Thursday, August 24, 2006

Stern Show 'Captain Janks' Pranks CNN

August 24th, 2006

This topic was also discussed on the Howard Stern Show around 45 minutes into the start of todays show.

Via NYDailyNews (http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/446241p-375683c.html)

JonBenet prankster blitzes Wolf

Captain Janks has struck again!

Yesterday, the notorious prank caller and Howard Stern fan - real identity: North Wales, Pa., gas-station employee Thomas Cipriano - scammed his way onto CNN's "The Situation Room."

In a live 4 p.m. phone interview with star anchor Wolf Blitzer (below), Cipriano impersonated Wendy Hutchens, a California woman who claims that five years ago she had detailed chats about the death of JonBenet Ramsey with creepy murder suspect John Mark Karr.

"Wendy Hutchens is joining us on the phone right now," Blitzer told viewers. "Wendy, thanks very much for doing this. Tell our viewers how you got involved with John Mark Karr." In a husky voice that kept changing register, the fake Wendy explained that she met Karr through a relative.

"So then what happened after that?" Blitzer pressed. "When did the E-mail, when did the talk of JonBenet Ramsey begin?" The fake Wendy answered: "It started around September of 2001, when he told me that he knew more about the JonBenet Ramsey case than what anybody else had known - and that he was instructed to kill JonBenet by Howard Stern."

At which point, Blitzer, poker-faced, ended the interview: "All right. Well, that sounds like we've just been Howard Sterned, as they say."

A CNN spokeswoman told me sheepishly: "We make every effort to screen all of our guests, and we're looking into this incident."

Cipriano, meanwhile, told me he hatched the scheme early yesterday afternoon and was surprised at how easily he succeeded - first impersonating Hutchens' alleged publicist, "Bob Fortello," and then arranging for "Hutchens" to phone the control room directly and give the password "blue."

"I've been doing this for 20 years!" Cipriano marveled. "You'd think they'd be on to me by now."

8/24/2006 06:55:00 AM

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