6 berugte bedrieërs

6 berugte bedrieërs

1. Christian Gerhartsreiter: 'n Moordenaar wat voorgegee het dat hy 'n Rockefeller is

Hierdie fop Rockefeller, gebore as Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter in 1961 in Duitsland, het as tiener met 'n toerisme -visum in die Verenigde State aangekom en woon aan die begin van die tagtigerjare in San Marino, Kalifornië. Daar het hy 'n huis gehuur, homself Christopher Mountbatten Chichester genoem en aan mense gesê dat hy 'n rolprentvervaardiger en familielid van die Britse staatsman Lord Mountbatten was. In 1985 het die seun en skoondogter van die verhuurder van Gerhartsreiter vermis geraak, en kort daarna verhuis Gerhartsreiter na Greenwich, Connecticut, waar hy 'n nuwe alias en valse sosiale sekerheidsnommer gebruik het om werk op Wall Street te vind.

Aan die begin van die negentigerjare was hy by Clark Rockefeller en woon hy in New York, waar hy by private klubs eet, 'n indrukwekkende (maar vals) kunsversameling gehad het en die name van bekende mense wat vermoedelik sy vriende was, laat val. Hy trou met 'n Harvard-opgevoede uitvoerende gesag, met wie hy in 2001 'n dogter gehad het; sy vrou het egter in 2007 om egskeiding aansoek gedoen en het toesig oor die meisie verkry. In 2008, tydens 'n besoek aan sy dogter in Boston, waar sy gewoon het, vlug Gerhartsreiter saam met haar na Baltimore, waar hy al 'n ander alias aangeneem het. Na 'n weeklikse soektog wat baie gepubliseer is, het die polisie Gerhartsreiter in Baltimore betrap. Sy skuldigbevinding aan ontvoering in 2009 het nuwe belangstelling gewek in die onopgeloste moord op die seun van sy eienaar in San Marino, wie se afgesnyde oorskot in 1994 in San Marino ontdek is. moord en tot 27 jaar lewenslange tronkstraf gevonnis.

2. Sarah Edmonds: 'n Vrou wat haar voordoen as 'n man om in die burgeroorlog te dien

Geskiedkundiges het geraam dat ongeveer 400 tot 1 000 wyfies as mans voorgekom het om die stryd om die noorde of suide te beveg. Onder hulle was Edmonds, wat in 1841 in New Brunswick, Kanada, gebore is en as tiener uit haar huis gevlug het om aan 'n gereelde huwelik te ontsnap. Uiteindelik verhuis sy na Amerika, waar sy haar as 'n man aantrek en die naam Franklin Thompson gebruik om werk te vind. Edmonds was werk as 'n reisende boekverkoper en woon in Michigan toe die oorlog uitbreek. Sy het gevoel dat dit haar plig was en het by die 2de Michigan Infanterie aangesluit. (Die ingangsbewyse vir rekrute was kort, en sodra 'n vrou wat haar as 'n man voorgedoen het, in die weermag opgeneem is, is sy gehelp deur haar dinge soos losgemaakte uniforms en die feit dat troepe dikwels in hul klere geslaap het). As Franklin Thompson het Edmonds aan 'n aantal gevegte deelgeneem, waaronder First Bull Run, Antietam en Fredericksburg, en dien as veldverpleegster, posvervoerder, en volgens 'n gewilde memoires wat sy geskryf het, 'n spioen van die Unie. Nadat sy malaria opgedoen het, het sy haar regiment in 1863 verlaat eerder as om die risiko te vind dat sy 'n vrou sou word deur behandeling in 'n militêre hospitaal te soek. Na haar herstel het Edmonds opgehou om as Franklin Thompson te wees en het, met tradisionele vroueklere, die res van die oorlog as verpleegster gewerk.

Na die oorlog het die federale regering, nadat 'n versoekskrif deur sommige van Edmonds se medesoldate gedoen is, die ontslagheffing uit haar diensrekord verwyder en in 1884 'n militêre pensioen toegestaan. Voor haar dood in 1898 word Edmonds die eerste vrou wat toegelaat is tot die Groot Weermag van die Republiek, 'n veteraangroep van die Burgeroorlog.

3. The Tichborne Claimant: 'n saak wat Victoriaanse Engeland betower het

In 1854 verlaat sir Roger Tichborne, 'n lid van 'n aristokratiese Britse gesin, Suid -Amerika op 'n skip wat spoedig op see verlore gegaan het; hy is vermoedelik dood. Verwoes deur die verdwyning van haar seun, het Tichborne se ma, oortuig dat hy nog lewe, advertensies in koerante regoor die wêreld geplaas en 'n beloning vir inligting oor Roger aangebied. In 1865 kom 'n man na bewering die vermiste erfgenaam na vore en sê dat hy van die skipbreuk gered is en na Australië gebring is, waar hy as slagter gewerk het en die naam Tom Castro gehad het. Nadat Castro na Engeland gereis het, besluit Lady Tichborne dat hy haar seun, Roger, was wat hy lankal verloor het. Toe Castro egter 'n deel van die familie se fortuin wou eis, is hy uitgedaag deur ander familielede in Tichborne. Hulle het ondersoekers aangestel wat beweer Castro was eintlik 'n in Londen gebore slagter met die naam Arthur Orton. Tydens die daaropvolgende verhoor het 'n aantal mense die sogenaamde Tichborne-eiser ondersteun, maar sy verhaal het afwykings gehad-insluitend die feit dat hy nie Frans kon nie, 'n taal wat Roger gepraat het-en hy kon nie sy saak bewys nie. In 1873 het die eiser tereggestaan ​​vir meineed, en die jaar daarna is hy skuldig bevind aan nabootsing van Roger Tichborne. In 'n tydperk lank voor foto -ID's en DNA -toetsing, het die eiser se verhore, van die langste in die Engelse regsgeskiedenis, die publiek boei en verdeelde Britse samelewing, en baie gemiddelde burgers glo dat die eiser van sy regmatige erfenis beroof word. Die eiser het 'n dekade agter tralies deurgebring, en na sy vrylating geld aanvaar om toe te gee dat hy 'n bedrieër was, om later sy bekentenis terug te trek. Hy sterf in 1898 in armoede.

4. Ferdinand Demara: 'n Seriële bedrieër wat hom as 'n vlootchirurg voordoen

Demara, wat die onderwerp van 'n boek en 'n film geword het, beide met die titel "The Great Impostor", het 'n loopbaan gemaak deur hom as ander mense voor te hou, selfs as chirurg te werk, alhoewel hy nooit 'n mediese skool bygewoon het nie. Demara, gebore in die vroeë 1920's in Lawrence, Massachusetts, het die hoërskool verlaat en van die huis af weggehardloop om by 'n orde monnike aan te sluit. In die vroeë veertigerjare het hy by die weermag aangesluit, gevolg deur die vloot, maar van albei af gegaan. Hy het 'n reeks aliasse aangeneem en was onder meer 'n universiteitsinstrukteur, gevangenisbewaarder en regstudent. Tydens die Koreaanse Oorlog het Demara sy dapperste hoax getrek nadat hy die geloofsbriewe gesteel het van 'n dokter wat hy ken en hom as 'n chirurg by die Royal Canadian Navy vermom het. Aan boord van 'n vernietiger het Demara 'n aantal chirurgiese prosedures uitgevoer, waaronder die uittreksel van 'n koeël wat naby die hart van 'n soldaat lê. (Hy het later gesê dat hy mediese handboeke geraadpleeg het om uit te vind wat hy moet doen.) Demara se sukses het uiteindelik media -aandag gebring wat daartoe gelei het dat hy as 'n bedrog blootgestel is; die Kanadese het egter nie aanklagte ingedien nie. Demara se lewe was die onderwerp van 'n topverkoperboek uit 1959, "The Great Impostor", wat verwerk is in 'n film uit 1961 met Tony Curtis in die hoofrol. Die man met veelvuldige identiteite is in 1982 in Kalifornië dood.

