Hoaxes and Heists
Crafty burglars, cheaters and scam artists take center stage in these great titles for true crime fans.
The Apparitionists: A Tale of Phantoms, Fraud, Photography, and the Man Who Captured Lincoln's Ghost by Peter Manseau. The story of William Mumler that documents how his images of the ghosts of loved ones were both sought after and infamously denounced. The book traces the story of his successful defense against charges of fraud, and the unsolved mystery behind his photography.
The Art of the Con: The Most Notorious Fakes, Frauds, and Forgeries in the Art World by Anthony Amore. Art scams are so common today that many specialists shy away from authenticating artworks, which in the past ensured the works' authorship, and thereby value. This title relies on interviews and newly released court documents to reveal some of the most notorious cons and their histories.
Chasing Phil: The Adventures of Two Undercover Agents With the World's Most Charming Con Man by David Howard. Recounts the exciting world travels and entanglements of two young FBI agents in 1977 who joined up with a charismatic con man and became embedded in his dangerous grifting activities and outrageous schemes in an effort to ultimately take down his crime syndicate.
The Confidence Game: Why We Fall For It Everytime by Maria Konnikova. The book explores the psyches, motives and methods of con artists to reveal why they are consistently successful, identifying common hallmarks of cons to share additional insights into the relationship between artists and victims.
Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation by Dean Jobb. A detailed account of the methods of swindlers throughout history. Leo Koretz was the Bernie Madoff of his day, and Dean Jobb shows us that the dream of easy wealth is a timeless commodity.
The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk W. Johnson. The title documents the astonishing 2009 theft of an invaluable collection of ornithological displays from the British Museum of Natural History by a talented American musician.
Hoax: A History of Deception: 5,000 Years of Fakes, Forgeries, and Fallacies by Ian Tattersall and Peter Nevraumont. A collection of the most audacious and underhanded deceptions in the history of mankind, from sacred relics to financial schemes to fake art, music, and identities.
King Con: The Bizarre Adventures of the Jazz Age's Greated Imposter by Paul Willets. A portrait of charismatic vaudeville performer and 1920s con artist Edgar LaPlante describes how he amassed millions through a fraudulent charity, his seduction of a wealthy Austrian countess and his friendships with celebrities and powerful world leaders.
The Mark Inside: A Perfect Swindle, a Cunning Revenge, and a Small History of the Big Con by Amy Reading. A narrative history of con artistry in America documents the early 20th century efforts of J. Frank Norfleet to track down a gang of men who swindled him out of everything he had.
Thieves of Book Row: New York’s Most Notorious Rare Book Ring and the Man Who Stopped It by Travis McDade. Learn about the Depression-era theft ring that targeted rare books and the detective that eventually brought them down.
The Thieves of Threadneedle Street: The Incredible True Story of the American Forgers Who Nearly Broke the Bank of England by Nicholas Booth. Describes how four American forgers attempted to steal $5 million from the Bank of England in the early 1870s and the manhunt to apprehend them that spanned three continents.
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