News >> Browse Articles >> Crime News


Police Say Wash. Acid Attack Self-Inflicted

Police Say Wash. Acid Attack Self-Inflicted

This image provided by the Legacy Emanuel Medical Center shows Bethany Storro prior to surgery in Portland, Ore. Vancouver, Wash. [AP]

Associated Press

September 17, 2010

VANCOUVER, Wash. — When the initial shock faded, police in this suburb of Portland, Ore., began to question some details in Bethany Storro’s account of the day her face was irreparably burned by acid.

Why, they asked, did the burn patterns of the acid not reflect Storro’s account of a stranger tossing it in her face? Why was she wearing sunglasses – something she said she never did – just after 7 p.m. on Aug. 30?

And why did no one see the alleged assailant?

Those questions culminated in a search warrant served at Storro’s house on Thursday, when she admitted that she fabricated the story of a stranger’s attack. Instead, she said, she did it to herself.

The attack drew worldwide sympathy. Facebook groups were formed to draw attention to her plight. A fundraiser was planned in Vancouver, and donation sites were established at branches of two local banks.

So it was in a soft-spoken voice that Vancouver police chief Clifford Cook told reporters on Thursday that Storro invented the story.

“During the course of the investigation, several discrepancies began to emerge regarding the alleged attack,” Cook said. “During the interview, Ms. Storro admitted the injuries were self-inflicted.”

Cook said he did not know a motive for Storro’s actions, but added she is “very remorseful.” He said Storro was still being interviewed by detectives during a press conference on Thursday.

Police had been seeking a black woman with a ponytail after Storro described the alleged attack. She had said the woman asked her, “Hey, pretty girl, want something to drink?” then threw acid in her face.

After the incident, Storro made several media appearances, but a planned interview on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” was canceled. She said she had received correspondence from people around the world concerned for her well being.

She recounted details of the alleged attack at a news conference, with her head wrapped in bandages and her parents by her side. She said she wanted to know why the unnamed assailant had attacked her. ad_icon

Funds were set up for Storro at Umpquah and Riverview Community banks. Messages to the banks were not immediately returned Thursday.

Vancouver police Commander Marla Schuman said detectives were working on a way to return any money donated to Storro.

Cook said any decision to charge Storro with a crime would be left to the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Clark County Senior Deputy Prosecutor John Fairgrieve did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press seeking comment Thursday.

“She is extremely upset,” Schuman said. “In many ways, this got bigger than she expected.”

Schuman was asked whether Storro will face a charge of filing a false police report, to which she responded: “At this point, yes, that would certainly fit.”

A burn surgeon who operated on Storro said the substance thrown on her face was an acid as strong as hydrochloric or sulfuric acid.

Police said Thursday that they haven’t yet identified the substance Storro used, nor did they find any evidence of acid in her home or car.

  • Iii_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    I have no sympathy for this type of attention whore. I hate liars and this woman is an immature stupid LIAR. At least now her outside matches her inside: ugly.

  • Sfa_iv_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    I am with you Copper380

  • Car_004_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    what part of this did she think would work out, what possible outcome could there be? God help her, police charge her. she wasted officers time, resources and played the public as fools. Sad.......very, very sad!

  • 100_1750_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    How sad and stupid. She definitely needs some help.

  • Anonymous-killer-whale-232189_1__max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Didn't exactly work out like she wanted, did it ?? Hope she can live with the scars from here on out, both physical and emotional.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago

    This story falls in line with the others where someone will fake having cancer and undergoing chemotherapy. I have heard of cases where folks will go so far as to shave their heads and eye brows to make it believable. There was a case of a correctional officer near my area that was permanently disabled due to a gunshot wound from what he claims was, "a former inmate that recognized me." The only thing was the gunshot would was sustained after he and his wife got into an altercation with another couple while they were participating at a swinger's club in San Francisco. His condom broke with the other woman, and the jealous boyfriend shot the officer. The officer maintained the lie that he sustained the injury while eating out with his wife, until someone from Corrections actually got a hold of the police report (year later!) right before he was about to receive a big payout from State Compensation. He had charity golf tournaments in his name too. It's quite sad really.

  • Spartan_cops_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    So stupid............

  • Pug_max600_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    She has definitely punished herself and needs counseling.

  • Joe_20friday_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Doesn't seem like she did it for any other reason than attention. Someone like that - must be well off balance. Leave her alone as far as prosecution, since she already punished herself pretty badly. She needs help. Glad there isn't some psycho out there throwing acid on strangers.

  • My_kids_027_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    I agree with SuzanneNGa this girl needs a long term mental treatment.

  • 45089_396847393722850_1055776862_n_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    She needs mental help.

  • 45089_396847393722850_1055776862_n_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    I"m so freaking over these types of people. She's such an idiot.

  • Uss_rhode_island_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    What a fool.

  • Justice-400_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    What a weirdo. Good observation Top_Cat, I didn't even notice until I read your comment. Maybe that's what Vancouver PD was noticing too.

  • 1979_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Very sad and rather shocking that she would do this! How bad was her life that she thought tossing acid on her face and claiming an attack would make it better? Sick woman who needs serious mental health help.

PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a criminal justice degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.