5. Victor Lustig: 'n bedrieër wat die Eiffeltoring verkoop het en Al Capone bedrieg het

Vroeg in sy kriminele loopbaan ontmoet Lustig, gebore in 1890 in Oostenryk-Hongarye, welgestelde passasiers op seevaarte en oortuig hulle om geldmasjiene te koop. Toe die reisigers besef dat die toestelle nie werk nie en hulle bedrieg is, het die bedrieër gevlug. Hy het oorgegaan na ander swendelary, waaronder die verkoop van die Eiffeltoring in die middel van die twintigerjare. Lustig het hierdie skema ontwikkel nadat hy gelees het dat die beroemde struktuur, wat vir die Wêreldtentoonstelling van 1889 opgerig is en slegs 20 jaar sou duur, herstelwerk nodig en duur was om in stand te hou. Lustig, wat beweer dat hy 'n regeringsamptenaar is, het vergaderings met 'n paar van die stad se afvalhandelaars opgestel om hulle te laat weet dat die toring gesloop moet word. Een handelaar het Lustig omgekoop om die wenbod vir die pos te verseker, en eers nadat hy hom 'n stewige bedrag betaal het om die toring in besit te neem, het die handelaar verneem dat hy bedrieg is. Die man was verleë dat hy in die steek gelaat het, en het nie aanklagte ingedien nie.

Lustig het uiteindelik na Amerika gegaan, waar hy valse identiteite aangeneem het en 'n verskeidenheid bedrogspul voortgesit het, waaronder Al Capone oorreed om te belê in 'n transaksie wat sy geld sou verdubbel. Na 'n kort tydjie het Lustig aan die skare gesê dat die plan nie uitgewerk het nie, maar hy het in elk geval al sy geld teruggegee. Onder die indruk van die vermeende eerlikheid van Lustig, het Capone hom 'n beloning betaal, wat moontlik altyd die eindspel van die bedrieër was. In 1935 het wetstoepassers in New York uiteindelik Lustig ingehaal, wat 'n uitgebreide namaakring gehad het. Nadat hy skuldig bevind is en na Alcatraz gestuur is, sterf Lustig in 1947.

6. George Psalmanazar: 'n bedrieër wat 'n geskiedenis en taal vervaardig het vir 'n land wat hy nooit besoek het nie


Gebore in die 1670's of 1680's, waarskynlik in Frankryk, het Psalmanazar in die vroeë 1700's 'n beroemdheid in Brittanje geword nadat hy beweer het dat hy van Formosa (die huidige Taiwan) kom en 'n sogenaamde ware boek geskryf het oor die verre eiland wat toe grotendeels onbekend was aan die Europeërs. In ''n Historiese en geografiese beskrywing van Formosa', gepubliseer in 1704, het Psalmanazar geskryf oor die lewens en gebruike van die Formosans, wat volgens hom insluit kannibalisme, die inname van adderbloed vir ontbyt en jaarliks ​​duisende jong kinders opgeoffer het aan 'n Formosaanse god. Omdat hy homself as 'n eksotiese buitelander voorgestel het, het hy die belangstelling van die Britse hoë samelewing aangegryp en lesings gehou oor sy vermeende geboorteland. Hy het selfs 'n hele Formosan -alfabet en taal uitgevind. Uiteindelik word hy egter as 'n bedrog blootgestel (hoewel sy vervaardigde taal so geloofwaardig gelyk het dat sommige taalkundiges jare daarna gedink het dit is werklik). Jonathan Swift het Psalmanazar selfs as 'die beroemde Salamanaazor, 'n boorling van die eiland Formosa', in sy satiriese opstel "A Modest Proposal" uit 1729, en die valse Formosan sterf in 1763 in Engeland.


'N Oorsig van 'n paar van die berugste bedrieërs in die Amerikaanse geskiedenis

Voordat die voormalige veroordeelde Brian Rini sy bisarre poging aangewend het om te beweer dat hy 'n Illinois-seun was wat in 2011 op die ouderdom van 6 verdwyn het, was daar baie ander wat besig was met hoaxes en probeer om hulself as ander mense af te staan. Hier is 'n paar van die bekendste:

CLARK ROCKEFELLER

Hy het bekend geword as 'n Rockefeller - Clark Rockefeller, om presies te wees.

As 'n Rockefeller het hy in die hoogste sosiale kringe beweeg, lidmaatskap van countryklubs gekry, luukse op seiljagte en pronk met duur kunswerke wat selfs die mees diskriminerende versamelaars verbaas het. Hy trou met 'n welgestelde vrou, Sandra Lynne Boss, wat spog met 'n Harvard -MBA en $ 2 miljoen per jaar verdien het. Hulle het 'n dogter gehad.

Maar Rockefeller was eintlik Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, gebore in Duitsland.

Clark Rockefeller tydens 'n onderhoud met The Boston Globe. (Foto deur John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Die valse Rockefeller -scion het op 'n toeristevisum na die Verenigde State gekom toe hy net 17 was en 'n verrassingsbesoek gebring aan 'n studentrugsakreisiger in Connecticut wat hy in sy vaderland ontmoet het, volgens die Wall Street Journal.

'N Distriksprokureur noem Gerhartsreiter se hoax "die langste probleem wat ek in my professionele loopbaan gesien het."

In 2006 het Boss die huwelik beëindig, maar hy het steeds nie besef dat dit 'n bedrog was nie. In die hof het sy egter gesê dat hy dit meer as 'n dekade lank kon regkry omdat: ''n Mens kan briljant en ongelooflik wees op een gebied van jou lewe en regtig dom op 'n ander gebied.' Sy het hom $ 800 000 in onderhoud betaal.

In 2013 is Gerthartsreiter tot 27 jaar lewenslange vonnis opgelê in die dood van die seun van sy eienaar in Suid -Kalifornië, wat sedert 1985 vermis is en wie se afgesnyde oorskot in 1994 gevind is deur werkers wat 'n swembad installeer in die huis van die slagoffer se ma .

Die jurie het Gerhartsreiter, wat aangevoer het dat hy onskuldig is, skuldig bevind aan eersteklas moord in die moord op John Sohus (27).

ANNA DELVEY

Sy was bekend onder die New Yorkse kuns- en partytjiegenote as Anna Delvey, wat haar voorgestel het as 'n Duitse erfgenaam met 'n fortuin van $ 60 miljoen. Vriende leen graag haar geld, en luukse hotelle laat haar in hulle bly sonder dat sy 'n kredietkaart hoef te verskaf.

In werklikheid was sy Anna Sorokin, gebore in Rusland, en dogter van 'n vragmotorbestuurder. Sy staak die universiteit en gaan 'n rukkie na Parys, en gaan uiteindelik na New York, skakel met trustfondskinders en gee 'n oortuigende verhaal oor haarself as 'n drywer en skudder. Volgens gepubliseerde berigte het Sorokin die lewe van 'n sosiale persoon geleef en haar duur smaak deels gefinansier deur ander te bedrieg. Deur bedrog het sy 'n lening van $ 22 miljoen probeer verkry om haar droom te verwesenlik om 'n klub in Manhattan te open.

Sy het baie geld geleen wat sy nooit terugbetaal het nie, en het hotelle en ander ondernemings verstewig toe hulle vir betaling gevra het.

Anna Sorokin word na 'n reses in haar verhoor in die hooggeregshof in die staat New York begelei. (AP Foto/Richard Drew)

Nou staan ​​Sorokin tereg in New York, beskuldig van diefstal van $ 275,000 van vriende en finansiële instellings.

Sorokin speel egter steeds die rol van 'n erfgenaam.

Volgens The New York Daily News het sy hofvertragings veroorsaak as gevolg van pas oor die onaanvaarbare uitrustings wat vir haar aangehoor is.

'Ek het u al voorheen gesê dat ons nie meer hierdie verhoor oor u mode sou staak nie,' het regter Diane Kiesel beslis en geïrriteerd aan Sorokin gesê nadat sy uiteindelik met gerimpelde maar modieuse klere in die hof opgedaag het.

'Ek het 'n jurie hier sedert 09:30 vanoggend. Dit is onaanvaarbaar en onvanpas. . . Dit is nie 'n modevertoning nie! "

WALTER COLLINS

In 1928 verdwyn die 9-jarige Walter Collins in Kalifornië. Maande later het 'n seuntjie in Illinois aan die polisie gesê dat hy Walter is.

Dit blyk dat die seuntjie eintlik 12 was en die naam Arthur Hutchins Jr., wat 'n weghol was. Jare later het Hutchins gesê dat hy gelieg het om Walter te wees, want "ek was seker dit sou my beste manier wees om na Kalifornië te kom."

Toe die owerhede hom aan Walter se ma oorhandig, was die oproer. Die polisie het die ma probeer oortuig dat die seuntjie regtig haar seun is, en verduidelik dat traumatiese ervarings die voorkoms kan verander.

