Word that Sgt. Dan Kennings had been killed in Iraq crushed spirits in the Daily Egyptian newsroom. The stocky, buzz-cut soldier befriended by students at the university newspaper was dead, and the sergeant’s little girl–a precocious, blond-haired child they’d grown to love–was now an orphan.
They all knew that Kodee Kennings’ mother had died when Kodee was about 5. The little girl’s fears and frustrations about her father being in harm’s way had played out on the pages of the Daily Egyptian for nearly two years, in gut-wrenching letters fraught with misspellings, innocent observations and questions about why Daddy wasn’t there to chase the monsters from under her bed.
It turns out Daddy didn’t exist. And neither did Kodee. –Casillas, Heinzman and Huppke –HOAX!
Did Sgt. Dan Kennings die in Iraq? Not really.
Did Sgt. Dan Kennings even exist? Well, no.
So who was that little girl writing the letters? (Chicago Tribune)