Friday, March 12, 2010

Remember The Finger In "Wendy's" Chili Scandal?

Do you remember back in 2005 when a woman named Anna Aayala (that's her at left) made national headlines by claiming she was shocked and dismayed to find a human finger in her bowl of chili at a Wendy's in San Jose, California?  That turned into a big scandal which cost Wendy's millions in lost business until she admitted later she had actually put the human finger in there herself after all.  She was later convicted and sentenced to 9 years in prison.

This story intrigued me at the time in part because I sort of liked Wendy's chili myself.  But beyond the headlines, I also wondered about the untold tale of how Aayala had come by a (spare) severed human finger, smuggled it into a Wendy's, casually placed an order for chili, and then surreptitiously dumped the finger in the bowl before jumping up to feign shock and horror and demand a monetary settlement.  There must be an interesting story there among those unreported details, I thought.

Well as it turns out Anna Aayala was released from prison last year after serving only 4 years of her 9 year sentence.  She has now spoken to a reporter about the incident for the first time. Here are the highlights of what she said:

  • Her husband, Jaime Plascencia, got the severed finger from a co-worker, who lost it in an industrial accident. 
  • She cooked the severed digit and then drove it from her Las Vegas home to the Wendy's in San Jose, California.
  • As a condition of her release, she's barred from going to any Wendy's restaurants.
I'm still left to wonder what she was thinking on that drive from Vegas to San Jose, California.  (Did the finger beat like 'The Telltale Heart' during that drive, laying there on the back seat? And for that matter, how does one cook a human finger for this purpose: boil? bake? pan fry?) And why make that drive at all? Why not pull the scam locally in Nevada?  We may never know....


  1. This is such a crazy story. It gives me goosebumps! If I had a human finger to do something , firstly, I would puke everywhere, and then I would call the police and then that wold be the end of the story, but cooking a digit is something that you must be insane to accomplish it.