Volgens die Los Angeles Times sou Walter se ma niks daarvan hê nie.

Die rokende geweer kom tydens 'n reis na die strand, toe Hutchins soos 'n vis in die water kom.

Walter was altyd bang vir die water. Christine Collins het aan die polisie gesê dat dit 'n afdoende bewys is dat die seun wat hulle vir haar gebring het, iemand anders is as haar vermiste seun. Die polisie het gesukkel.

Kaptein van die polisie in Los Angeles, J.J. Jones, wat die verdwyning van Walter ondersoek het, het na bewering aan Collins gesê: "Wat probeer jy doen, maak ons ​​almal dwaas? Of probeer jy jou plig as 'n moeder ontwyk en die staat vir jou seun sorg? Jy is die meeste wreedaardige vrou wat ek ooit geken het. Jy is 'n ... gek! "

Die polisie het haar in 'n psigiatriese hospitaal toegesluit.

Uiteindelik erken Hutchins dat hy die hele verhaal opgemaak het, en die polisie het tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat Walter aan die hand van 'n reeksmoordenaar gesterf het.

NICHOLAS BARCLAY

Die in Frankryk gebore Frederic Bourdin het as 14-jarige weggeloop terwyl hy in Europa rondreis, hoewel hy in die 20's was.

Maar toe hy sy vals verhaal vertel by 'n groepshuis vir Spaanse jeugdiges, het die personeel gedink iets is nie heeltemal reg nie.

As hy daar sou bly, het hulle vir hom gesê dat hy vir hulle 'n bewys moes gee dat hy 'n tiener was, en hy het 24 uur om dit te doen.

Bourdin het die National Center for Missing and Exploited Children gebel, berig die Washington Post, en maak asof hy 'n werknemer van die jeugskuiling is, en versamel inligting oor 'n seuntjie met die naam Nicholas Barclay wat sedert 1994 vermis is in San Antonio. Bourdin het aan die sentrum gesê dat hy geglo het dat 'n seuntjie by die jeugskuiling Barclay was. Toe die polisie gaan kyk, het hy hom as Barclay voorgedoen en is hy na San Antonio gestuur om by die gesin van die vermiste seun te gaan woon, volgens die owerhede.

In 2008 het Bourdin aan 'n joernalis in die New Yorker gesê dat hy aandag gesoek het ten tyde van sy bedrieglike daad.

Barclay se familielede het ongelooflik geglo dat dit hul vermiste familielid kan wees.

Die waarheid het hom uiteindelik ingehaal, en hy is vyf jaar tronk toe gestuur vir meineed en vervalsing van dokumente.

In die New Yorker -onderhoud het Bourdin, wat bekend gestaan ​​het as 'n seriële kind -nabootser, gesê: 'Mense sê altyd vir my:' Waarom word jy nie 'n akteur nie? 'Ek dink ek sou 'n baie goeie akteur wees, soos Arnold Schwarzenegger of Sylvester Stallone. Maar ek wil nie iemand speel nie. Ek wil iemand wees. ”


5 berugste bedrieërs

Wat diegene wat hom ontmoet het, het Ferdinand Waldo Demara indrukwekkende geloofsbriewe gehad. 'N Eenpersoon wie, op verskillende stadiums van sy lewe, 'n chirurg, onderwyser, vlootbeampte, assistent-gevangenisbewaarder, ordelike hospitaal, advokaat, redakteur en kankernavorser. Hy was 'n trappiste -monnik, en ook 'n Benediktynse monnik. En soveel meer behalwe.

Om sy veeleisende rolle te beklee, het hy 'n rits leuens vertel. Tydens die Koreaanse Oorlog aanvaar hy die identiteit van die Kanadese dokter, dr Joseph Cyr, en in 1951 werk hy etlike maande aan die vernietiger Cayuga. Hy het soldate met behulp van 'n mediese handboek suksesvol geopereer, selfs so ver as om 'n koeël uit 'n man se bors te haal tydens 'n groot operasie. Verbasend genoeg het hy 13 lewens gered en is hy 'n held, maar die daaropvolgende persdekking het veroorsaak dat hy ontmasker word as die bedrieër wat hy was. Tog was die verhaal van Demara so ontstellend en intrigerend dat hy self naboots-deur die akteur Tony Curtis wat hom in die film gespeel het, Die Groot Bedrieër, in 1960.

2) Victor Lustig (Tsjeggo-Slowakye, 1890-1947)

Nadele: Hy het die Eiffeltoring verkoop - twee keer

In 1925 het Lustig opgemerk dat die Eiffeltoring, wat in 1889 opgerig is, 'n fortuin kos om Frankryk na die oorlog te onderhou. Daarom nooi hy vyf skrootmetaalhandelaars om hom te besoek en maak asof hy die adjunk-direkteur-generaal van die Ministère de Postes et Télégraphes is. Lustig het aangebied om die toring aan een van hulle te verkoop en sy saamgestelde span aan te spoor om stil te bly om 'n publieke oproer te vermy, en hy het veral op een man gevestig - die opkomende André Poisson wat desperaat was vir lof in 'n stad waarin hy van kant was. . Poisson het 'n sak kontant oorhandig en sy 7 000 ton staal gaan haal. Maar die owerhede het gesê hulle weet niks van die ooreenkoms nie en Poisson was te skaam om die polisie daarvan in kennis te stel.

Lustig, wat 'n trein na Wene geneem het, het 'n paar weke later teruggekeer om 'n ander groep skroothandelaars te probeer. Hierdie keer het die slagoffer egter na die polisie gegaan en Lustig het net -net daarin geslaag om weg te kom voordat hy in hegtenis geneem is.

3) Frank Abagnale (VSA, 1948-hede)

Nadele: Hy het hom as 'n vlieënier voorgedoen om sy lewe aan misdaad te help

Nadat hy die huis op 16 verlaat het, het Frank Abagnale persoonlike tjeks begin inbetaal om sy onafhanklikheid te finansier. Hy het nuwe rekeninge by ander banke geopen, en besef dat die gebruik daarvan dieselfde sal veroorsaak dat hy gevang word, maar hy het gedink dat kassiere uiteindelik agterdogtig sou raak as hy nie respekvol lyk nie. Abagnale het Pan American Airlines met behulp van vals ID gebel en aan die onderneming gesê hy is een van hul werknemers. Deur te beweer dat hy sy vlieëniersuniform verloor het en om 'n plaasvervanger gevra het, was dit nie lank voordat hy 'n nuwe een gekry het nie.

Met 'n vervalste vlieënierslisensie en identifikasie, dompel Abagnale hom in sy nuwe persona en vind soveel moontlik uit oor die vliegproses om homself meer eg te laat lyk. Eers het hy gemaak asof hy studente -navorsing oor Pan Am doen en later het hy met stewardesses uitgegaan. Hy het so oortuigend geword dat hy ander vlieëniers kon oorreed om hom gratis op hul vliegtuie na verre bestemmings te laat ry gedurende die tyd dat hy nie 'gewerk' het nie. Daar word beraam dat hy meer as 'n miljoen myl op meer as 250 vlugte na 26 lande gevlieg het voordat hy 18 was. Vlieëniers het hom selfs gevra of hy daarvan hou om die kontroles te neem. Hy het dit gedoen - maar hy het die vliegtuig in 'n outomatiese piloot ingedruk sonder om opgemerk te word.

4) Anna Anderson (Pole, 1896-1984)

Nadele: sy beweer dat sy die dogter is van die Russiese tsar se laaste tsaar

As jong vrou het Anna Anderson in 1920 probeer om haar eie lewe te beëindig deur van 'n brug na die Landwehr -kanaal in Berlyn te spring. Sy is gered, maar het geweier om haar naam bekend te maak, en nadat sy na 'n geesteshospitaal gestuur is, kry sy die naam Miss Unknown. Twee jaar later beweer sy dat sy die groothertogin Anastasia van Rusland was.

Dit was 'n verrassende verklaring, veral omdat Anastasia in Julie 1918 vermoedelik deur Bolsjewistiese revolusionêre saam met ander lede van die ballingskap en hul personeel doodgeskiet is. Dit was eers in die negentigerjare, toe die lyke van die tsaar, sy keiserin en hul vyf kinders gevind is, dat die mite ontbloot is. DNA wat uit die Russiese koninklike familie en van Anderson geneem is, bewys eens en vir altyd dat daar geen ooreenkoms was nie.

