When Sin Explodes

Danielle Shea had been lying to her mother.

The 22-year-old Quincy Massachusetts woman had been telling her mother that she was a student at Quinnipiac University in Hamden Connecticut and accepting thousands of dollars from her mom to pay for that education. And, while Shea had been a student at one point, she wasn’t any longer. She had been living a lie.

Everything was going smoothly; the lie was secure. Until – graduation.


Danielle Shea at arraignment.

Shea realized that her mother, family and friends would be expecting her to graduate and if she couldn’t find a way around that, she would be exposed. So, Danielle elevated the lie.

She called in two bomb threats in an effort to get the graduation canceled. The story from Hartford television station WFSB provides the resulting details.

More than 300 students had to wait for their diplomas for an hour and a half.

“None of us knew what was going on or anything, so it was kind of scary but unexpected,” said Bianca Stone, who was graduating today.

The ceremony was originally scheduled to be at the quad on the university’s campus. With the new starting time of 7:30 p.m., the ceremony ended just after 9:15 p.m. Police said they aren’t taking this incident lightly. Chief Thomas Wydra of the Hamden Police Department said, ” This person made very irresponsible decisions and great disruption who deserve this ceremony without it.”

Besides the delays, graduates said it was worth the wait.

“It was really nerve-wracking, everyone was really stressed out, but they pulled it all together, and we were so happy that we finally did and it all worked out,” said graduate Erica Romano.

Shea was charged with threatening in the first degree and falsely reporting an incident. She was detained at police headquarters on a $20,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court in Meriden on May 30.

She was arrested in her cap and gown.

There were, of course, never any bombs and no one was injured. Except Danielle Shea.

I can understand the panic that must have overcome her as she realized exposure was imminent and I hope this experience changes her life in a Godly direction. I also see in the story an allegory for the inherent deceit that lurks behind all sin, even sin that seems so alluring and pleasurable. We’ve all tasted that at one point. All that money with no attached responsibility must have looked beautiful in the moment. Danielle Shea’s experience was exposed publicly, but there is always exposure in places we can’t see, apart from the redemptive work that is only available in Christ.

Those we teach should see in this story not something for amusement, but as a striking picture of our own sin, which should be taken directly to the cross.