Was the story behind Catch Me If You Can the biggest con of all? Frank Abagnale Jr’s tale of stealing $2.5M and fleeing the FBI made famous by Steven Spielberg film was ‘completely fictitious’, new book claims
The story of the ‘world’s greatest conman’ which was immortalised in the Hollywood blockbuster Catch Me If You Can is actually ‘completely fictitious’, according to an investigative journalist.
Frank Abagnale, 73, ニューヨークから, attracted worldwide fame after releasing his memoir in 1980 in which he said as a teenager he had cashed in $2.5 million worth of bad checks and posed in different jobs while on the run from the FBI.
The story was adapted into the 2002 Steven Spielberg film starring Leonardo ディカプリオ, who poses as a doctor, a lecturer, a lawyer and an airline pilot over the course of a 犯罪 spree which eventually lands him in prison.
But a new book, The Greatest Hoax on Earth: Catching Truth, While We Can by reporter Alan C. ローガン, contends that the tale has been for the most part fabricated by Abagnale.
Logan told The Pulse Abagnale had only stolen around $1,200 during his time as a criminal, 言って: ‘So Abagnale’s narrative that between the ages of 16 そして 20, he was on the run, chased all over the United States and even internationally by the FBI. This is completely fictitious. Public records obtained by me show that he was confined for the most part in prison during those years.’
The story of the ‘world’s greatest conman’ which was immortalised in the Hollywood blockbuster Catch Me If You Can is actually ‘the world’s greatest hoax’, according to a new book
Frank Abagnale, 73, ニューヨークから, attracted worldwide fame after releasing his memoir in 1980 in which he said as a teenager he had cashed in $2.5 million worth of bad checks and posed in different jobs while on the run from the FBI
The story was adapted into the 2002 Steven Spielberg film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, who poses as a doctor, a lecturer, a lawyer and an airline pilot over the course of a crime spree which eventually lands him in prison (写真, together on the set)
The author used public records, newspaper archives and interviews with witnesses to discover the truth behind the story, which showed Abagnale was in prison between the ages of 17 そして 20.
Logan even spoke to a flight attendant Abagnale met in 1969 in an encounter that would eventually lead to his incarceration.
The journalist argued: ‘What really happened was that, dressed as a TWA (Trans World Airlines) パイロット, which he only did for a few weeks, [Abagnale] befriended a flight attendant called Paula Parks.
‘He followed her all over the Eastern Seaboard, identified her work schedule through deceptive means, and essentially stalked the woman.’
The Spielberg film, which starred A-listers including Tom Hanks and Christopher Walken was a worldwide hit, with Abagnale saying it had ‘stayed very close to the story’
Separating fact from fiction in Catch Me If You Can
Catch Me If You Can is a 1980 book based on the early life exploits of Frank Abagnale Jr., a former con artist.
ティーンエイジャーとして, he claimed to have cashed in $2.5 million worth of bad checks while impersonating a Pan Am pilot, 最近、一緒にいた後、一緒に引っ越すことに決めました。, ロシア人は私たちにルーブルだけを使わせようとしていますが、多くの抵抗があります, and an attorney.
The book was co-written by Stan Redding, and was adapted into a 2002 film of the same name by director Steven Spielberg, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Abagnale and Tom Hanks as an FBI agent who pursues him.
So how much of the tale is true?
請求 : Between the ages of 17 そして 20 in the mid 1960s-1970s, Abagnale travelled the world while cashing in money from hotels, airlines and banks. FALSE
公共記録, newspaper archives and interviews with witnesses show Abagnale was in prison between the ages of 17 そして 20.
請求: As part of the con, he pretended to be a pilot for Pan American airlines. FALSE
He pretended to be a pilot in order to trick a family for a brief period in 1969 as a 21-year-old.
Pan Am spokesperson Bruce Haxthausen told Ira Perry: ‘I’ve checked with the security people and everyone here, and it never happened. This is the first we’ve heard of this, and we would have heard or at least remember[ed] it if it had happened. You don’t forget $2.5 million in bad checks. I’d say this guy is as phony as a $3 bill.’