5) Lambert Simnel (Engeland, 1477-1535)

Nadele: Hy was net 10 jaar oud en sy identiteit is vervals om die Engelse kroon uit te daag

Lambert Simnel was die seun van 'n skrynwerker in Oxford en 'n onskadelike tienjarige. Maar 'n priester genaamd Richard Symonds het geglo dat hy baie ooreenstem met die twee seuns van Edward IV, wat albei verdwyn het toe Richard III die troon inneem. Alhoewel hulle moontlik vermoor is, het gerugte voortgegaan dat hulle nog lewe, en daarom was die bedoeling dat Simnel as een van die seuns, Richard van York, sou sterf.

Die plan van Symond's het verander toe hy vals gerugte hoor dat die graaf van Warwick in die Tower of London gesterf het. Hy het gedink dat hy Simnel sou kon afsterf, aangesien Warwick hom so vinnig na Ierland geneem het, 'n broeikas van Yorkistiese steun, waar hy in Dublin as koning Edward VI in 1487 gekroon is. Henry VII was verbaas en kwaad en het die ware graaf van Warwick in die parade gestel. deur Londen se strate. Gelukkig was hy versigtig vir Simnel, moontlik omdat hy 'n kind was en heel waarskynlik nie bewus was van die ware situasie nie. Simnel is begenadig en kry werk in die Royal -kombuis.

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5. Cassie Chadwick

Elizabeth Bigley was 'n 19de -eeuse Kanadese swendelaar wat sedert sy tienerjare nadele gehad het. Sy het met 'n klein vervalsing begin voordat sy na die Verenigde State verhuis het, waar sy in verskeie verskillende stede voorgegee het dat sy 'n heldersiende was. Sy het ook twee keer getrou, telkens onder 'n ander skuilnaam, maar nie een van die huwelike het lank geduur nie, en uiteindelik is Bigley in 1889 tot nege jaar tronkstraf gevonnis weens vervalsing.

Sy is in 1893 vrygelaat en is na Cleveland waar sy die naam Cassie Hoover aangeneem het. 'N Paar jaar later word sy Cassie Chadwick nadat sy weer getroud is, hierdie keer met 'n welgestelde, gerespekteerde dokter met die naam Leroy Chadwick. Hierdie nuwe verhouding het Cassie toegang verleen tot sommige van die rykste en invloedrykste mense van Ohio, en met die onbewuste hulp van een van haar man se vriende, het Chadwick haar mees ambisieuse probleem aangepak.

In 1897 reis sy na New York. Daar ontmoet sy 'n kennis van dr. Chadwick, 'n prokureur met die naam James Dillon. Cassie het hom gevra om haar op 'n boodskap te vergesel, en die man was verplig. Saam het hulle na Vyfde Laan gereis en voor een van die weelderigste geboue in die hele stad gestop. Dit was die herehuis van Andrew Carnegie, een van die rykste mans ter wêreld. Chadwick het binnegegaan terwyl Dillon in die wa wag, verbaas oor watter besigheid sy moontlik kan hê.

Alles wat Chadwick gedoen het, was in werklikheid om te vra om met die hoofhuishoudster te praat onder die voorwendsel dat sy die verwysings nagaan van 'n diensmeisie wat sy wou aanstel. Sy het Carnegie nooit ontmoet nie, maar dit was irrelevant vir die nadeel - al wat belangrik was, was dat sy tyd in sy huis deurgebring het.

Toe sy vertrek, het Dillon duidelik uitgevra oor haar besigheid. Chadwick het erken dat sy die buite -egtelike dogter van Andrew Carnegie was en het selfs aan die prokureur 'n paar skuldebriewe gewys (natuurlik vervalste) ter waarde van honderde duisende dollars, en ook genoem dat sy miljoene meer sou erf. Sy het Dillon tot geheimhouding gesweer, omdat sy goed geweet het dat die prokureur dit aan almal in Ohio sou vertel.

Toe haar verhaal uitkom, kon Chadwick dit maklik vind om massiewe lenings te kry by elke bank wat sy binnegekom het. Sy het daarop gereken dat niemand so vrymoedig sou wees om Carnegie uit te vra oor 'n buite -egtelike dogter nie, en sy was reg ... 'n rukkie. Chadwick het haar bedrogspul sewe jaar lank aan die gang gehou. Toe, in 1904, eis 'n bankier dat sy 'n lening ter waarde van byna $ 200,000 terugbetaal. Sy kon dit nie, en die bankier het Carnegie gevra wat gesê het dat hy geen idee het wie Cassie Chadwick is nie. Sy is skuldig bevind aan bedrog en is 'n paar jaar later in die tronk dood.

Wat Andrew Carnegie betref, het ons 'n hele video oor hom op ons susterkanaal, Biographics, geneem, dus kyk na die skakel in die beskrywing as u meer oor hom wil leer.


Valse nasionaliteitseise Redigeer

    (1791–1864), Engelsvrou wat voorgegee het dat sy 'n prinses was van 'n fiktiewe eiland (1921-1998), Afro-Amerikaanse pianis/orrelis wat voorgegee het dat hy uit Indië kom (1679-1763), wat beweer dat hy van Formosa kom

Vals minderheid nasionale identiteitsaansprake Redigeer

    (1828–1906), Amerikaanse skrywer wat valslik beweer het dat hy 'n voormalige swart slaaf was (1960–2020), Amerikaanse skrywer en assistent -professor in Engels aan die George Washington University wat beweer het dat hy 'n Kubaanse immigrant was, ondanks die geboorte in Detroit aan Amerikaanse ouers . [1] (1925–1979), wat onder die alias van die sogenaamde Cherokee -skrywer Forrest Carter verskeie boeke geskryf het, waaronder Die opvoeding van boompie (1925–1998), 'n Peruaanse-Amerikaanse skrywer en selfstylantropoloog, wat beweer dat hy 'n sjamaan is (1890-1932), 'n Afro-Amerikaner wat beweer dat hy die seun van 'n Blackfoot-hoof (1904-1999), 'n Italiaanse Amerikaanse akteur is. (die 'huilende Indiese opperhoof' in die 'Keep America Beautiful' aankondigings in die staatsdiens in die vroeë sewentigerjare), wat beweer dat hy van Cherokee-Cree afkoms was (gebore 1972), Australiese skrywer wat Oekraïens afkoms valslik beweer het as deel van die basis van haar roman Die hand wat die papier onderteken het oor 'n Oekraïense gesin wat saamgewerk het met Nazi's in die Holocaust (gebore 1977), voormalige president van die NAACP in Spokane, Washington, wat aanspraak gemaak het op Afro-Amerikaanse erfenis ondanks geboorte aan blanke ouers [2] (1888-1938), gebore Archibald Belaney, 'n Engelsman wat die identiteit aangeneem het van 'n Ojibwe (1931–2001), skrywer en joernalis, gebore Jackie Marks in 'n Europese Joodse gesin wat later beweer het dat hy 'n CherokeeAmerican Indian ("Jess 'La Bombalera'") was, voormalige lektor by Die George Washington -universiteit, wat erken het dat sy valslik haar identiteit beweer het, insluitend "North African Blackness, then US rooted Blackness, then Caribbean rooted Bronx Blackness" gedurende haar loopbaan terwyl sy Joods was. [3], 'n Amerikaanse akademikus, feminis en aktivis teen geweld wat Cherokee -identiteit geëis het sonder bewys of aanvaarding deur die Cherokee -nasie [4] (c. 1888–1933), verkoper van kruiegeneeskunde wat beweer het dat hy van Sioux gebore is ( 1919–1996), 'n Afro -Amerikaner wat beweer dat hy die laaste spreker van die Catawba -taal was (gebore 1966), 'n Kanadese skrywer wat valslik die afkoms van die Eerste Nasies beweer het, 'n skrywer van fiksie romans vir jong volwassenes, wat 'n memoire bekend maak waarin sy beweer dat sy 'n naturel is Amerikaner wat in pleegsorg van haar broer geskei is en nooit weer met hom kon skakel nie, en valslik beweer het dat hy die Harry Potter -fanfiksie My Immortal geskryf het. Haar broer het op Kiwi Farms onthul dat sy eintlik van Griekse afkoms was, nog nooit in pleegsorg was nie en dat sy vrywillig van hom vervreem was.

