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Widow, the Fake

The making of a perfect victim.

Alicia Head, also known as Tania Head, was the first great 9/11 impostor—the president and spokesperson for the World Trade Center Survivors Network despite not being a World Trade Center survivor, and a prominent advocate for 9/11 widows who had not, in fact, lost a husband. Or a fiancé, as she referred to a man named Dave, who had actually died in the attacks. Dave’s family had never heard of Alicia, or Tania, which is no surprise, since she was a Spanish business-school student who had spent September 11 in Barcelona. She had never worked for Merrill Lynch, which she claimed as her employer at the time of the attacks, and had never visited the offices of the Fiduciary Trust Company, on the 96th floor of the South Tower, where she claimed she was when Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower. (She had reached the 78th floor and was waiting for an express elevator down, she said, when the second plane made impact above her.) On her way out of the building, she often told trauma groups, reporters, and 9/11 victims, she encountered a badly injured man who passed her his wedding ring and asked that she return it to his wife. Head had been rescued by Welles Remy Crowther, she said, a volunteer firefighter who is said to have saved the lives of eighteen people that day, but she lost consciousness while still in the tower and awoke five days later, in a hospital, to learn her fiancé had died in the North Tower [W3]. None of this happened. Six years after she’d cast herself as the most perfect living victim of 9/11, Head was unmasked in a New York Times exposé. A 2008 e-mail sent to the Survivors Network suggested she’d committed suicide in Spain. Her death has not been confirmed.


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