The identity of the "forest boy" who oh so mysteriously wandered out of the woods in Germany last fall is out. His name is Robin Van Helsum, and the 20-year-old is not even a "boy." But he IS a total jerk.
As many of us (yup, even me), suspected when the weird story first made the news in September, the whole thing was a hoax. The release of photos by the Berlin Police Department this week has confirmed the guy they've spent money and resources on for the past nine months is not actually a kid named Ray who spent five years living in the woods. The dad forest boy said he buried in a shallow grave after he died? He was a fake: Van Helsum's real father died this year, not knowing where his son was.
Say it with me now, folks ...
Throw the book at him! Please!
There's talk that Berlin Police might let their not-so mysterious forest boy walk. They're still evaluating whether forest boy will have to pay for his actions. But let's settle it right here and now: make him pay through the nose!
He's an adult, and they say forest boy, er, Van Helsum is legally allowed to stay in Germany if he desires, although they won't be footing the bill for his care anymore. But holy grilled cheez-us folks, the fact that he IS an adult is exactly why he should have to pay something for his little prank!
This isn't a teenager being goofy. This guy, this adult (remember, he's 20, not 17 as he'd claimed), has spent nine months being "cared" for by the state, costing German taxpayers money and wasting the time of the Berlin Police Department. I'm sure those officers had better things to do; solving real crimes. But they put time and effort into locating a family for a kid who tugged at their heartstrings.
And all along Robin Van Helsum had a stepmother in the Netherlands. He had a family who actually reported him missing way back in September. Can you just imagine what it was like for his poor dad to pass away still wondering what happened to his child? The burden on them had to be excruciating.
Van Helsum has victims everywhere he turns, from the police to the taxpayers to his family back in the Netherlands. There's no "if" the Dutchman should have to make restitution for his crime. There's only "when."
What do you think they should do with the forest boy now?
Image via Berlin Police