your “talents” to write a fiction story and make millions. Rather than take advantage of the emotions of people who are already in situations of need.

    Loved the site. Just spent an hour reading everything.

  8. I found your page via a fb post made by Blessing Boxes (some super sweet girls!) I am absolutely appalled at what people will do! I currently have a 4 year old daughter battling Leukemia (She was diagnosed in January 2011 & was 3 at the time) and found out I was pregnant with our second child the October before. We have spend the last year in hell, and knowing my daughters daily struggles and pain, not to mention our financial struggles since we had to go down to a 1 income family so I could take care of her and our newborn, I am infuriated by these stories. As I have seen now in a lot of comments on your stories, people are so suspicious of other pages and it seems like no one can be trusted now. It breaks my heart for the many, MANY families who I personally know and have met through our tons of hospital visits and stays that are dealing with their children having cancer or some other life threatening diseases. I Just can’t get over how people can be so sick. I want to personally thank you for the excellent job you are doing! It gives me at least a little hope for humanity in knowing that there are people who actually care! Thank you again!

  9. How grotesque. I have ulcerative colitis (don’t worry no sob stories here!) and am a young girl so, thanks to hoaxes like this, I have to jump through hoops sometimes to prove to people that I really AM sick and not just an attention-seeking liar (although not asking for donations helps). People like that make it harder for all of us to be believed especially as 90% of the time it seems to be young females perpetrating these online frauds. Keep up the good work!

  10. You are doing GREAT and USEFUL work. Emily is a very sick young woman. Munchausen by internet is spot on! Saw the piece on tv tonight. The internet is teeming with sickos that are up to no good. DO YOU HAVE ANY PHOTOS OF EMILY? I cannot find one photo of her on the web!

  11. I listened to your interview on NPR and found it fascinating. Read Munchhausen as a child :0) and later learned about Munchhausen Syndrome and Munchhausen by proxy. With the supposed anonymity of the internet, Munchhausen had to arrive there, too. Facebook is a perfect platform. Thank you for tracking the fraudsters down and sparing parents and patients added agony.

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