One night in October, 2017, a young woman from New Jersey drove along route 95, a major highway on the east coast. Her story went something like this: she was on her way home from visiting a friend in Philadelphia and her car ran out of gas. She coasted off the highway, down the exit ramp until her car finally died. It was late at night, she was alone, no idea where the nearest gas station was. She called her boyfriend told her he would come and get her. But he was in New Jersey, so she’d be waiting a little while.
Soon after her car stalled out a stranger approached her window. His name was John Bobbit. He had a slender, angular face, a long unruly beard and mustache. Jon was homeless, but he saw a young woman alone and stranded and knew he could help. The young woman was Katie McClure, and her good fortune was breaking down off the exit ramp where John asked people for money.
Katie and her boyfriend Marc D’Amico not only repaid John’s kindness, they decided to change his life and launched a Go Fund Me campaign to raise $10,000 in an effort to help John Bobbit get off the street and into a drug rehabilitation program. They never expected that campaign to raise over $400,000, nor did they expect to be arrested about a year later in November 2018, all three charged with fraud and conspiracy.
What happened? How did this feel good story turn out to be such a disaster resulting in McClure and D’Amico’s house getting raided and Go Fund Me reimbursing 14,000 donors who contributed to this campaign? You’ll find out in part two of the 2018’s best and worst in TwistedPhilly.
Research sources for this episode include:
- The Philadelphia Inquirer
- The Philadelphia Daily News
- Philly Voice
- Philadelphia Magazine
- Philadelphia NBC 10
- Philadelphia ABC 6
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