Barbara Kentner, 35, died from injuries sustained from being hit with a trailer hitch thrown from a moving car, according to the Crown. Brayden Bushby, 18, is charged with second degree murder in connection with the incident. (Barbara Kentner/Facebook) Tia Nicholaichuk said she was struck by how quickly the rumours spread on Facebook about Barbara Kentner, the Anishinaabe woman who died this summer after she was struck by a trailer hit thrown from a moving car in northern Ontario.
The 34-year-old social work student from Thunder Bay, Ont. said she was also bothered by the tone of some Facebook comments directed at Kentner after her family announced she was dying and also after her death.
"The lies had been going around for quite a while." said Nicholaichuk. "There’s been really nasty things being said."
Kentner, 34, died at about 5 a.m. July 4 at in the hospice and palliative care unit of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Thunder Bay. On Jan. 29, at about 1 a.m., she was struck by a trailer hitch thrown from a car on McKenzie St. The impact of the trailer hitch created internal injuries that led to a slow and painful death, according to Kentner’s family. Tyler Jeffries, 35, from Thunder Bay admitted he was ‘wrong’ about his claims. (Courtesy of Tia Nicholaichuk) Earlier this month, the Crown prosecutor announced he was upgrading the charge against Brayden Bushby, 18, to second-degree murder in connection with the trailer hitch incident. Bushby, who turned himself into police shortly after the January incident, was initially charged with aggravated assault.
Nicholaichuk said she decided to act after the Crown’s announcement. She noticed a Facebook comment from someone debunking a long-shared lie that Kentner had been previously involved in an assault on a 15-year-old boy that left him with a caved-in eye-socket. Nicholaichuk said she wanted to get to the "bottom of this" and began sifting through posts, primarily from the Real Concerned Citizens of Thunder Bay Facebook group.
"When I sat down and tried to trace this rumour and I kind of put all these screenshots together of misinformation being spread and just outright hate, it was really shocking," said Nicholaichuk. "The whole story people were basing this on was fabricated. I realized I needed to get the word out there as soon as soon as possible." Origins of the fake story
Nicholaichuk provided CBC News with a number of posts she collected, many from the Real Concerned Citizens Facebook group.
It appears the rumour that Kentner had previously assaulted a boy began after a redacted copy of a court document sheet with Kentner’s name was posted on the Thunder Bay Courthouse — Inside Edition Facebook page in February. It claimed Kentner and two other women were facing several charges for allegedly assaulting and intimidating a Crown witness on Nov. 8, 2016. The posted copy had the victim’s name redacted.
CBC News obtained a copy of the original court document and it identified the victim as a woman.
One of the people who backed the fake story was Thunder Bay resident Tyler Jeffries, who also posted under the name Gregory Lusko. He claimed the boy was a child of a "friend of mine" and that he was "friends with the family."
The story was repeated by several posters and some continue to believe it. Tyler Jeffries says he no longer throws pennies at ‘hookers.’ (Courtesy Tanya Toneguzzi) CBC News contacted Jeffries about his posts. He said he was "wrong" and that he never knew the family of the boy.
"I was bullshitting about that," said Jeffries, in a telephone interview. "I heard it from a buddy and he heard […]
(Visited 5 times, 1 visits today)