Shelly Chartier is indigenous to Canada and is a woman who got involved in several catfishing scams, including an aspiring American actress and an NBA superstar. It may look like something straight out of a fictional blog post, but all of this happened during the two years before she was arrested and tried, earning her the title, “The Ghost of Easterville.”
Shelly Chartier’s Bio
Not much is known about Shelly Chartier, except that she became a dropout during sixth grade and lived a quiet life afterward. After her dropping out, she lived together with her bedridden mother in Easterville, Manitoba. In their small home, she spent around 11 years without leaving the confinement of their home. Her only connection to the outside world was through the Internet.
The Catfish Incident
The famous catfish incident started in Fall 2011, when Shelly Chartier was 27 years old. Being interested in athletes, Shelly befriended the NBA star player, Chris Anderson, the Center for the Denver Nuggets, by impersonating an aspiring American actress, named Paris Dunn and dropping her own number in one of Chris Anderson’s public posts.
The real Paris Dunn was 17, still a minor during the start of the catfish incident.
This event led to Sherry impersonating Chris Anderson and messaging the real Paris Dunn. Both parties engaged in an online relationship, not knowing that Shelly Chartier was manipulating them.
Later, a fake account, named Tom Taylor, pretended to be a close friend of Chris Anderson. This phony account became the mediator for the meet-up between the real Paris Dunn and Chris Anderson. The two met up in Denver, Colorado, where they both had sexual contact. Take note that Chris Anderson was 33 at that time and Paris Dunn was a minor.
Their online relationship continued after this meet-up but eventually died out. Paris Dunn tried to maintain contact with the fake Chris Anderson account; however, to stop Dunn from messaging the phony account, the Tom Taylor account was used to blackmail Paris Dunn by threatening to release her nude photos, that were sent to the fake Anderson account. This event led to the involvement of the authorities.
The Fall of Chartier
Paris Dunn’s explicit photos were considered child pornography since Dunn was a minor during the catfish incident. This led to the investigation of NBA star Chris Anderson since they engaged in a “pedophilic” relationship, both offline and online.
However, Anderson was cleared of all his charges since Dunn lied about her age and gave him sexual consent. Anderson also claimed that he took necessary measures to confirm that Dunn was of legal age, which helped him clear his name.
On January 15, 2013, Shelly Chartier was arrested, pleading guilty to the various criminal charges she incurred. These included impersonation, blackmailing, and dangerous threats. Shelly was sentenced to a year of house arrest due to her pleading guilty and served one and a half years in prison.
Later, she was dubbed the “Ghost of Easterville” due to her actions while living a life of hermitage. Shelly Chartier regrets what she has done and wanted to live a quiet life after her time in prison. Chartier also disclosed that another participant was involved in this incident and that participant was the one who was controlling the Tom Taylor account.
The authorities were aware of the involvement of this participant, but it was unclear if the authorities captured this participant.
After her time in prison, Shelly eventually met a man named Rob Marku from New York City and got married in 2014. The events involving Shelly Chartier, Paris Dunn, and Chris Anderson were known as “the biggest catfish case ever solved.” Shelly Chartier was eventually released from prison in 2016 and has lived a quiet life since then.
The catfish case by Shelly Chartier inspired several true crime shows, including an episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit called “Intent,” and an episode of the American reality-based show “Catfish.” The latter featured the victim, Paris Dunn, and the mastermind, Shelly Chartier. Paris Dunn kept portraying Shelly Chartier as the “master manipulator.”
A CBC Documentary, in 2017, looked at Shelly Chartier’s case from a different perspective, refocusing the on views that the media sensationalized her as an evil person.