Exposé Labels Legendary Con Artist The Greatest Hoax on Earth
“Abagnale’s long-standing claim that he passed the Louisiana bar exam and worked with my colleagues in the Office of the State Attorney General was debunked in 1978, yet somehow the truth didn’t travel. Logan is to be commended for using extensive public records to dispel the myth of Frank ‘Catch Me if You Can’ Abagnale once-and-for-all, and at the same time, for casting light on the story of the Parks family.”
—Kenneth C. DeJean, First Assistant Louisiana State Attorney General (retired)
…Catching Truth, While We Can
The astonishing story of Frank W. Abagnale and his extraordinary exploits impersonating an airline pilot, doctor, lawyer and Brigham Young professor—and seemingly superhuman ability to avoid arrest—captured the imagination of audiences around the world thanks to Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster movie Catch Me If You Can, and more recently, Abagnale’s Talks at Google appearance, which has been viewed almost 13 million times.
But according to award-winning author Alan C. Logan, the truth could not be further from the fictitious autobiography that Abagnale sold to Hollywood. Self-proclaimed as “the world’s greatest con man,” the true dimensions of Abagnale and his hoaxes are revealed for the first time in Logan’s dramatic new, IPPY Gold Medal award-winning book, The Greatest Hoax on Earth: Catching Truth, While We Can.
Logan’s fast-paced account is filled with heroes, villains, mystery and intrigue, just like the movie—but with one stark contrast: Logan reveals the shocking reality of Abagnale’s victims (notably, Paula Parks, who helped pen the foreword), their families and others who have seen the truth buried by decades of deception. Their stories are exquisitely woven into a tapestry of hard evidence, with insights from Abagnale’s former manager, Mark Zinder. Logan draws upon newspaper accounts, federal court records and state police records to present a meticulously researched timeline that contradicts Abagnale’s longstanding claims of globe-trotting as a “teenage millionaire imposter” on Pan Am’s dime, including proof of a prison sentence that Logan calls “the smoking gun that implodes the entire narrative.”
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, The Greatest Hoax on Earth reveals that Frank W. Abagnale may indeed be “the world’s greatest con man.”
About the Author
Alan C. Logan is an award-winning author who was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He obtained a liberal arts degree from the State University of New York, at Purchase. Logan has published extensively on the history of science and medicine, and is the co-author of Your Brain on Nature (Harper Collins, 2012) and The Secret Life of Your Microbiome (New Society, 2017). More recently, he turned his attention to cults, con men and truth in the misinformation era. His first book in the true-crime genre, Self-Styled: Chasing Dr. Robert Vernon Spears (Glass Spider, 2019), received wide acclaim, paving the way for his latest, multi-award-winning book, The Greatest Hoax on Earth: Catching Truth While We Can, which recently won an IPPY Gold Medal in the True Crime category.
For more information, please visit www.GreatestHoax.com.
The Greatest Hoax on Earth: Catching Truth, While We Can
… Logan utilizes his sleuthing skills to trace the truth behind Frank Abagnale’s past. The Belfast-born historian includes over three-hundred bibliographic entries, not to mention primary-source pictures, and deftly weaves them into a story that is so much more than The Great Imposter’s life. While Logan unfolds the heroic attempts of the comprehensive 1978 investigations from small-town journalists to expose Abagnale’s fantastical claims, he also focuses on the people Abagnale took advantage of: most significantly, Paula Parks (Delta Airlines stewardess at the time), her family, and Mark Zinder, Abagnale’s booking manager, taking Abagnale’s tale back to 1969.
Well-written chapters incorporate storytelling and dialogue amid a flurry of facts. Logan adds an interesting element of leaving some chapters dangling while filling readers with chronological data before bringing them to a close.
Quill says: The Greatest Hoax on Earth is a shocking and eye-opening must-read for all, especially Abagnale enthusiasts.
— by FeatheredQuill