An author confronts her troll.
Is a well-received work of William Faulkner scholarship a hoax?
A profile of a previously unknown rookie pitcher for the Mets who dropped out of Harvard, made a spiritual quest to Tibet, and somewhere along the line figured out how to throw a baseball much, much faster than anyone else on Earth.
On the science of being fooled.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself--and you are the easiest person to fool.
An investigation into a scholarly hoax.
In 1913, Joe Knowles became a media sensation after fleeing into the Maine woods wearing nothing but a jockstrap. Two months and one bear-clubbing incident later, the “Nature Man” returned to civilization as a hero. But was it all hoax?
On an affliction for the digital age, “Munchausen by internet.”
He confessed to more than 30 murders. But Thomas Quick (also known as Sture Bergwall) may not have committed any of them.
How a couple made millions on uncanny forgeries.
“What could possibly be funnier than depositing a perfectly ridiculous, obviously false, fake cheque?”
On the evening of November 7th 1974, the 7th Earl of Lucan, an inveterate gambler and Backgammon champion with a taste for power boats, snuck into his estranged wife’s basement. He then bludgeoned their nanny with a lead pipe and placed her in a canvas sack, before attempting to murder his wife. Recognizing his voice, she convinced him that she could him escape, then slipped out a bathroom window. Lord Lucan was never seen again.
John Dirr’s son Eli didn’t really have cancer. In fact, neither Eli nor John Dirr ever existed.
A decade-long Internet hoax unravels.
An investigation into the true identity of a high school basketball player.
The strange saga of Sarah Phillips, who went from message board commenter to ESPN gambling columnist and hid her identity from editors, scamming many of the people she met along the way.
The story behind the story that ended Dan Rather’s career.
An investigation into Erin Brockovich and the lawsuits that made her famous.
How Timothy Patrick Barrus, a white writer of gay erotica, reinvented himself a (wildly successful) Native American memoirist.
A high school student disappears, only to turn up more than 10 years later – posing as a high school student.
A trip to Scotland and an investigation of enduring belief:
I remember reading about the deathbed confession, and how strangely sad it made me, even though I had not, at that point, believed in the monster for years. How much sadder, I wondered, would it make those who still believed in the existence of a monster in Loch Ness?
As a teenager, Trey Smith snuck into the cash- and porn-filled home vault of his friend’s father. Fifteen years later, he told the story from prison.
How a Massachusetts psychotherapist fell for a Nigerian e-mail scam.
Was Steinbrenner’s Partner the “Madoff of Memorabilia”? Inside a collector’s hoax.
Because of what happened in Georgia, Ms. Grace has said over and over, she knows firsthand how the system favors hardened criminals over victims. It is the foundation of her judicial philosophy, her motivation in life, her casus belli. And much of it isn’t true.
Joyce Hatto, unknown to even the most ardent classical music collectors until late in her life, released a string of incredible performances of great works, distributed by her husband’s mail-order CD business. But how was it possible for her to record difficult works at such a dizzying rate? And if wasn’t her playing, who was it?
A private investigator asks a magazine to write a puff piece on his business. The journalist finds a real story.
A caller poses as a policeman and convinces McDonald’s managers to strip-search a female employee. It’s not the first time.
At 25, Stephen Glass was a reporter wunderkind, regularly filing incredible pieces for the largest magazines. When suspicion fell on his sources, things started to really get strange. It wasn’t just sources and organizations he was inventing, but whole stories.
How a London con man turned a struggling painter into a master forger, sold more than 200 fakes, and exposed the art industry as its own worst enemy.
Matthew Weigman was blind, overweight, 14 and alone. He could also do anything he wanted with a phone. Sometimes that meant calling Lindsay Lohan. Other times it meant sending a SWAT team to an enemy’s door.
For nearly a decade, Laura Albert lived a double life as troubled teen turned cult writer J.T. Leroy, writing books, chatting constantly with celebrities, and convincing another woman to appear as J.T. Leroy in public.
Was the 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre actually a smokescreen to obscure an even more audacious art crime?
Kevin Hart wanted a scholarship to play Division I college football. It didn’t come. So he made one up–and called a press conference.
The man who keeps finding famous fingerprints on uncelebrated works of art.
When the Internet made plagiarism harder, Jordan Kavoosi saw a burgeoning market for original essays. But in his empire of fake papers, it’s the writers, not the students, who get the shaft.