Fortunately, one Pennsylvania woman didn’t drop dead after seeing her own obituary in the local newspaper. While the story is something out of Hollywood – or a bad dream – the living woman’s death notice did indeed appear in the Jeffersonian Democrat. But this was no publishing error – her own son had submitted the obituary, in an apparent attempt to get paid bereavement leave from his job.
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A stir was raised when relatives called the newspaper to report the error. And as ultimate proof, the woman visited the Jeffersonian Democrat’s offices to prove her liveliness. According to police, her 45-year-old son Scott Bennett filed the death notice to the paper so that he could explain his absence from work. Editor Randy Bartley said he published the obituary in good faith, even though he couldn’t verify the funeral arrangements. Bartlett evidently was unaware that planning a fake funeral involves more than just an obituary. What about those acquaintances who were planning on mourning the woman’s passing?
Surely, everyone got quite a shock in learning she was still alive. The only unsurprising part is the legal action Scott Bennett is now facing. Bennett was arrested Tuesday and will face charges of disorderly conduct. He’ll probably face harsher punishment from his mother. Wouldn’t he have been better off faking sick instead?