Valse koninklike erfenis beweer Edit

    beweer dat dit groothertogin Tatiana was Nikolaevna van Rusland beweer dat dit groothertogin Maria Nikolaevna van Rusland was wat beweer dat sy groothertogin Tatiana van Rusland was (1896–1984), wat moontlik werklik geglo het dat sy die groothertogin Anastasia van Rusland was, dogter van tsaar Nikolaas II van Rusland (omstreeks 1533), voorgegee dat sy die dogter van Hendrik VIII was, het Mary op 'n tydstip gedink dat haar pa in haar guns (522 v.C.), antieke heerser van Persië, in die algemeen beskou moet word as opreg, maar deur sy opvolger word beweer dat hy 'n bedrieër was, met betrekking tot 'n 'opgewekte' Indiese prins wat moontlik werklik was wat hy beweer het (1900–2000), in 1995 verskyn en in 2000 na Rusland gegaan het waar sy probeer het om die "Romanov fortuin" op te eis. beweer dat sy groothertogin Olga Nikolaevna van Rusland was (1817–1885), beweer dat sy die geheime wettige dogter was van Gustav IV Adolf van Swede en Frederica van Baden. (1946-1995), 'n Belg wat aanspraak gemaak het op verskeie Europese koningshuise (1642-1673), wat onder meer 'n valse prinses en 'n bigamis was (1939-1975), is die veronderstelde naam van John Keehan, wat beweer dat hy afkomstig van die Spaanse adel. In sy veldtog om sy stelsel van vechtkunsten te bevorder, het hy ook oorwinnings behaal in verskillende geheime doodswedstryde in Asië en huursoldaataktiwiteite in Kuba, waarvan niks bewys is nie. (1905–1968), was 'n Nederlandse vrou wat beweer dat sy die vyfde dogter was van Nicholas en Alexandra, gebore in 1903 toe Alexandra 'n "histeriese swangerskap" gehad het. [13] Daar is tans geen amptelike of private rekords van Alexandra wat 'n kind gebaar het nie. , voorgegee dat hy 'n seun was van die Bisantynse keiser Romanos IV Diogenes (c. 1581 - 1606), False Dmitriy II (oorlede 1610) en Valse Dmitriy III (oorlede 1612), wat almal die seun van Ivan die Verskriklike naboots (1905 - na 1978), wat voorgegee het dat hy 'n erfgenaam van die Duitse troon was (fl. 1765), beweer dat hy kroonprins Gustav van Swede was. (1922–1993), was 'n CIA -agent wat in 1959 beweer dat hy Tsarevitsj Alexei van Rusland was
  • 'N Skrywer, Michael Gray, ('n alias aangeneem deur 'n Noord -Ierse onderwyser) beweer in sy boek Blood Relative dat die Tsarevitsj met die Dowager -keiserin aan boord van die oorlogskip HMS Marlborough in 1919 ontsnap het en later die naam Nikolai Chebotarev aangeneem het. In die boek beweer Gray dat hy die seun is van die Tsarevitsj en prinses Marina, hertogin van Kent, en hulle het in die geheim in die laat veertigerjare getrou. (fl. 1659), beweer dat sy koningin Christina van Swede was. beweer dat hy die seun is van die groothertogin Anastasia Nikolaevna van Rusland († 1285), ook bekend as Dietrich Holzschuh, was 'n bedrieër wat in 1284 begin voorgee het dat hy die keiser Frederik II (1886-1962) was, wat aanspraak gemaak het op die koningshuis van die Bisantynse Ryk (gebore 1957), het homself MacCarthy Mór en "Prins van Desmond" († 1773), wat beweer dat hy Peter III van Rusland was, gestig en daarin geslaag om Montenegro (ongeveer 1260–1301) te regeer, wat verpersoonlik die Maid of Norway (1920–2000), die meesterbrein agter die Priory of Sion -hoax wat beweer dat hy Merovingiaan was, 'n pretendent op die troon van Frankryk (ongeveer 1742-1775), wat beweer dat hy Peter III van Rusland is (fl. . 1081), an Eastern Orthodox monk who assumed the identity of Byzantine Emperor Michael VII (1860–1913), who is better known as Baron Corvo (c. 1477 – c. 1525), pretender to the throne of England (1899–1997 ), another woman who claimed to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia claimed to be Tsarevich Alexei of Russia. He died in the year 1977 in Vancouver, Canada. appeared strikingly similar to Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaevna of Russia but never actually claimed to be the former grand duchess. Many people who knew Larissa strongly suspected that she was the former grand duchess of Russia. , appeared in the 1920s in Russia and claimed to be Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia. She died in a psychiatric ward in the year 1971 in Kazan, Russia. (c. 1474 – 1499), pretender to the throne of England

Fraudsters Edit

    (born 1948), who passed bad cheques as a fake pilot, doctor, and lawyer [5] (1933–2018), former pharmacist who posed as a doctor for over twenty years after stealing the identity of a licensed medical professional [6] (1857–1907), who pretended to be Andrew Carnegie's daughter (1925–1998), anthropologist and spiritual writer posing as an apprentice to the nonexistent Don Juan Matus , a journalist who passed himself off as Robert Klinger, a fictional CEO of BMW's North American division, in a series of diary entries for Slate magazine[7] (1743–1795) Italian adventurer and self-styled magician (born 1991), an Australian alternative wellness advocate who falsely claimed to have survived multiple cancers without using conventional cancer treatments [8] (1964–2003), who pretended to be the son of Sidney Poitier (1905–1986), who is alleged to have fraudulently sold the Karlstejn Castle to American industrialists. (born 1975/1976), hedge fund manager, lived in Christodora House in Manhattan, falsified documents identifying himself as the president-secretary of its condo association, and then transferred $435,000 from the association's bank account to his own bank account. [9] at times impersonated an ambassador's wife or Elizabeth Taylor and was eventually convicted of murdering her landlady, wealthy socialite Irene Silverman, with the apparent plan to take Silverman's place. (1890–1947), "The man who sold the Eiffel Tower. Twice." (born 1944), who lured women into vulnerable situations by pretending to be people they knew, then lawyers representing them, and then raped them. [10] (1834–1898), also known as the Tichborne Claimant, who claimed to be the missing heir Sir Roger Tichborne (c. 1320/40 – after 1394), Orthodox monk, claimed to be a member of the Palaiologos dynasty, pretended to be the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, later succeeding in being named Latin Patriarch of Constantinople. (1885–1959), U.S. celebrity impersonator and writer of bad checks (1910–1981), who claimed to be a deceased Tibetan Lama possessing the body of Cyril Hoskins and wrote a number of books based on that premise (1843–1914), master forger who used his real name but created a complex, fictitious history that pointed to him as the rightful owner of much of Arizona (born 1967), who pretended to be a member of the Rockefeller family (born 1991), who pretended to be a wealthy German heiress before being convicted of grand larceny. (born 1930), who was known as a "Great Impostor" with over 100 professional aliases listed with the FBI (1895–1967), fake doctor who became the personal physician of Victor Emmanuel III of Italy. Albert Einstein assumed the honorary presidency of one of his medical conferences in 1931. [11] (1849–1922), who masqueraded as the "Captain of Köpenick"

Wartime impostors and spies Edit

Many women in history have presented themselves as men in order to advance in typically male-dominated fields. There are many documented cases of this in the military during the American Civil War. [12] However their purpose was rarely for fraudulent gain. They are listed in the List of wartime cross-dressers.

Spies have often pretended to be people other than they were. One of the famous was Chevalier d'Eon (1728–1810), a French diplomat who successfully infiltrated the court of Empress Elizabeth of Russia by presenting as a woman.


Onderwerpe

Who from the most abject and meanest of the people, have usurped the titles of emperours, kings, and princes

Hierdie uitgawe is gepubliseer in 1683 by Printed for William Cademan . in London .

Edition Notes

Translation of: Les imposteurs insignes

Advertisement on p. [1]-[4] at end

Reproduction of original in Bodleian Library

Microfilm. Ann Arbor, Mich. : University Microfilms, 1972. 1 microfilm reel 35 mm. (Early English books, 1641-1700 437:4)

Series Early English books, 1641-1700 -- 437:4 Other Titles The lives and actions of several notorious counterfeits


Onderwerpe

Who from the most abject and meanest of the people, have usurped the titles of emperours, kings, and princes

Hierdie uitgawe is gepubliseer in 1683 by Printed for William Cademan . in London .

