Remembering Tank Heathcliff Hafertepen February 13th, 1990 — October 15th, 2018

Frequently Asked Questions

Why write an FAQ now?

Tank’s closest friends and I needed time to grieve and didn’t want to dishonor Tank’s memory by discussing his genitals and fetishes in a public forum. Tank never would’ve wanted his life, relationships, and passing to become tabloid fodder. Unfortunately, continued speculation has not allowed me to remain silent.

There’s been a lot of misinformation surrounding the passing of my partner. Some misinterpreted facts, conspiracy theories, and not nearly enough celebrating the wonderful man that he was.

Why do you call him Tank and not Jack?

Born “Jack Andrew Chapman,” he asked me if he could legally change his name to “Tank Heathcliff Hafertepen” on January 21st 2016, and legally did so on March 31st 2016. Tank had long wanted to take my surname, and when we felt ready, he did. He loved the name Tank, and personally chose the middle name “Heathcliff” because it was the name of a character from one of his stories. Tank had tremendous pride about his chosen name and was quick to correct people who tried to deadname him. During the period where we were apart, he didn’t attempt to change his name back to Jack.

How did Tank die?

We were not sure what the root cause was when Tank died, and announced it as a previously undiagnosed lung issue before receiving a copy of the death certificate. When Tank was first admitted to the hospital, it was initially described as a serious lung ailment and later pneumonitis. All potential causes were laid on the table — including viral, bacterial, and Tank’s silicone use — but because it seemed that Tank was responding to antibiotics, we thought it was an infection. It’s now clear that silicone had migrated from his genitals to his lungs.

As such, his death certificate has been updated. Originally issued as:

Diffuse alveolar hemorrhage, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Pneumonitis, Silicon Injection Syndrome

This was later changed to:

Diffuse alveolar hemorrhage, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Pneumonitis, Silicone Embolism

Did you know he was sick?

Tank had a persistent cough in the months leading up to his hospitalization, but not one that seemed serious, it might not be related. The night he was hospitalized, he warned me he was feeling sick and had trouble breathing, even asking to borrow my asthma inhaler.

Did you make him inject silicone?

No. Tank first had silicone injected on a trip to San Diego on November 26th 2014, where he crossed the border into Mexico to visit a doctor who performed the procedure. This was his idea, he arranged everything, and even went alone. I was upset that he did it, especially by himself.

In 2016, Tank wrote about getting more silicone done by someone from Sacramento. His behaviour when he was single shows clear personal motivation to pursue silicone.

I did not make him inject silicone. On the contrary, I helped him get some removed.

When we got back together in 2017, the silicone he added while single had migrated. I brought him to a licensed plastic surgeon on May 10th 2018 who was able to remove some. (Verified by Buzzfeed).

Do you believe the community on social media encouraged Tank to take these body modifications to unhealthy levels?

It’s hard to say. I believe Tank had a strong will and did what he wanted, but Tank was also a proud exhibitionist. External feedback is critical to exhibitionists, and the comments online from his fans were very encouraging of his body modifications.

Why did he do silicone?

Disclaimer: I’m not a psychologist, I’m speaking as Tank’s partner.

This was his fetish. He bought porn of “famous” silicone users, wrote extensive erotic fiction about growing bigger (nearly 400 pages in his ebook), and loved the attention it got him, both good and bad, it tickled his exhibitionist side. One of his favourite moments was getting stopped by TSA for a personal screening and relishing their reaction.

What will you do with Tank's estate?

Tank had wanted the money to go towards our home together, but without Tank it’s a reminder of what I’ve lost. All I want is my partner home again. As I’ve said before, after Tank’s medical and legal bills are paid, I intend on giving whatever is left to his brother, Ben.

Why was Tank cremated?

Tank’s will stipulated that there was to be no funeral or memorial, and that he wished to be cremated. He was an organ donor, so after his organs were offered, and eyes were harvested, he was cremated four days later. The following week I brought some of his ashes to his family in Australia.

Is the [ instagram / tumblr / facebook / twitter / etc ] account registered to you? Do you operate it?

No. I shut everything down following the passing of my partner.

I am frequently impersonated. You will only see authentic updates here.