We confess it’s hard to believe, but three years ago today, Scarlet Scoop hit “publish” on the very first post here at Hoaxtead Research. At 2,298 posts, nearly 1.3 million hits, and 94,000 comments from our readers, we’re going stronger than ever.
Our goal, which we stated on the blog’s first birthday, is “to stand up and say a resounding ‘No!’ to the liars, scam artists, and gullible dupes who’ve done their best to destroy lives by spreading this hoax. And we’ll keep on doing that for as long as need be, until Hoaxtead is nothing but a bad memory”.
That day may be coming more quickly than anyone realises. During the past year, the Hampstead SRA hoax has clearly entered the twilight of its days.
Here are just a few highlights:
Ella and Abraham sink out of sight
Last spring, after a brief flurry of interviews which were clearly intended to rejuvenate the hoax and pull in some much-needed cash, Abe and Ella finally seemed to disappear from the internet altogether. Their blog has been out of commission for months; their various crowd-funding sites were removed thanks to quick action from our readership; and no one has seen or heard from them since last June.
Rupert’s trial and conviction
Last August saw the week-long trial and eventual conviction of Rupert Quaintance IV, who served 4.5 months of a nine-month sentence and was deported back to the United States in mid-January.
This marked a major turning-point in the Hampstead hoax, as would-be promoters began to realise that this was not a game: their actions could have serious, life-altering consequences.
Sabine’s arrest and remand to prison
Sabine McNeill was arrested in November and charged with 10 offences: six counts of violating her lifetime restraining order, and four of criminal harassment. On 8 December, at her court hearing, she was charged with a further nine counts of breach of restraining order. She pleaded not guilty to all 19 charges.
She was remanded in custody and a £20,000 bail bond was set.
This set off a flurry of activity, as Belinda McKenzie and Tracey Morris set about crowd-funding the bail bond money. They raised the cash within 10 days, and Sabine was released from prison to await trial.
Sabine was in court again on 26 February 2018, where she was charged with another violation of her lifetime restraining order, in addition to the 19 charges currently outstanding.
She pleaded guilty to the 20th charge, and was spared prison but was placed under “house arrest” with an electronic tag and a curfew which allowed her to leave her home between midnight and 6 a.m. each day.
However, she was arrested again on 4 March, held overnight at the police station, and then remanded in custody again following a hearing on 5 March. The reason given is that she had violated her bail condition on two occasions in three weeks.
Sabine is currently attempting to apply for bail once again, and will be in court today. Whether she’s granted bail or remains in custody, however, her trial, which is expected to take about three weeks, has been set for 19 November.
Ella admits her children lied
Aside from the various courtroom and prison comings and goings, possibly the most important event of the past year was Ella’s bald admission that she and Abraham had forced her children to lie about the alleged Satanic ritual cult.
During an interview with American troofer Nathan Stolpman, Nathan asked Ella about her ex-husband Mr Draper’s alleged participation in the “cult”.
According to Nathan, “she says now she doesn’t believe that was the case and that was maybe something she was prompted into coming up with at the time when she was under duress”.
With this admission, Ella pulled the legs out from under the entire hoax. She and Abe had made both children state that both Mr Draper and Ella’s eldest son were “in the cult” and that they had participated in its grotesque activities.
In admitting that she’d lied, Ella stated that her children had been forced to lie, too. There’s really no way to overstate the importance of this moment: it means, in effect, that the hoax is over. While the body may continue to thrash about, the head of the snake has been cut off.
As we mentioned, Sabine’s next hearing will take place tomorrow; the court will decide whether she can be placed on bail until November.
In the longer term, it seems that some of the original promoters of the Hampstead SRA hoax have regrouped and formed the Fresh Start Foundation in Scotland. Others have gone quiet—though for how long, remains to be seen.
Over the next year, we will continue to watch, critique, and report on the activities of those who think it’s perfectly okay to harass families, teachers, social workers, clergy, police, and others with false allegations of hideous crimes. We’ll continue to deliver news, analysis, and opinions about the hoax and those who keep it running.
And we’ll hope we’ll continue to be a place you’ll want to visit, to share opinions, offer advice, and share a few laughs while we rebut and counter the hoaxers’ false claims, and fight against the vile conspiracy theories and delusions which underlie the Hampstead hoax.