The Longform Guide to Imposters
The Spanish police believed he was a missing American teen. So, seemingly, did the Texas family who had lost him three years prior. Who they had actually found was Frédéric Bourdin, was a 23-year-old Frenchman on the run.
An IM Infatuation Turned to Romance. Then the Truth Came Out.
He was an 18-year-old Marine bound for Iraq. She was a high school senior in West Virginia. They grew intimate over IM. His dad started contacting her. No one was who they claimed to be.
The Lies of Laura Albert, a.k.a. JT LeRoy
For nearly a decade, Laura Albert lived a double life as troubled teen turned cult writer JT LeRoy, writing books, chatting constantly with celebrities, and convincing another woman to appear as JT LeRoy in public.
Jerry Joseph showed up in a small Texas town seemingly out of nowhere, produced a birth certificate that said he was of age, and quickly became a star for the local high-school basketball team. It was a role he’d played before.
The Talented Mr. Young
The story of Alan Young, a career con whose go-to move was to pose as a member of the Temptations and smooth-talk his way into luxury hotel rooms and limo rides.
The Man in the Rockefeller Suit
When a man named Clark Rockefeller snatched his daughter during a custody dispute, what the D.A. called “the longest con I’ve seen in my professional career” unraveled.