Incredible con-artists, liars, cheats, fraudsters, scammers and more: each week we will take you through a different true case of deception from how the lie began to how they managed to pull it off, and how (or if) they were eventually caught.
In 2003 Hannah Milbrandt was 7 years old when she was diagnosed with leukemia. Her small Ohio hometown were devastated and people donated thousands to cover the cost of her care. However, it later tanspired Hannah had no illness whatsoever. The entire town had been conned.
Real Stories Documentary 'A Mother's Love': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuOJpikr5hQ
The Cottingley Fairies
In 1917 two schoolgirls in Cottingley, Yorkshire managed to take some photographs that clearly showed fairies. The images became famous around the world and were used as 'evidence' of the existence of fairies for over 60 years.
They convinced even some of the greatest academics and philosophers, including Sherlock Holmes' author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
How did the girls take the photos and why were so many people convinced by them?
To see the photos referenced in this episode, follow @connedcast on Twitter and Instagram.
The Fake Victim
Everyone will remember where they were on September 11th 2001. Unbelievably, one person saw the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York as an opportunity to achieve respect, sympathy and profile.
Tania Head was not there. In fact, she wasn't even in the country. However, her claims to have been a victim that day arguably helped those who genuinely had survived.
Who was she? And why did she claim to be caught up in one of the most tragic events in recent history?
New York Times Article May 2002: https://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/26/nyregion/fighting-to-live-as-the-towers-died.html
New York Times Sept 2007https://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/27/nyregion/27survivor.html
CNN Interview - authors of The Woman who Wasn’t Therehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKTIhzdFs3Y&t=139s
The Missing Boy
In 1994 Nicholas Barclay was 13 years old. He was walking home from playing with his friends when he vanished without a trace. He wasn't seen again until 3 years later when he incredibly reappeared... however not everything was as it seemed.
The person who returned to the Barclay family was not Nicholas, but rather an imposter. Why was this stranger pretending to be a boy who had been missing for 3 years? What did he want? And would he be found out?
The internet has some very interesting theories on what happened to Nicholas. Here are just some of them:
A British/American documentary movie was made about this case in 2012 - The Imposter.
King Con: The Doctor & Lawyer
Paul Bint was a chameleon. Throughout the 80s and 90s he adopted the persona of many highly qualified people and performed jobs all over the UK, including regularly walking into hospitals and practicing as a doctor.
Bint craved prestige. Morphing himself into the role of respected, educated and even celebrity figures enabled him to quickly earn people's trust, whilst often using his disguise to rob them.
Operating all over the UK with a wide range of characters, the press would eventually nickname him KING CON!
NOTESFeature on BBC Crimewatch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_3TALYwXsY
The Stamps Scam
'Ponzi Schemes' are sadly not uncommon. They are one of the biggest and most serious forms of corporate fraud, but what are they? And who is 'Ponzi' that they have come to be named after?
In the early 1900s Charles Ponzi was a charasmatic Italian desparate to get rich by any means possible.
After a few failed businesses (and a few stays in prison) Ponzi discovered a genuinely clever way to make money but allowed anyone and everyone to invest. His company grew quickly and rapidly out of control, until eventually the bubble burst.
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