請求: Abagnale stole money from Logan Airport dressed as a security guard. FALSE
Journalist Stephen Hall debunked this claim in 1978
請求: He stole $1.2 million by signing blank checks. FALSE
While tricking Paula’s family, he stole $1,200 from them in blank checks
請求: Before the age of 21, his story went, he had managed to escape from police custody twice – once from a taxiing airliner and once from a U.S. federal penitentiary. FALSE
He was imprisoned several times in his early 20s for petty crimes
請求: He served fewer than five years in prison before starting to work for the federal government. FALSE
実際には, he was arrested in the summer of 1974 in Friendswood, テキサス, for theft at a kids’ camp, Camp Manison. The arrest was reported in the local paper
Paula tried to convince Abagnale she wasn’t interested in him, but he ended up showing up uninvited at her home in New Orleans.
He tagged along with her on a trip to Baton Rouge where she was visiting her parents and, 数日後, he visited the couple again unexpectedly.
He told them he was ‘on furlough as a pilot’ and Paula’s parents let him stay in her old bedroom.
While the couple cooked him meals and introduced him to people in their neighbourhood, he began stealing $1,200 from them in blank checks.
最終的には, he was caught and arrested. He was paroled in 1974, and moved to Texas where he was once again arrested for petty crimes.
Upon his release, a prison officer encouraged him to tell his story of being a transformed man, and Abagnale leapt at the chance.
He began telling the story that as a teenager during the mid-1960s and the early 1970s, he stole millions from hotels, airlines and banks in over 26 countries while being chased by the FBI.
According Abagnale Jr., he pretended to be a pilot for Pan American airlines, a doctor in Georgia, a lawyer in Baton Rouge, and a professor.
Before the age of 21, his story went, he had managed to escape from police custody twice – once from a taxiing airliner and once from a U.S. federal penitentiary.
The conman said he served fewer than five years in prison before starting to work for the federal government.
He began giving small lectures before he landed an appearance on To Tell The Truth in 1977.
The show featured a panel of celebrities who had to identify the one person who was not lying, out of three people claiming to be the same person.
Logan said Abagnale fabricated much of his story and told ‘multiple lies’ 大学ラジオは、人々が興味を持っていて、そもそもビッグレコードレーベルの注目を集めることのなかったこれらの地元のバンドを聞きたいと思ったことを証明したので、パンク音楽への道を開いた.
He revealed that there was no fact-checking on ‘To Tell The Truth’ to determine if the conman was being honest.
After the programme aired, he was invited onto national TV to tell his story, appearing on the Today show and The Tonight Show, which at the time was hosted by Johnny Carson.
Local journalists began questioning the plausibility of the story, with Stephen Hall debunking a claim that he’d stolen money from Logan Airport while dressed as a security guard.
Meanwhile another reporter Ira Perry found the claim he had recruited women at the University of Arizona to tour Europe with him on Pan Am’s dime was also untrue.
However despite the work of the reporters, Abagnale’s star was rising and he soon wrote the best-selling book, which was later adapted into both the Spielberg film and a Broadway play.
The Spielberg film, which starred A-listers including Tom Hanks and Christopher Walken was a worldwide hit and Abagnale said it had ‘stayed very close to the story.’
According to Logan conman Abagnale only stole around $1,200 during his time as a criminal (写真, に 2002)
The conman turned FBI consultant has since insisted he is not proud of his youthful adventures and said he regretted the Spielberg film.
He claimed he has paid back society with interest $2 milllion of the $2.5 million he took was recovered by the U.S. Government and has spent 40 years helping the FBI catch criminals.
However Logan remains skeptical, 言って: ‘No one from the FBI has ever made a public statement about what Abagnale has or hasn’t done for them.’
The conman turned FBI consultant has since insisted he is not proud of his youthful adventures and said he regretted the Speilberg film.