He was also a Canadian Mountie.
When he was 21, John Dirr's twin brother Sam was stabbed to death by his girlfriend.
John fooled around with lots of women until he met the love of his life, yet he had also fallen in love with a woman he met online.
John's young son Eli had cancer, and because of his courage he was called "Warrior Eli." John sent out bracelets to give courage to others fighting cancer.
John's wife, a surgeon named Dana, was pregnant with a child but then was in a serious car accident. She gave birth to their 11th child but tragically died on Mother's Day.
John documented all this melodrama online.
Yet John Dirr was not his real name. John was actually Emily Dirr, and she had begun this hoax over 10 years ago, when she was a bored 11-year-old girl.
Now Emily had 70 Facebook accounts for non-existent people, an entire catalog of fake family and friends illustrated with stolen online photos, and a history of virtual affairs with duped women.
Read the story of her hoax, why it wasn't illegal, and how one suspicious post led to her unmasking.
Read the short version: Long-time Internet hoax featured child cancer survivor ‘Warrior Eli’, The Globe and Mail>>
Read the longer version: The Long, Fake Life of J.S. Dirr: A Decade-Long Internet Cancer Hoax Unravels, Gawker>>
Read a blog about the hoax: Warrior Eli: A Hoax?>>