Over the past six years, Tania Head’s name has become well known in certain circles, namely those of World Trade Center survivors and their loved ones. Her harrowing story, which Hollywood could not have conceived of better had Paul Haggis tried, involved crawling through the chaos that was the south tower on 9/11, encountering a dying man who gave her his wedding ring to bring to his beloved wife, being saved by a volunteer, and later returning the wedding ring to the widow. The image of Head’s own upcoming wedding day gave her the strength to survive. Except that her fiancé, Dave, died in the north tower. Or did he? Ask anyone who’s heard Head speak and they’ll recount this story, more or less—the detail have varied some over the years.
But yesterday The New York Times ran a piece that, let’s just say, makes this alleged victim look like a victimizer. It seems little of her story has been verified: Dave’s family and friends say they have never heard of her (he, however, did die on 9/11); and a spokeswoman for Merrill Lynch & Company, where Head said she had been employed at the time of the attack, said the company had no record of her. Other details don’t seem to check out either, and Head declined to be interviewed by The Times.
Here’s Head in her glory days, and here she is now. Feel betrayed and taken advantage of? You’re not alone; the World Trade Center Survivors Network voted this week to remove Head as president and as a director.