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Keith Papini Speaks Out Ahead Of Hulu’s New Sherri Papini Documentary Series

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Sherri Papini’s ex-husband, Keith Papini, speaks out for the first time, recounting the shocking disappearance hoax that captivated national attention.

Sherri Papini vanished in 2016 and was found three weeks later on Thanksgiving Day, bruised, burned, and wounded along Interstate 5 in Woodland.

Initially deemed a miracle, the story took a turn six years later when investigators revealed the kidnapping had been staged.

In anticipation of Hulu’s upcoming documentary, KRCR’s Mike Mangas interviewed Keith Papini to share his side of the story.

Mangas inquired about the moment Keith began to doubt Sherri’s truthfulness.

Keith expressed that his main reason for participating in the docuseries is to reveal the truth.

Hulu’s docuseries, ‘Perfect Wife: The Mysterious Disappearance of Sherri Papini,’ delves into Papini’s abduction hoax and its impact on Keith and their two children.

In 2022, Sherri Papini was sentenced to 18 months in prison for making false statements to the FBI and committing mail fraud. She was released after serving 10 months and moved to a halfway house in Sacramento, eventually being released in September 2023.

Keith and Sherri Papini divorced in 2023, with Keith gaining sole custody of their children. Sherri remains in Northern California, fighting in Shasta County Superior Court for more time with the children. Court records show a trial readiness conference scheduled for July.

Sherri still owes over $300,000 in restitution to the California Victim Compensation Board, the Social Security Administration, the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office, and the FBI.

A 2022 Department of Justice news release detailed the events leading to her arrest.

According to the criminal complaint and Papini’s plea agreement, on Nov. 2, 2016, Papini was reported missing and was believed to be kidnapped. Extensive searches were conducted for her in Shasta County, throughout California, as well as other states.

Twenty-two days later, on Nov. 24, 2016, Papini reappeared with various bindings on her body and injuries, including a “brand” on her right shoulder, and claimed that she had been abducted by two Hispanic women at gunpoint, held against her will, and that she had been abused by her captors.

At that point, law enforcement efforts focused on finding her abductors. For over four years, Papini repeated her false story about her kidnapping, while law enforcement continued its investigation to identify Papini’s kidnappers.


Eventually, the evidence showed that Papini’s story was a carefully planned false story. DNA, cellphone, and car rental evidence proved she had been voluntarily staying with a former boyfriend and that she had harmed herself to support her false statements.

On Aug. 13, 2020, an FBI special agent and a detective with the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office met with Papini. At the outset of the meeting, they told Papini it was a crime to lie to federal agents.

Papini continued to claim she was kidnapped. Later in the interview, Papini was again warned that it was a crime to lie to federal agents and was told about the DNA and telephone evidence showing that she had been with her former boyfriend. Yet, even after this second warning and evidence, Papini continued to make false statements.


Not only did Papini lie to law enforcement, her friends, and her family, she also made false statements to the California Victim Compensation Board and the Social Security Administration in order to receive benefits as a result of her alleged “post-traumatic stress” from being abducted.


This case was the product of an investigation by the FBI and the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Forensic Services and Bureau of Investigation, and the California Highway Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Veronica M.A. Alegría and Shelley D. Weger prosecuted the case.

The three-part series ‘Perfect Wife: The Mysterious Disappearance of Sherri Papini’ premieres on Hulu on Thursday, June 20.

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