The human finger in the fast-food chili-Truth! But it was a scam!

The Human Finger That Ended up In the Chili at WendysTruth! But it was a Scam!

Summary of eRumor:

A forwarded email alleged to include an Associated Press story of a women who bit into what turned out to be a human finger at a Wendy’s fast food restaurant in San Jose, California.  

The Truth:

This was quite a saga and in the end turned out to be a scam.
On March 22, 2005, Anna Ayala said she was eating chili at a Wendy’s restaurant in San Jose when she realized something strange was in her mouth.
It turned out to be a human fingertip.
Wendy’s conducted an investigation as did health authorities and could not find any evidence that the finger had originated from anywhere within Wendy’s.
Wendy’s then hired a private investigator and offered a $100,000 reward to find the owner of the finger tip.
According to a 4/16/05 article in the Seattle Times, Ayala hired a lawyer to sue Wendy’s but there were reports that she has a history of filing false claims against corporations and she dropped the lawsuit.
On April 22, 2005, police in Las Vegas took Anna Ayala into custody and made charges against her in connection with the finger in the chili.
Ayala protested her innocence but the mystery remained as to where the finger came from.
Then on 5/13/05 San Jose police announced that the finger was that of an acquaintance of Ayala’s husband and had been lost in an industrial accident in December, 2004.
Then in September, 2005 both Ayala and her husband, Jaime Placencia, pleaded guilty to conspiring to file a false claim and attempted grand theft.
Wendy’s says it has lost $2.5 million in sales and dozens of employees lost their jobs because of the hoax.

Last updated 9/10/05