Edition Notes

Translation of: Les imposteurs insignes

Advertisement on p. [1]-[4] at end

Reproduction of original in Bodleian Library

Microfilm. Ann Arbor, Mich. : University Microfilms, 1972. 1 microfilm reel 35 mm. (Early English books, 1641-1700 437:4)

Series Early English books, 1641-1700 -- 437:4 Other Titles The lives and actions of several notorious counterfeits


6 Infamous Arsonists and How They Got Caught

Over 50 fires gutted cars in Los Angeles this past weekend. While most of the damage was limited to vehicles, some of the flames caused destruction to adjacent property, including to a home that once belonged to Jim Morrison. LA has not experienced this many fires since the 1992 riots. On Monday police detained a person of interest, 24-year-old German national Harry Burkhart, who was seen on security footage near one of the fires.

While some people start fires for insurance money or to cover up crimes, arsonists set fires to feel control—and, in many cases, sexual excitement. Profilers say arsonists have few close relationships they start blazes to feel important. Many only have a high school education, but some of the most prolific showed a surprisingly high degree of intelligence.

Below are 6 of the most notable arsonists. Most are infamous because of the damage they inflicted, but others are remarkable because of their sociopathic behavior.

1. Julio Gonzalez

Number of Fires: Een
People Killed: 87

After immigrating to New York City during the Mariel Boatlift in 1980, Julio Gonzalez was working as a warehouse employee when he met Lydia Feliciano, who became his girlfriend. A decade later, after losing his job and getting dumped, a drunk Gonzalez visited Feliciano while she was at work as a coat-check girl at the Happy Land Social Club, an illegal bar in the Bronx. Feliciano begged him to leave, and Gonzalez shouted threats while being thrown out by the bouncer.

After purchasing a dollar's worth of gasoline at a nearby gas station, he returned to the club, where he poured the gas over the stairs (the only exit) and threw a match on it. The fire burned so rapidly that patrons didn't have time to stop what they were doing and flee. Fire investigators found the dead stopped mid-life. Feliciano was one of the six survivors.

Capture: Gonzalez watched the firefighters battle the blaze, then went home to nap. When police interviewed the survivors, Feliciano told them about her fight with Gonzalez. Gonzalez admitted to setting the fire. He didn't even get rid of the evidence—his gas-soaked clothes were still in his apartment. He was found guilty of 174 charges of murder (two for each person who died) and was sentenced to 25 years for each count, for a total of 4,350 years. The punishment is mostly symbolic, because he will serve the sentences concurrently.

2. John "Pillow Pyro" Orr

Number of Fires: About 2,000
People Killed: Vier
Koste: Tens of millions of dollars of property damage

Storie: John Orr hoped to be a Los Angeles police officer, but didn't make the cut. Instead, he joined the Glendale Fire Department as an arson investigator. His coworkers thought Orr was strange—he chased down shoplifters and burglars in his fire truck. But they admired his dedication and his uncanny ability to be the first firefighter on the scene. He always knew where the hydrants were, the best way to put out each fire, and how to find the cause of the fire. His colleagues never suspected that Orr was the man they had dubbed the "Pillow Pyro."

Orr used the same incendiary device for all his blazes: a cigarette attached to a book of matches wrapped in paper with cotton and bedding (hence the nickname), secured with a rubber band. The cigarette would burn down, and the matches would ignite the paper and bedding. In 1984, a fire at a local hardware store killed four people—including a 2-year-old child—and destroyed the building and nearby establishments.

Capture: During an arson investigators conference in Bakersfield, Calif., in January 1987, several suspicious fires broke out. At one of the fires, investigators found a single fingerprint on a piece of notebook paper. Two years later, during another fire investigators conference in Pacific Grove, an outbreak of small fires occurred. Bakersfield's arson investigator compared the participants at both conferences and found 10 people attended both. By 1991, the investigators formed the Pillow Pyro task force and published a profile, noting the suspect was most likely an arson investigator from the greater Los Angeles area. The fingerprint found at the first conference was compared to those of the 10 attendees of both conferences it matched Orr's fingerprint. When he was arrested in November 1991, police found cigarettes, rubber bands, and binoculars.

His literary aspirations contributed to his downfall. He wrote a manuscript, called Point of Origin, describing a fireman who was an arsonist, which became damning evidence. He wrote: "To Aaron, the smoke was beautiful, causing his heart rate to quicken and his breath to come in shallow gasps. He was trying to control his outward appearance and look normal to anyone around him. . He relaxed and partially stroked his erection, watching the fire." Orr is serving life plus 20 years for arson and the four murders.

3. Raymond Lee Oyler

Number of Fires: 24
People Killed: Vyf
Koste: The fire destroyed over 40,000 acres, amounting to more than $9 million in damages

Storie: Raymond Lee Oyler was a 36-year-old dim-witted mechanic in Riverdale, Calif. (His own lawyer characterized him as dopey.) He trained for three months to become a volunteer firefighter, but quit. Yet his love affair continued. He began starting small fires, but minor blazes weren't enough—he became obsessed with lighting a mountain on fire. He started more and more fires by attaching a Marlboro cigarette to a pack of matches, placing it in the brush, and lighting the cigarette. After bragging to his girlfriend about his fires, she threatened to leave him if he didn't stop, so he quit — for six months, before starting again.

In October 2006, investigators say Oyler placed his trademark incendiary device in a gully near Esperanza Avenue in Cabazon. The Santa Ana winds fed the fire and it spread at speeds up to 40 mph, with flames leaping more than 100 feet into the air. The 1,300-degree fire melted guardrails along Highway 243. A truck driver testified that he saw Oyler at a gas station in Banning watching the fire. He claims Oyler said, "[the fire] is happening just the way I thought it would." A wave of fire rolled over five firefighters as they tried to save a house from the blaze all five died.

Capture: A $500,000 reward was offered for any information related to the Esperanza blaze. Arson investigators were already looking at Oyler for two smaller fires set in early summer. Both of the cigarettes used to light the flames had Oyler's DNA on them. Police officers first arrested him for the two smaller blazes and then later charged him for the Esperanza fire. While there was no DNA on the device that started the Esperanza blaze, it was identical to those with Oyler's DNA on them. After a guilty verdict, a judge sentenced Oyler to death.

4. David "Son of Sam" Berkowitz

Number of Fires: 1,411
People Killed / Cost: Unknown

Storie: The adopted son of Pearl and Nat Berkowitz spent most of his childhood alone. If he didn't play baseball, he bullied the other kids. He was large and awkward. When Berkowitz tired of torturing Pearl's parakeet, he started fires in buildings across New York and kept detailed diaries of each one. Berkowitz always felt everyone was out to get him starting fires gave him a feeling of control.

Capture: Officials weren't looking for Berkowitz for his fire-starting habits they were too busy searching for the Son of Sam, who was terrorizing New York City. But it was Berkowitz's love of that fires contributed to his capture. A few days prior to his arrest, Berkowitz started a fire outside his neighbor Craig Glassman's door. The Son of Sam had alleged in a letter that Glassman belonged to a cult, which made Berkowitz kill six people and injure seven others. Berkowitz placed .22 bullets near the door in the hope of causing an explosion, but the fire didn't burn hot enough to ignite the ammo. Glassman believed his odd neighbor Berkowitz set the fire, and he gave the police threatening notes that Berkowitz had sent him. Based on notes and an eyewitness description of Berkowitz, police arrested him, and he admitted to the six murders.

5. Peter Dinsdale, a.k.a. Bruce George Peter Lee

Number of Fires: More than 30
People Killed: 26 people died in 11 fires

Storie: When Peter Dinsdale was just 12-years-old, he went to the house of a classmate, 6-year-old Richard Ellerington, in Hull, England. Arriving before 7 a.m., Dinsdale poured paraffin in a window and tossed a match into the house. The Elleringtons woke and rushed five of their six children from the burning row house. Richard—who was physically handicapped—didn't make it out.

The Ellerington fire was one of many fatal fires that Dinsdale set from 1973 to 1979. Dinsdale was a pathetic case his mother worked as a prostitute and neglected him because she disliked his freakish appearance and epileptic fits. Children made fun of him for his limp and deformed appearance, and adults called him "Daft Peter." He wandered the poor neighborhoods of Hull at night, burning down houses. At 9, he burned down a lumberyard and a shopping district. He claimed to have started a fire in a nursing home that killed 11 men, but it was later deemed accidental. He watched a man stumble around his home ablaze after Dinsdale set the man on fire for clipping his ear. He squirted paraffin in the mail slot of a home, killing a mother and her three sons.

