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All The Bombshell Revelations From ‘Sherri Papini: Lies, Lies, Lies’
In the Oxygen special "Sherri Papini: Lies, Lies and More Lies," new police footage gives insight into the kidnapping hoax that made headlines in the fall of 2016.
For nearly a month in 2016, Sherri Papini’s name was everywhere as her family tirelessly searched for the woman they thought was kidnapped during a jog. But as the new Oxygen special “Sherri Papini: Lies, Lies and More Lies” outlines, this was more than just a missing persons case.
When Sherri was returned to her husband Keith and their two children approximately 22 days later, she told an incredible tale about being kidnapped by two Hispanic women who tortured and abused her throughout captivity. She said they randomly decided to free her on a remote California highway on Thanksgiving Day.
Her harrowing account was seemingly confirmed by the extensive bruises found across her arms and legs, as well as a branding.
But as investigators looked into her claims, they realized that not all was as it seemed. In fact, evidence and Papini’s own statements to police indicated that the kidnapping was orchestrated by Papini herself, who had enlisted her ex-boyfriend James Reyes to aid in her hoax.
She’s since pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements and one count of mail fraud, for which she was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay a $300,000 fine.
"Sherri Papini: Lies, Lies and More Lies” features newly released footage, some of which has not been widely seen by the public, revealing shocking new information about the case and premieres Dec. 17 at 9/8c on Oxygen. Keep reading to learn more...
Multiple people described Sherri as not trustworthy:
Five years prior to her hoax, Sherri purportedly told friend Donovan Miske about the alleged abuse she endured at the hands of her husband Keith. In the audio of a police interview played in “Lies, Lies and More Lies,” Miske told investigators, “She has a great disregard and great fear of her husband... She states that he’s violent, abusive.”
But those claims of abuse were never substantiated, and Sherri wasn’t described favorably by those who knew her either, with Shasta County Sheriff Kyle Wallace saying in the documentary, “Every person had a different opinion of Sherry.”
An ex of hers, who was unnamed, described Sherri as “crazy” and “attention hungry,” according to an audio recording.
Sherri said the kidnappers told her she was going to be sold to a police officer:
During the interview with Keith and investigators, Sherri claimed that her captors branded the word “Exodus,” a bible reference, on her shoulder because she was going to be sold to a police officer who would “like” that mark.
In the audio played in the documentary, Sherri said that the kidnapper told her, “Guess what? The buyer’s a cop. They’re never going to find you.”
The idea that her purported buyer was a cop, Sherri said, made her hesitant to trust the investigators. As she said in a video interview, “I don’t know if you’re in my corner.”
Sherri purportedly wrote a hateful letter about Latinos on a white supremacist site:
Investigators discovered a disturbing and racist article about Latinos written by someone with the name Sherri Graeff — which was Sherri’s maiden name. In the letter, Graeff complained about being “suspended from school” for “defending myself against the Latinos,” whom she said had a problem with her being “drug-free, white and proud of my blood and heritage.”
When investigators brought up the article in a second video interview, played in “Lies, Lies and More Lies,” Sherri told them that her life “wasn’t perfect” prior to the kidnapping but she didn’t write the manifesto.
James Reyes helped Sherri with injuring herself:
In audio footage played in “Lies, Lies and More Lies,” Reyes tells detectives that while Sherri inflicted most of the injuries herself, he did give her a bruise a couple times. In one instance, Reyes said, “I didn’t even put hands on her or anything, she just was like, ‘Bank a (hockey) puck off my leg.’”
Reyes said he did as she asked but did so “lightly.”
As for the “exodus” brand, Reyes said he bought a woodburning tool from Hobby Lobby, though he noted that Sherri didn’t tell him the meaning behind the brand.
Sherri told Keith she didn’t want her so-called “captor” to be arrested — right as she was confronted about her lies:
In Sherri’s final interview with police on Aug. 13, 2020, she was confronted with the new information given to police by Reyes. Throughout their discussion, she dismissed the new evidence, saying she couldn’t be 100 percent sure that the photos of Reyes’ apartment were of the place where she was held.
Then, when detectives prepared to accuse her of lying about everything, they gave her the option to have Keith, who had been sitting alongside her the entire time, leave the room. When detectives left so she and Keith could discuss what to do, Sherri said that she didn’t want one of the captors to be arrested because she’s “the reason why I get to hold my children every single day.”
She ultimately let Keith stay in the room as investigators explained that DNA found on her clothing belonged to James Reyes, who had told them everything. Though she tried to twist the story and allege that Reyes had been involved in the kidnapping, investigators didn’t let her get away with it.
In November, Sherri started her 18-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to making false statements and mail fraud in April. She was also ordered to pay a $300,000 fine.
Keith filed for divorce just a day after Sherri entered a guilty plea.
To learn more about this shocking hoax, tune in to “Sherri Papini: Lies, Lies and More Lies” Dec. 17 at 9/8c on Oxygen.