Althea Bernstein: “Case Closed”

On August 1, 2020, Watching the Watchdogs reported the story of Althea Bernstein, an 18-year-old bi-racial woman who claimed she had been set on fire by “four white frat boys” at a stop light in downtown Madison, Wisconsin, in the early hours of June 24.

Three months later, after hundreds of hours of investigation by both the Madison Police Department and the FBI, both agencies officially closed their respective cases on October 1, citing a complete lack of evidence.

Madison Police Department press release: “After an exhaustive probe, detectives were unable to corroborate or locate evidence consistent with what was reported.”

“Case findings were also reviewed by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Wisconsin and the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. Both independently evaluated the facts and reached the same conclusion as MPD.”

US Department of Justice press release: “After a thorough investigation into the events of June 24, 2020, including extensive interviews, exhaustive review of traffic and surveillance video, and expert review of digital and forensic evidence, federal investigators determined that there is insufficient evidence to prove that a violation of any federal criminal statute occurred.

Further, after reviewing all available evidence, authorities could not establish that the attack, as alleged by the complainant, had occurred. Accordingly, the federal investigation into this incident has been closed based on the lack of evidence.”

While both press releases are careful to state that neither agency could conclusively prove that the attack occurred, MPD Detective Justine Harris, who has been investigating the case from the beginning, concludes her 157-page final report:

“I explained to [Bernstein family attorney] Sumpter that based on the extensive video footage we had reviewed, combined with the GPS data that identified where Bernstein was at specific points in time, we were confident that we had identified Bernstein’s car as it traveled through the downtown Madison area and out to Middleton. I explained that in watching this vehicle travel along its route, there were specific factors that led us to conclude that what Bernstein had described did not occur.” (Supplemental narrative, p. 155)

Attorney Sumpter later released a statement on behalf of the Bernstein family: “Althea Bernstein and her family appreciate the detailed investigative efforts by all involved in this case. Althea’s injuries are healing and the support of our community has been invaluable in that regard. We continue to maintain our family privacy and will not be granting interviews at this time.

The family of the alleged victim of one of the most egregious “hate crimes” of the century seem to be taking the news rather calmly.

It’s gratifying to know that the Bernstein family appreciates the hundreds of hours invested by Madison and federal investigators. The thousands of people who donated to a $10,000 GoFundMe site set up for Bernstein can request a refund (no further donations are being accepted). Good Morning America, Megan Markle and the NFL, who all piled on to the “hate crime” bandwagon before police had completed their investigation, will no doubt remain silent on the matter until it all goes away.

And so another alleged hate crime hoax wends its way toward the Memory Hole. Madison Police have determined that they will not be charging Althea Bernstein with filing a false report even though she obviously filed a false report.

Hate crime hoaxes will never go away until the perpetrators face actual repercussions for their actions and until the click-bait Media industry is held responsible for perpetuating unfounded claims for profit.

As veteran researcher Laird Wilcox noted in his seminal book, “Crying Wolf: Hate Crime Hoaxes in America “:

“What can be done about hoaxes? Probably very little as long as victimization claims are so uncritically accepted, and the payoff for alleged victimization is sufficiently tempting and rewarding “

Hate crime” legislation, although well-intentioned, has created a powerful market for the side benefits of alleged hate crimes. When these crimes are not naturally occurring, or are not occurring in sufficient numbers, a motive to commit hoaxes is created.

Our thanks to our friends at the fakehatecrimes.org website for bringing this breaking news to our attention.

More on this story to follow.

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