Meet 53-year-old Dave Rhodes, who wrote as David Rose, then “faked” his death, online
Deaf paraplegic blogger David Rose captured the world's attention with a tragic and heartwarming post of his last words before dying of pneumonia. It turns out there is no David Rose, the blogger is not paraplegic, and he is not dead.A man presenting himself as a 24-year-old cerebral palsy sufferer, blogging under the alias “David Rose,” posted on Facebook and tweeted about his life, even giving details about his family, and his mourning and loving sister Nichole.
For months he amazed the world, making everybody believe that those witty posts came from a deaf sufferer who only used an ocular reader to type, after having lost his capacity to move his fingers.
Blogger Kristi-Anne wrote an exposé about who the real David Rose is – 53-year-old Dave Rhodes, a blogger that used TheRhodester.net as a platform.
Until August 30, Rhodes wrote constantly on his blog, and then suddenly stopped. It was the same day as endearing paraplegic David Rose popped up on tweeter as DaveonWheels, and started gaining thousands of followers with his amazing story.
Rhodes used a picture of Hunter Dunn, a man with cerebral palsy that had been featured on the Tobii site, in an editorial about assistive technology. Tobii manufactures the ocular reader that “Rose” supposedly used to tweet.
As Kristi-Anne sent her story to TheChive, reporters investigated how a man that could only write 4 words per minute could keep so active on social media.
Reporter John Resig started questioning the story as well, as it turned out that the blogging paraplegic was using social media dashboard TweetDeck, where users could publish messages and view different posts at once, which would have been impossible for a man in his position.
As TheChive had reported on Dave's tragic story, as he announced he was dying from pneumonia and posted his final words to family, friends and fans, Resig asked a friend that had been in contact with him to meet his family.
Dave's sister, Nichole Rose, was supposed to meet with them, as they wanted to attend Dave's funeral, but excused herself and canceled. As reporters dug deeper, they found there was no death certificate issued in David Rose's name.
“Nichole Rose” posted a reply to Kristi-Anne's entry, revealing that there is no Nichole, and that there was no David.
David Rhodes admitted to having created Dave, as a fictional character.
“A character, a part of my psyche. No celebrity or fame was intended by this, it all came fast and was a total surprise… (I did it) to inspire people to live a better life but the public knowledge it came under, this false pretense takes it all away,” Rhodes commented.