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"Hiccup girl" faces murder charge

posted 10/26/2010 3:10:09 PM |
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tagged: news, people, sad, straddle

I first heard about this yesterday on the news.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - An uncontrollable case of the hiccups brought an odd sort of fame to Jennifer Mee, who was 15 when she appeared on TV morning shows trying to find a cure for her mysterious affliction.

Five weeks later, they stopped, and the media attention mostly disappeared - until this week.

Mee, now 19, was charged with first-degree murder after police said she met a 22-year-old man online and lured him to a vacant home where two of her friends robbed and shot him.

Now, she's in jail.

"I've said for a while now, her case of the hiccups wasn't a case of the hiccups, it was a curse of the hiccups," Mee's mother, Rachel Robidoux, told a radio station in Tampa yesterday.

It all started in January 2007, in first-period science class at Northeast High School in St. Petersburg. That's when Mee got the hiccups and spent five hours in the nurse's office.

They didn't stop the next day, or the next week. She hiccuped up to 50 times a minute. Two weeks in, her mother called the St. Petersburg Times looking for help, suggestions, anything.

A story ran, and the national media turned its attention to the slightly chubby, slightly shy teen.

She went on NBC's Today show, where she got a hug from a fellow guest, country-music star Keith Urban. She flew to New York to be on the show, and another morning show visited her room so many times - 57, to be exact - that she changed hotels. She appeared on Inside Edition.

No one could explain why Mee hiccupped so much. She was seen by doctors, chiropractors and acupuncturists. Tests were run. Cures were tried. Nothing was found.

She stopped going to school and could eat only soft foods. She took medicine to sleep.

On Feb. 28, 37 days after the hiccups started, they stopped, and Mee was happy to return to classes.

But the turmoil in her life was only beginning.

She was reunited with her father, whom she hadn't seen since she was 2. She ran away from home. Her family sued a hiccup-cure company, saying it used her image for profit without permission.

"All of a sudden, people knew her name, and she would talk to them on different chat sites," her mother said yesterday. "She's very naive, and I was afraid she was getting herself into something that she didn't really know what she was doing."

St. Petersburg police included a rundown of all the times they've had contact with Mee. In 2009, officers were called three times because she and her boyfriend were fighting. This year, she ran away again, and police were called for several more fights.

Then, St. Petersburg Police Chief Chuck Harmon said, Mee met Shannon Griffin online and lured him to a vacant home across from her apartment building, where two of her friends shot him four times in what the three later told police was a botched robbery. Less than $50 was stolen.

On her MySpace page, Mee describes herself as a "female version of a hustla" and adds that "her heart is still in Vermont," where her father lives.

"the struggles ive been through has made me grown up so much," she wrote.

The woman's pic and story

The Columbus Dispatch

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Oct 26 @ 3:28PM  
Been in the national new for weeks.

Oct 26 @ 3:31PM  
Been in the national new for weeks.
It's the first I've heard about it.

Oct 26 @ 4:36PM  

Yes I heard about it.

Oct 26 @ 4:47PM  
First i heard about it aslo straddle, good blog

Oct 26 @ 6:58PM  
I heard about this yesterday but not before that. But I did see the interview she had on the Today show back then.

Oct 26 @ 7:58PM  
I had heard about this yesterday.

Oct 26 @ 8:20PM  
I have read 3 different stories on this (your link wouldn't work for me Shawn) But in none of those, did I ever see a date on which the murder took place... anyone know?

Oct 26 @ 8:37PM  
According to this article, it looks like the crime was committed over this past weekend.


Oct 27 @ 7:17AM  
Thanks sugar... .. so much for it having been in the national news for weeks!

Oct 27 @ 2:59PM  
so much for it having been in the national news for weeks!

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"Hiccup girl" faces murder charge