Capture: On December 4, 1979, Dinsdale doused the porch of the Hastie house with paraffin and lit it on fire. The four Hastie boys and their mother were inside only one boy survived. The Hasties had bullied, stolen from, and threatened their neighbors, so it seemed everyone was a suspect. Charlie Hastie had allegedly forced Dinsdale to participate in homosexual acts and had blackmailed him. Dinsdale—who had changed his name to Bruce George Peter Lee in honor of martial arts legend Bruce Lee—had left spent matches and a can of paraffin outside the house, so authorities began an arson investigation. An anonymous caller claimed to have seen a car outside the house prior to the fire. Even though police didn't suspect the driver of setting the fire, they had few leads and trailed the car. Eventually, Dinsdale admitted he set fire to the Hastie house. He said he didn't want to kill them, only to scare Charlie. Then Dinsdale coolly admitted to 10 more fatal fires and showed investigators the location of each. Dinsdale pled guilty to 26 counts of manslaughter and remains in a psychiatric hospital.

6. Thomas Sweatt

Number of Fires: More than 350
People Killed: Two confirmed dead, but as many as five
Koste: Millions of dollars worth of damage

Storie: When Thomas Sweatt saw an attractive man, he would follow him home, but instead of talking to the object of his affection, Sweatt would set fire to the man's house or car. For more than 30 years, Sweatt set hundreds of fires in the metro Washington, DC, area. Sweatt often tossed incendiary devices into police cars and then watched them burn. Each time he set a fire, he used a similar gadget—he would fill a milk jug with gasoline and plug the opening with a piece of clothing that served as a wick. The wick burned plastic for more than 20 minutes and after the fire consumed the container, gas fumes escaped and caught fire. In two different fires, elderly women were unable to escape and later died.

Capture: At the scene of a fire in Arlington, Va., in December 2004, officials found a pair of pants from a Marine dress uniform. They retrieved DNA from the pants, which matched mystery DNA that investigators had obtained from a strand of hair and wicks from three incendiary devices found at other fires. (Sweatt often used his own clothing as wicks.) When investigators visited a Marine base in southeast Washington, Naval Criminal Investigation Services mentioned that a car often sat outside the base while the driver stared at the Marines. NCIS felt this man was responsible for several car fires on base, but they didn't have proof, and the fires had suddenly stopped. For weeks, the police tailed Sweatt before asking him for a DNA sample, which he voluntarily gave. Police matched his DNA to the dress pants and the DNA found at three fires. Sweatt pled guilty to fires in DC, Virginia, and Maryland and is serving a life sentence in a federal prison.

In 2007, friend of mental_floss Dave Jamieson wrote an incredibly detailed (and just incredible) story on the letters he exchanged with Thomas Sweatt for the Washington City Paper. Go read it right now.


10 Greatest Impostors Of The 20th Century

For some reason, the world is enthralled with the idea of the impostor. They&rsquore sneaky, deceitful, and devoid of morals&mdashbut dang it, they do it with style. For example, one of the most famous impostors in recent history is Frank Abagnale, inspiration for the Spielberg/DiCaprio film Catch Me If You Can. He robbed, cheated, and lied his way into a fortune, but no matter how many checks he forged, you just can&rsquot help rooting for the guy.

In the past we&rsquove talked about some of the greatest impostors in history, but here&rsquos another installment for your viewing pleasure. These are 10 of the greatest impostors and con men of the 20th century.

Our first entry begins in the final years of the 1800&rsquos and carries over to the leading decade of the 20th century. Cassie Chadwick was born Elizabeth Bigsley in 1857, and it wasn&rsquot long before she embarked on a long and incredibly successful con career. It only took fourteen years to lead to her first arrest&mdashshe was picked up after forging checks in Ontario under the claim they they were inherited from a long lost British uncle. The court released her shortly, claiming her to be insane&mdasha dubious accomplishment for a 14-year-old.

As the years progressed, so did Cassie&rsquos schemes. In 1882 she married her first husband, masquerading as a clairvoyant named Madame Lydia DeVere. The high profile wedding, however, brought her past victims out of the woodwork and to her front door, demanding payment for the money she had stolen from them. The marriage lasted less than a year.

Fifteen years and three husbands later, Cassie Chadwick embarked on her most ambitious scam to date, and the one that turned her into a legend&mdashshe convinced the world that she was an illegitimate daughter of Andrew Carnegie, the ludicrously wealthy steel and railroad mogul. Over the next eight years, she scammed up to $20 million in bank loans under Carnegie&rsquos name&mdashwhile the banks themselves were too afraid to ask Carnegie to vouch for the loans for fear of stirring up controversy over his &ldquoillegitimate daughter.&rdquo The entire scheme collapsed around her in 1904 when she was arrested after one bank called her bluff. She was given 14 years in jail, but in 1907 she died due to heart complications.

It&rsquos hard to fault a man for trying, no matter how devious their intentions may be. And it&rsquos hard to find a man who tried harder than Stanley Clifford Weyman. Unlike most impostors, Weyman wasn&rsquot in it for the money&mdashhe wanted the adventure, famously stating: &ldquoOne man&rsquos life is a boring thing. I lived many lives. I&rsquom never bored.&rdquo

In between impersonating navy and military officials, journalists, and the actual U.S. Secretary of State, he also masterminded a meeting between an Afghani princess and Warren Harding, the President of the U.S. See, in 1921, Afghanistan and Britain were in talks to negotiate a peace treaty, and Princess Fatima, of Afghanistan, was visiting the U.S. However, the U.S. government wasn&rsquot acknowledging her official presence.

So what did Weyman do? He visited Princess Fatima under the guise of a Liaison Officer for the State Department and promised that he would arrange a meeting between her and President Harding. All he asked was that she supply $10,000 as a complimentary present to the State Department. But here, where most con men would have taken the money and run, Weyman actually followed through on his promise&mdashhe used the $10,000 for first class transport and accommodations for the princess, then lied his way up through the chain of command at the White House until he got to the president himself. When the press released his photo beside the princess and the president, he was recognized and arrested. Why did he do it? Just to see if he could.

It&rsquos rare that an impersonator will manage to make a positive impact on the world and save the lives of the people who come to depend on him. Most impostors are after money or, in the case of Stanley Weyman, excitement. For Ferdinand Demara, impersonation was about filling in gaps, picking up the pieces where a job was needed, whether he had the training for it or not.

Early in his &ldquocareer,&rdquo Demara was a soldier in the military. Not happy with where that was taking him, he decided to fake his own suicide in 1942 and assumed the name of Robert French, then began teaching college psychology at a Pennsylvania university. Every now and then he would move to a different university position under a variety of names. Eventually, though, he was caught and given jail time&mdashnot for impersonating anyone, but for deserting the army years earlier.

Out of jail and with the headlines of the Korean War plastered across newspapers, Demara decided to assume the name of an acquaintance, a surgeon named Joseph Cyr. Under his new identity he got a job on the Canadian destroyer HMCS Cayuga and shipped off to Korea. Unfortunately, he turned out to be the only surgeon on the ship, and ended up performing more than sixteen major surgeries&mdashwith no formal training. All of his patients recovered. In the biography of Demara&rsquos life, The Great Impostor, Demara claimed that he simply read a surgery textbook before operating.

George Dupre is an interesting case, in that his only real impersonation was of himself. However, the history he actually had and the history he claimed to have were so different that he inadvertently became one of the greatest Canadian war heroes in the years following WWII.

After the war ended, Dupre began traveling across Canada as a public speaker, describing his missions as a spy for the Special Operations Executive, a legendary espionage organization sometimes referred to as the Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. Dupre wove intricate tales of life behind enemy lines in occupied Paris, working with the underground resistance to overthrow the Nazi Gestapo. He described his harrowing experience as a prisoner of the Gestapo undergoing weeks of physical and psychological torture yet refusing to divulge any information. His story became so widespread that a book was written about it, The Man Who Wouldn&rsquot Talk, and Dupre became an international sensation.

Except that none of it ever happened. With the fame from the book came testimonies from people who had eintlik served with Dupre in the war. The truth was, Dupre spent the entire war behind a desk in London. It turned out that Dupre had just embellished a few stories for fun, and somehow the entire thing spiraled out of control. Aside from the fame though, Dupre never benefited from the book deal and the public talks&mdashhe donated all his proceeds to Scouts Canada. His biography was reclassified as fiction.

Most of the impostors on this list got their start at a young age&mdashfew of them achieved notoriety before the age of twenty. David Hampton is now considered one of the youngest successful con artists and impersonators, and his story has since been adapted into the play and film Ses grade van skeiding. His gimmick: impersonating actor Sidney Poitier&rsquos son (Sidney Poitier actually has six daughters and zero sons).

