The human headline, Sherri Papini, just can’t keep her head down. The story that refuses to die, the Californian ‘supermom’ who disappeared while out on a run on 2 November 2016 is said to be on the run again. Locals say she’s either holed up in the family home four years after her ‘ordeal’ or she skipped Redding for an undisclosed location in the dead of night. Either way, the inevitable megabux tell-all movie/documentary has failed to materialise, with the latest instalment in the saga barely stirring the embers.

Most recently, an anonymous male has come forward to say that the whole thing is a hoax, and that Sherri spent the entire period holed up with him. Which would explain the mystery male DNA found on her person by the police. But that of course is the version I prefer: the hoax which in time makes a wealthy somebody out a working-class nobody. Accounts of her racism, hard-right politics, and selling her eggs to infertile couple have also drifted in and out of the public discourse. But I’m a hiker, so I know you keep a fire alive by blowing on the embers now and then. So puff-puff, Sherri, puff-puff.

I’ll keep watching and waiting. I fell sorry for the Shasta County sheriff, because it is absolutely clear she’s not telling them everything she knows. This could well and truly come back and bite her in the ass, if the public nuisance laws in California are the same ours. The voracious public appetite for all things Papiniesque means there’s always going to be pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for Sherri. Whether it was a hoax or not, this is a blank cheque waiting to be filled out for cash. And when she’s got her money, you watch her run.

But first, expect some salacious pictures of the ‘petite blonde’ that nobody has seen yet. Lingerie, maybe. How ‘brave’ Sherri is ‘getting on with her life’ and ready to expose her infamous branding scar. Bravo to her succession of publicists/managers the family has hired for keeping her so well-hidden. Hmmm, curious. Why does a family that just wants to put it behind them need a publicist? As much as I abhor paparazzi, peeps gotta make a living, so I’m surprised a newshound hasn’t sniffed her out yet. I expect this is all designed to build suspense and add another comma to the eventual payout; given that somebody will getting a nice cut from that, it pays to raise the bidding.

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