Tonight’s episode of MTV’s Catfish: The TV Show features a slightly different kind of catfish–the sort host Nev Schulman calls a “copycatfish.” Here’s the scenario: Almost five years back, twenty-year-old Falesha had her photos stolen by another woman named Jacqueline Linkwood. Jacqueline eventually changed her profile name to Falesha and began sending friend requests to Falesha’s friends. That was followed by numerous hateful posts and comments, for which Falesha’s friends often blamed her. As you would imagine, the result was hell for a young high school student!
Eventually the taunting stopped, but Jacqueline recently sent Falesha a message saying that she is back. In responst, Falesha sent an email to Max and Nev, hopeful that they could help get to the bottom of the mystery–and confront the mysterious Jacqueline Linkwood about her (or his!) online catfishing antics.
I decided to flex my Junior Catfish Detective muscles and look into both Falesha and Jacqueline to see what I could find out ahead of the show. Thankfully, my fellow Junior Catfish Detectives at CatfishFans.com had already gotten their virtual magnifying glasses out and discovered not only Falesha’s last name, but also Jacqueline’s real name! Here’s a summary of their findings, plus some additional stuff I ran across while sleuthing:
Falesha’s full name is Falesha Sapko. She attended both Charleroi and Ringgold High Schools where she was a cheerleader, track athlete, and honors student. She has been an aspiring model since at least the age of 16 and has at least a couple of online modeling portfolios:
Here’s a sample modeling photo of Falesha that I’ve affectionately titled “Hay girl!”
Falesha’s story definitely checks out online as there are multiple references to a Jacqueline Linkwood stealing people’s identities. Check out this question posed on Yahoo Answers back in August of 2011:
Is there a way i can get off of someones block list by hacking?
so threes this girl and she has a fake profile her name is jacqueline smiley link wood (add her a screw with her cause shes a assmonkey ***** lol and i wanna jump through my computer and kill her 🙂 but can i get unblocked so i can mess with her some more? she wouldnt except my old account i made with a diffrent name grrr
And then there’s this tweet from the same month and year:
This Jacqueline Linkwood is a fucker!
— Lexi Poerner (@LEXICAN_I) August 12, 2011
(On a very tragic sidenote, I did some research on Lexi Poerner, hoping to uncover more about her encounter with Jacqueline. I discovered that she died in a car accident in June of 2012, at the age of 16.)
However, there is still a remnant of Jacqueline’s copycatfishing antics involving Falesha. It’s in the form of a Photobucket album full of pictures of Falesha and her friends…under the name Jacqueline Linkwood.
Falesha herself mentioned that “dealin with fake accounts suck” in a YouTube comment years ago.
And Falesha documented the return of Jacqueline on Instagram:
It appears as though tonight’s episode has a happy ending–because Falesha sent a thank you to Nev, Max, and others on Instagram earlier today:
In honor of tonight’s episode, I want to thank everyone who has helped me to stop this through out the process, thank you to everyone who helped me get her profile removed, to my friends who were a part of this with me ( @chilllslut & tori helmantoler)and to the coolest people I’ve ever worked with.. @nevschulman @maxjoseph lets go! MTV 10/9c ??
More Falesha Sapko links:
JACQUELINE LINKWOOD aka TACEY BARBIE
As you might have guessed, Jacqueline Linkwood turns out to be quite the character! Her real name is Tracey Armah, and she’s a from a town in Maryland near Washington, DC. From what I can tell she is a recent graduate of Atholton High School and there’s a LinkedIn profile for a Tracey Armah in Washington DC that lists “Financial Analyst II at Sprint Nextel” as her job.
As it turns out, Tracey is a HUGE Teen Mom and Teen Mom 2 fan, and someone with her name has been a frequent commenter on our site over the years. (The Teen Mom she is the biggest fan of appears to be Farrah Abraham.) According to her Facebook page, her life goal is to have an MTV show, and, with her appearance on Catfish, she seems to think she has attained it.
Tracey, who refers to herself online as “Tracey Barbie,” wrote recently on her Facebook wall: “AND NOW THAT IM FINALLY ON MTV THIS IS MY DREAM COME TRUE YES THANK U LORD♥”
Later that day she added, “Pretty much living the Barbie fab life, 🙂 ”
And then there’s this video featuring Tracey, in which she goes on and on (in her Maryland valley girl accent) about her upcoming appearance on Catfish, how famous she is, and how people are already jealous of her:
Ironically, it seems Tracey is also dealing with people trying to steal her identity! Earlier this month she wrote “STUPID F***IN HATER I DONT HAVE A TWITTER WHO STEALS SOMEONES PIC AND PRETENDS TO BE HER GTFO!” That was followed by “LIKE SOMEONE IS STEALING MY PICS AND PRETENDING TO BE ON TWITTER WTF!” She concluded, “PPLE CAN POSE AS ME ALL THEY WANT IM THE ONLY REAL TRACEY BARBIE KTHNX”
Speaking of people stealing Tracey’s identity, there is an Explore Talent profile set up for Tracey Armah–obviously by someone she angered–which features a profile picture of a woman eating fried chicken. The profile has this description:
Hi everyone, my name is tracey armah. I’m from Laurel Maryland. I love impersonating people. I especially love stealing pictures of beautiful girls and making fake Facebook profiles out of them. I like pretending to be a fake girl and cause drama all over Facebook. I also love swearing and insulting people and faking that I’ve been raped. The fake identity I’m using right now is Jacqueline Linkwood.
Here are some social media links for Tracey Armah. Of course, some of them may be fake! 😉
Be sure to tune in to Catfish at 10/9c on MTV for the rest of the story!
Special thanks to the Catficionados over at CatfishFans.com for getting the research ball rolling!
UPDATE – Tracey Barbie continues to garner negative attention with her atrocious Facebook feed, including numerous selfies with jokes about being raped. Click here to see the one that went viral on Reddit as well as other examples of her deranged postings.