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jamiebmaher The Wall Street Journal just wrote an article about Gottie:
Enterprising High School Student Solves Mysterious Celebrity Disappearance
Late last night, the internet exploded. If you frequent certain types of conspiracy theory communities on sites like Reddit and Tumblr, you are probably aware of the name ‘gottiewrites’. She’s infamous, already on her way to becoming an urban legend at the age of seventeen. If you live outside of the internet, you will never have heard of her. Yet her actions have real-world implications that have rippled far beyond a sub-reddit.
Margot Garcia, an award-winning student journalist and self-proclaimed obsessive fangirl of a niche NBC series that has only aired 13 episodes, found the body of a missing person last night.
It started back in August, when two actors from the TV show Loch & Ness were seen at a courthouse. Unfortunately for all of us, the sighting was photographed by paparazzi, sending the fan community into a frenzy of invasive speculation that continues to this day.
This was encouraged by the sensation-seeking tabloids, who in an attempt to get more page views, added blood to the water with unsubstantiated claims of one of the British-born actors, Nathan O’Donnell being deported (since disproven).
This is nothing new in the world of C-list celebrities, except that in this unique case, the event was the catalyst needed for Margot Garcia to start writing an online essay about the two actors. This essay has since been taken down by the FBI.
The essay went viral. Each chapter was viewed upwards of ten million times, according to WordPress, who hosted the blog on their site. Their spokesperson told us that, ‘we became aware of what was happening very quickly. It was an unprecedented growth of traffic. We started monitoring Garcia’s posts when we first began to receive reports of inappropriate or illegal content. There wasn’t enough evidence of law-breaking to require action on our part until the FBI interceded.’
One reason for the popular success of the essay was the sheer level of fact-checking and research that Garcia put into analysing every aspect of the actors’ lives. For someone outside of the fan community, this could be seen as an outrageous and terrifying intrusion of their privacy. For a fangirl, this was business as usual – until everything went downhill, very quickly.
The focus of Garcia’s attention, O’Donnell, went missing two weeks ago. This tragic event would appear outwardly to be unconnected with Garcia’s blog. There is no evidence she has ever interacted with the actors in any way.
However, she claims otherwise. She places herself directly into the action, anticipating his disappearance long before it was ever announced by the police. In an eerie act of clairvoyance, she wove a mysterious web of fact and fiction that mirrored real life events. For most of which, it is impossible to separate out the lies from the reality.
Garcia claims to have broken into O’Donnell’s home and overheard an argument with the other actor involved, Rob Hennings, only weeks before his disappearance was announced publicly. She recounts these events on her blog in a dramatic, attention-grabbing fashion both before and after O’Donnell’s disappearance was announced. The recounted details vary wildly based on the date of posting.
This claim should rightly be dispelled as internet hearsay, if not for one fact: yesterday, Garcia livestreamed herself arriving at the house in question. Inexplicably, it seems that Hennings recognised her, referenced some mutual history between himself and his fan, and let her into his home. She then found the body of O’Donnell in a cupboard.
In one iconic moment of internet history, a fan’s out-of-control speculations about the inner lives of their role model collided with the real world in spectacular fashion. We still don’t know the truth of the connection between Garcia, Hennings and the late O’Donnell, but what we do know is this: part of the teenager’s online accounts are true, in some form. Nathan O’Donnell was killed around the time that Garcia started posting his home address on the internet, where over ten million people saw it. And Margot Garcia knows far more than she is telling any of us.
For now, this is where the story ends. However, the intrigue continues on a second-by-second basis. No doubt more updates will have been posted before this article goes live.
One thing is for sure: Garcia will continue to spin her intricate web for our collective entertainment. This tragedy is nothing more than fresh fodder for the on-going narrative of her life. If ‘pulp non-fiction’ were a genre, then she would be the pioneer.
FantasticBooksAWTFT what. the. heck.
Anonymous it’s been days, has anyone heard any news?
Anonymous click – margot
RosaRodel I clicked but the link was broken??
Anonymous it was a blog post, she only left it up for thirty seconds. I saved it:
Hi, everyone. Sorry I’ve been away so long. I’ve been asking my lawyers every day when I’d be allowed to post this, and they keep saying I really shouldn’t post anything online until the trial is over. But I couldn’t not explain what happened.
Hopefully one of you will find this and share it around. Don’t like, send it to the NYT or anything though. I’m trusting you.
This site is hosted on a website hosted on servers in Vietnam, so it doesn’t come under US jurisdiction. They shouldn’t be able to throw any lawsuits my way if they track this down, because it’s not on their soil. (Besides, what proof do they have that this wasn’t written by someone else? So much shit about this case has leaked online, I think I’m safe.)
After my conversation with Rob, I realised that something dodgy was going on. His behaviour seemed odd to me. I pretended to go to the toilet and searched his house for evidence. There was this weird smell in the hallway, and I couldn’t track it down.
I followed it to a locked closet. When I opened it, my hand touched something cold and spongey. It was a finger.
I don’t really want to discuss the rest. Whatever you can imagine, it was worse. It was just . . . it had rotted so much, already. I couldn’t believe how bad it smelt. I could still taste it in my mouth for days after. It didn’t even look human.
I took some photos and left before Rob realised I’d found it, promising him that I’d keep looking for Nathan for him. I didn’t want him to suspect that I’d found the body. I didn’t want him to kill me too.
I drove straight to the police station and told them that I’d found a body and that it belonged to Nathan O’Donnell. I showed them the pictures and gave them Rob’s address. They asked me to wait in one of those interview rooms they use for questioning.
They gave me a drink and left me there for ages, and when someone came back she told me that they’d found him. Then they started asking me questions.
It took a really long time to explain how I’d known where the body was. They kept asking how I knew the identity of the victim and what I was doing in the house. I explained that he was really famous, but they’d never heard of him.
They asked over and over if I’d been following him, and how I’d known where he would be, and what I was doing so far from home in the house of a famous celebrity. They didn’t believe me when I said he’d invited me inside himself.
My lawyers told me a few days ago that the police thought I was the one who killed him for a really long time. I’m not sure what made them believe that it was Rob in the end. I think they read my essay and realised the motives he had for keeping Nathan quiet about the forgeries.
Judging from the autopsy, they think he hit Nathan around the head with some kind of blunt object. I think he must have been trying to call the police to explain the truth about Brad’s visa documents, and Rob panicked and tried to knock him out. He just hit too hard, that’s all.
They finally ended the interview and let me go. I was really tempted to sleep in my car outside the police station, because I felt like I could barely move. But I made myself check into a motel.
I have something else I need to tell you all, but I’m not putting it here. Go to the site that sw used and find the account with ll’s real name.
I’m gonna be in so much shit, you guys. You have no idea how deep this goes.
Gottie is a fangirl for Loch & Ness, a TV show about paranormal detectives. She’s convinced that two of the male actors are secretly dating, and she’ll stop at nothing to prove it. When her online investigations accidentally uncover far more than she expects, she becomes complicit in secrets beyond just a romantic conspiracy theory.
An internet thriller told in a ‘true crime’ style recollection of events, the novel includes social media extracts such as modern Tumblr posts and early-noughties LiveJournal blog entries.