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The Greatest Hoax on Earth; A Review

  • Title: The Greatest Hoax on Earth: Catching Truth, While We Can
  • Author: Alan C. Logan
  • Kindle Edition
  • Publisher: Glass Spider Publishing
  • Genre: nonfiction
  • Page length: 470
  • Release date: December 1, 2020
  • My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*** I was given a copy of this book by the author/publisher but all opinions are my own. ***

*** This post may contain spoilers. ***


For decades, Frank W. Abagnale’s story has captured the imagination of audiences around the world as a modern-day folk hero-but the truth could not be more different from the fictitious autobiography he sold to Hollywood. Self-proclaimed as “the world’s greatest con man,” the true dimensions of Abagnale’s hoax are revealed for the first time in this dramatic true story.

A shocking new reality emerges through the voices of victims, their families, and others who have seen the truth concealed by decades of deception. Their stories are now exquisitely woven into a tapestry of hard evidence and insights. The result is a fast-paced drama filled with heroes, villains, mystery and intrigue, answered with unquestionable facts and official records-all definitively disproving Abagnale’s longstanding claims of roaming the world as a “teenage millionaire imposter” and working for the District Attorney in Baton Rouge.

The Greatest Hoax reveals the very different world of a grown man still running small-time grifts in the mid-1970s-living in his parole officer’s garage after he was caught stealing from a Houston children’s camp. This makes his overnight rise to stardom all the more stunning. Selling fiction as fact, the con man found his greatest mark in global audiences. And the world bought it. In the inverted reality of the post-truth era, this book reveals that Frank W. Abagnale may have earned the mantle of “the world’s greatest con man” for entirely different reasons.

The Greatest Hoax is a grand pursuit. With meticulous detail, it traces the strange-but-true movements of the enigmatic con man Frank W. Abagnale. With a remarkably diverse trail of forensic evidence-public records, witness statements, local reporting, stand-out journalism, and the con man’s own words-the jigsaw puzzle is assembled piece by piece. What an amazing picture it shows-but not at all compatible with his autobiography Catch Me if You Can or the films and musicals it spawned.

My Review

As Maya Angelou once said “there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” If she is right the authors question of “where, and when, did the grand hoax begin?” has an answer but probably never will be answered because I don’t believe Frank W. Abagnale will ever admit to the only con he got away with. His decades long con has fulfilled his desires for fame and fourtune that he’s been trying for since he was 16.

Based on his response to Paula Parks ‘ confrontation about his true past I wonder if his greatest con has taken control of his memory, and the agony of his true life story is so far forgotten he has confused fact and fiction. He’s been decieving the world since 1976 who’s to say he hasn’t started believing some of his own lies along the way. The lies are certainly more desirable then his true life, and who wants to something that has made them rich and famous.Based on my limited experience the semi-truth he offered during his Google Talk a few years back is the closest most people are going to get to what he really did in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

He has proclaimed himself “the worlds greatest conman”. When he first made this claim it was the simple lie of a con man, but as the decades have passed he has turned this lie into a truth. And this might be the only truth he tells people about his life as a con man. I have not yet read the fictitious book he claims is his autobiography but based on the information I have been given I’m pretty sure he is not mentally stable and is incapable of destinguishing between right and wrong. Meaning the only honest thing he has ever done was ask for psychological help while on trial in Baton Rogue. Even when granted his request he was unable to follow through with this request and go to any type of treatment, not once. His ability to lie started young and combined with an unstable mind it created a person with no real chance of coping with the daily struggles of being a functional member of society. So in regards to Maya Angelou’s statement on agony, she probably is right if your discussing a normal functioning person but this statement can not be applied to Frank W. Abagnale because he is not a normal functioning adult, he may in fact be the worlds greatest con man.

I definately found this book interesting. it was well researched and all the facts presented had clear documentation from well respected sources. Much of the documentation came from first hand knowledge and documents. I believe the arguements in this book to be valid and I am inclined to believe the authors claims about Frank W. Abagnale. So whether you are familiar with the claims of Mr. Abagnale or not I highly recommend this book. I hope this time people listen and that truth finally triumphs over our need for a hero.

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