In 1983, at the age of nineteen, David Hampton tried to get into a Manhattan night club with a friend. The bouncers refused to let them in, but when Hampton came back later and told them he was Sidney Poitier&rsquos son, they immediately showed him to the VIP section. Thus, an identity was born. Hammond took to showing up at first class restaurants, claiming that he was meeting his &ldquofather.&rdquo He would dine, then act disappointed when his father never arrived while simultaneously signing the check in Poitier&rsquos name.

Soon he began to target the wealthy citizens of Manhattan&mdashincluding Calvin Klein and Gary Sinise, among others. Hampton would introduce himself as David Poitier, then make up a story about how he had been mugged and needed a place to stay until his father arrived the next day. In one of these homes he stole an address book, and took to calling first, claiming that he was a friend of their son/daughter from college.

After Hampton&rsquos story became famous in Six Degrees in 1990, he began traveling the country under various other personas (&ldquoDavid Poitier&rdquo wouldn&rsquot exactly fly anymore), playing the impersonation game until 1993, when he passed away from AIDS.

Christian Gerhartsreiter is a German who moved to the U.S. in 1979 in the hopes of getting a job as an actor. His plan worked&mdashbut not exactly in the normal sense. A mere eighteen years old with no money, no connections, and no legal visa to be in the States, he decided that the best thing to do would be to get married and obtain a green card through his wife. So that&rsquos what he did&mdashhe found a young woman named Amy Duhnke and told her that if he were sent back to Germany he&rsquod be conscripted into the German army to fight the Russians (this was during the Cold War). She agreed to marry him, but the day after the wedding Christian skipped out on the honeymoon and pointed his compass towards California, where his true calling lay.

His true calling, of course, was to become Clark Rockefeller&mdashthe faux multimillionaire social butterfly who spent the next two decades&mdashfrom around 1985 to 2006&mdashclaiming to be a member of the illustrious Rockefeller family. The plan worked exceedingly well until his wife Sandra Boss (of 11 years we should add), began to get suspicious that he was not, in fact, a Rockefeller. The married couple had been living exclusively on Sandra&rsquos income the entire time, while &ldquoClark&rdquo pursued high profile social connections.

And the rest, as they say, is history. Sandra Boss discovered the lie, filed for divorce in 2006, and left with their daughter. Two years later, Clark was arrested for kidnapping his daughter in Boston, sparking a whirlwind investigation into this mysterious German&rsquos true identity. As it turned out, he also killed a guy.

Stanley Kubrick is an American director who&rsquos something of a legend among movie buffs. The words &ldquogreatest director in history&rdquo have been thrown around, along with the words &ldquonot British&rdquo and &ldquoheavily bearded.&rdquo Those last two are particularly important, because in the early 90&rsquos the reclusive Kubrick began to show up in social clubs in London&mdashonly now, he was clean shaven and decidedly English. The &ldquonew&rdquo Kubrick was actually a man named Alan Conway, who had taken to using the name for the social status it imparted.

Despite the changes in his physical appearance, and reportedly having next to no knowledge of any of Kubrick&rsquos films, Alan Conway (real name Eddie Alan Jablowsky) managed to keep the charade going. Since the real Kubrick hadn&rsquot been seen in public more than a handful of times in the past 15 years, it couldn&rsquot have been terribly difficult&mdashand even people who had actually met Kubrick in real life were fooled by the act. The film critic Frank Rich was famously convinced and, based on Conway&rsquos behavior, came to the conclusion that Kubrick was gay (which Conway was).

Unfortunately, this story would be hilarious if it wasn&rsquot quite so tragic. Conway was a violent alcoholic, according to his son, and his impersonations were closer to fanatical delusions than any carefully calculated plan. Conway passed away in 1998 from heart problems.

In the past, masquerading as one of the captains of industry seemed to be the surest way to a quick million. These days, the Hollywood faces are the new American royalty. In 1992, Tehran native Anoushirvan Fakhran came to the States on a student visa, and spent the next several years living a lavish lifestyle, sprinkled with privileges usually reserved for celebrities and visiting royalty. That&rsquos because nobody knew him by the name of Anoushirvan&mdashto everyone who knew him, he was Jonathan Taylor Spielberg, nephew of director Stephen Spielberg.

In fact, he had even gone so far as to officially change his name to Spielberg in 1997. Then, in 1998, an anonymous woman placed a call to Paul VI high school in Fairfax, Virginia. She claimed to represent Steven Spielberg, and said that his nephew would be filming a movie in the area and wanted to research high school life. So the school allowed &ldquoJonathan&rdquo to attend free of tuition, and gave him an official transfer from his previous school, the fictitious Beverly Hills Private School for Actors. Jonathan Spielberg was now a student.

During this time, Jonathan and his mother were living in a posh apartment in Fairfax Village, and Jonathan drove a BMW to school, often parking in the school principal&rsquos reserved space. Nobody complained he was related to a celebrity. Eventually though, the scheme backfired&mdashJonathan stopped attending classes, and the school tried to reach Steven Spielberg to find out why. Jonathan was arrested and sentenced to 11 months in jail for forging documents.

Steven Russell is probably closer to an escape artist than an impostor, but the means through which he masterminded his many prison escapes are the stuff of legend. In 1990, Russell lost his job and, instead of searching for new work, faked an accident and sued the company. This landed him his first prison sentence, and his first chance to escape. In 1992, Russell impersonated a prison guard by changing his clothes and just walking right out of the prison.

On his second arrest, which was for embezzling nearly $1 million from a medical company, Russell was given a $950,000 bail&mdashhe couldn&rsquot pay it, so he simply called the courthouse, told them he was a judge, and reduced the bail to $45,000, which he promptly paid. Unfortunately, he was quickly tracked down again once the error was discovered, and Russell found himself facing a 40 year sentence for the previous embezzlement charges.

So he escaped again&mdashthis time by coloring his prison uniform with several dozen green markers until it resembled surgical scrubs. Again, he walked right out the front door. And again, he was quickly found and arrested. So this time Russell typed up fake medical records on a typewriter in his cell, and, through judicious use of laxatives, convinced the prison guards he was dying of AIDS. Then he called the prison and said that he was a doctor looking for volunteers to test a new AIDS treatment. When the prison warden announced the news, Russell promptly volunteered.

The next time he was caught, he faked a heart attack and was taken to a hospital under guard of FBI agents. So he asked to use the phone&mdashand called the very agents guarding him under the guise of an FBI detective to let them know that they no longer needed to guard him. Russell is currently back in prison, looking forward to his release date in the year 2140. The film I love you Phillip Morris is based on his exploits.

The Rockefellers just can&rsquot catch a break. Before the German Clark Rockefeller, there was Christophe Rocancourt, the &ldquoFrench Rockefeller.&rdquo Christophe started his scams big, and kept the ball rolling his entire career&mdashhis first scam was faking a property deed in Paris, and then selling that deed for $1.4 million.

With his wallet freshly stuffed, he then hopped the ocean to the United States and began fraternizing with the Hollywood fat cats, claiming to be a French relative of the Rockefellers. Through this alias (and others), he convinced multiple people to fund his fictitious projects. Most of the time, he never even had to make any concrete claims&mdashhe would just show up at a party and make a vague mention of his mother, who might happen to be an actress one week, or a famous producer the next week.

In 2006, he was interviewed by Dateline, and claimed that he had, all said and done, scammed about $40 million in his lifetime. His modus operandi was to convince someone wealthy that he was working on a large investment, but needed some capital to get it off the ground. The person would give Rocancourt the money, and Rocancourt would disappear. He famously convinced Jean Claude Van Damme, the action star, to produce a movie of his.

He was arrested for fraud in 1998, but has continued his scams well into the 21st century. As of 2009 he was in jail in Vancouver, where he told reporters, &ldquoI never steal. Nooit. I lied, but I never stole.&rdquo


6. Saddam Hussein

Possibly the most famous of all war criminals and fugitives, Saddam Hussein was in hiding for eight months after the fall of Bagdad, putting him at the top of the US's Most Wanted Iraqis list. American forces caught up with him on 13th December 2003.

Hiding at a farm, Hussein was literally holed up, along with a personal supply of hot dogs, 7 Up and Bounty Bars. Following his arrest, pictures of the fugitive in his pants were published on the front pages.


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