Storify account of the Confession of Zach Tomaselli as it broke on Twitter, Facebook and the rest of the digital world.
From our very first conversation Zach Tomaselli had an answer for every question. It was late November when we first talked and e-mailed. When I told him the Syracuse Orange took a plane not a bus to Pittsburgh he quickly said he was on a bus without the team. When I told him there is no record of a university related bus, he insisted his bus loaded up off campus. When I suggested there was a record of him attending school the day he said he was in Pittsburgh he said the school changed the records. His story stretched beyond belief.
Zach's father Fred warned us about his son from the Sunday before Thanksgiving when the Syracuse Post-Standard first published the story about Tomaselli's account of his alleged abuse to a Syracuse police detective. I rechecked my notes tonight on the several conversations I had with the father. He talked about Zach's profound ability to lie developing around the age of ten.
However, even with the holes in the Tomaselli litany of facts and a warning from his father police and prosecutors still appeared to give weight to his statement. We could not come out and say what many quietly believed that the Tomaselli story just did not add up. District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick made his view fairly clear in his news conference that was broadcast across the country on December 7th. He believed Bobby Davis and Michael Lang. He did not believe the Tomaselli story and was turning over evidence to the federal investigators that proved Tomaselli was lying. Yet, Zach Tomaselli insisted he was a victim of Bernie Fine.
It appeared he would never make the big admission. Post-Standard reporter John O'Brien got him to acknowledge he had altered e-mails and lied on several points. But, no big admission.
After a while it was obvious the best choice for reporters was to stop reporting what Zach Tomaselli was pitching. He started to file a lawsuit, but then pulled it back. He tried to make a legal claim that Bernie Fine was harassing him, but then pulled back a request for an Order of Protection. Even with prison time hanging over his head he was still seeking attention by insisting Fine had abused him.
Then word broke last night. Tomaselli e-mailed saying he was at last admitting he had made it all up. I called him. He was quick to talk.
Even as he admitted he made it all up it was difficult to sort fact from fiction in the details. He was talking about his father, Bobby Davis and his hatred for the Syracuse Orange for beating his Kansas Jayhawks for the 2003 title. He giggled a bit as he worked to convince me he has no feelings. He bragged a bit about appearing on the Anderson Cooper show and admitted surprise in all the attention he received. He kept calling himself a psycopath as if it was somehow a compliment.
Yet, in the end he had finally offered the big admission. He was never abused by Bernie Fine. He has never met Bernie Fine. And he does not really feel all that bad about what he has done.
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