Convicted gay con artist Patric Ian Henn made headlines in 2005 when he pled guilty to charges of scamming the American Red Cross out of over $68,000. Henn falsely claimed his domestic partner had died in the September 11 tragedy. He was sentenced to 2½ years in prison and 12½ years on probation. Released in November 2006, Henn had fled to Long Beach, California within four months.
Henn didn't exactly try to hide his identity. He started a blog called Boy About Town and turned himself into a local internet celebrity with a YouTube following. Henn interviewed celebrities and covered local politics extensively. His personality won him fans among politicians and his level of access was continuing to grow even though he refused to give his real name. His acquaintances called him "Boy" or "Pat."
Long Beach police arrested Henn earlier this month on a fugitive arrest warrant from Florida after being turned in by a friend who discovered his true identity.
One of the first people to discover Henn's secret identity was his editor on the Boy About Town videos. Credited on the videos as "sageweb," she also asked the Long Beach Press Telegram not to reveal her true name and refused to speak to the newspaper. In an exclusive for Bilerico Project readers, Sageweb sets the record straight on how Henn was busted for skipping out on his probation.
Sageweb first e-mailed me right after Henn was arrested in Long Beach.
Message: I am a frequent reader, just wanted to give you the link to this story.
I knew this guy, in fact my brother is in the article...I was the one who figured out who he was. He is a rotten guy.
But Florida is thinking they might not even bother picking him up. I want to get the word out. The article is somewhat sympathetic, but you can google him and get a lot of info...he is a con artist and at the worse times.
Hope you run it..it is a great story...this guy was friends with all the right people...but was careful to never tell them who he was.
Sageweb and I e-mailed back and forth a couple of other times. I asked for more information and she asked that I retain her anonymity. I agreed and she sent back the following information.
I am not the one who finally got him...
I found out June 11th. Right after LA pride, if you look at any of the videos from pride my name is down as the editor and camera girl at the end. I did all the videos and put them on youtube under his account, I marked them as private so he could release them when he deemed it was good timing. I was off to taiwan on the 13th for work.
So everything happened real fast. During pride I got suspicious, a guy from Here! tv liked what Pat was doing and asked him about coming to work for him. Pat got all freaky, the guy asked for his real name and Pat said my real name is Boy About Town, it is legally changed. (that was a lie) So I am not in the Hollywood business and I tend to question any stretching of the truth. Pat got real irritated.
THe next few days I was busy on the videos, but in the back of my head I was thinking how stupid he was for turning down a real job...something must be up. So I started googling his name, I had an old email address of his that he first sent me before when he first came to town. I played with it and eventually found out who he was. Once I saw who he was I called him, he came storming over in a tirade.
Telling me I was going to ruin his career. Really freaking out..he was really drunk. I told him to leave, and that I was calling the police. He said if I did he would out me to my work and family and various other threats...like gasoline to my porch, lots of drunken nonsense...
He also said it didn't matter. His Florida Probation officer told him to leave the state, that it saved the state money. They were not going to spend the money to come get him. Remember I had already knew he was a con man...so I did not believe him.
Well I went to my neighbors house told her (ex cop). We called the Long Beach PD as we were looking at the fugitive info on the Florida State Corrections [website]. It said to call the local police and/or the absconder/fugitive phone number. Long Beach Police basically told us they can't do nothing. He doesn't come up in the data base.
We called the Florida number they said they already know where he is at. So Pat was right - no one cared. He was going to get away with it. I left the country for a week. Came home told my brother, and decided to call a few people that Pat had previously burned bridges with.
Turns out they had all received anonymous phone calls about the same time I figured it out. They had also received the same response from the authorities. This whole time I had tried to get a hold of Pats crew/boyfriend to give them the heads up - none of them ever knew. Pat was monitoring everything.
Pretty much thought it was weird he got picked up. Rumor has it someone from the Red Cross recognized him and called...but that is just a rumor. Dunno if the Red Cross would have more pull.
Patric Henn put the following statement up on Boy About Town shortly after his arrest:
I want to take this time to address each and every one of you who have made Boy's Buzz a success. In light of what has happened to me recently, I want to assure you all that Who I was is not who I am today. This by no means excuses what I did, however during that time in my life I was heavily addicted to crystal-meth and unfortunately made some extremely poor choices that I am really not proud of. It wasn't until some people found me, brought me to Long Beach and put me in a recovery home that I was able to begin to get my life back. I sincerely want to apologize to all of you, it hasn't been my intent to deceive anyone in the community. In trying to better myself, I blocked out that part of my life. In my own way I was subconsciously trying to right the wrong I had done by working for the community as a public servant, promoting local events and businesses. As I face my past head on, I want to thank all of you who are supporting me through this ordeal. I am truly grateful and appreciative.
There have been no further posts to the site.
According to the Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, Henn was arrested after someone sent an anonymous e-mail to Long Beach City Hall. The article continues:
The arrest didn't surprise Fort Lauderdale attorney Norm Kent, who unraveled Henn's fraud after Henn pressed for The Express, a South Florida gay and lesbian community newspaper, to do a story on him as the nation was still reeling from the impact of the events of Sept, 11, 2001. Kent, the Express' publisher at the time, delved into Henn's background and exposed holes in his story. Henn disappeared within days.
"The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior, and con artists, regrettably, repeatedly engage in the same misconduct that got them in trouble in the first place," Kent said. "Patric has to own up to the fact that he cannot escape his past."
In the wake of 9/11, Henn had maintained that he was on the phone with his domestic partner of four years, Jeff John Anderson, inside the Twin Towers when the attack began, and the line went dead.
Anderson never existed.
The Red Cross ended up providing Henn with a hotel room -- and then an apartment -- and handed him at least $44,000 in checks, including one to help cover funeral expenses for his imaginary partner.
"One lie begot another lie begot another lie," Henn told Judge Gold in 2005. "It spiraled out of control. ... I realized I couldn't stop what I set in motion."
It doesn't appear that Henn has learned his lesson. Deceit and secrecy spiraling out of control seems to be a constant theme for this young man. I hope he gets the help that he needs.