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Showing posts from January, 2016

Famous Con Artists in History

There have been con artists in history presumably as long as there have been people. When an opportunity to con people out of money or other resources is presented, there is bound to be a person or persons who are willing to take advantage of the opportunity. Some con artists stick to small swindles, taking little money and attracting little attention. Other con artists, like those mentioned in this article, go for the bigger swindle. They make a lot more money, but they sure do attract a lot of attention.

*Note: The term con artist is derived from confidence artist. They are called such because of their ability to gain a person's confidence before robbing them of their resources.

Famous Con Artist in History: Frank Abagnale Jr.

Frank Abagnale Jr. was made famous by the book Catch Me If You Can and the subsequent film. His character is much exaggerated and dramatized in both. However, he was a real con artist and he was quite good at it.

Frank Abagnale Jr. began his career as a con…

The Chicago Tylenol Murders

On September 29, 1982, it became quickly apparent that something in Tylenol was killing people in the Chicago area. By the end of it, seven people had died, a massive investigation had been launched by the companies responsible for manufacturing the product, the FBI and the FDA. Later, copycat murders would intermittently cause panic. The Chicago Tylenol Murders set a precedent for safe packaging and response to malicious consumer tampering. However, it never led to justice. The person responsible for seven deaths in the Chicago area in 1982 was never caught.
On the morning of September 29, 1982, a twelve-year-old girl went into her parents' room in their Elk Grove Village home. She was sick and seeking comfort. Her parents gave her Tylenol Extra-Strength capsules to relieve her symptoms. Shortly after, they found her collapsed on the bathroom floor. She was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead. Her name was Mary Kellerman. Her parents and doctors did not know it …

Charles Starkweather: Spree Killer

Charles Starkweather was an American spree killer who personified the pop-culture image of the rebel without a cause who runs away with his lover and kills everyone who gets in their way. Romantic, right? Quite frankly, it is not even romantic when they do it on television but when Charles Starkweather did it, it was outright disgusting. There was nothing romantic or inspiring about it.
Charles Starkweather was born to Guy and Helen Starkweather on November 24, 1938. He was third of the couple's seven children. Guy and Helen raised their children on a very small income in Lincoln, Nebraska. Guy was a carpenter, who was often out of work because of arthritis. Helen was a waitress who worked hard to make ends meet. According to everyone, including Charles, his parents were not abusive, he never went hungry and he always had clothes on his back.
Charles was born with a few impairments. He had a small speech impediment, bowed legs and he was severely near-sighted. He was teased for …

A Look Back at the "Miracle of Cokeville"

The so-called "Miracle of Cokeville" occurred on May 16, 1986 in Cokeville, Wyoming. It was a hostage situation, involving 160 people or more, most of them school-age children. In fact, there was an entire generation of Cokeville children inside the school that day. The events that occurred there have been attributed to several things, one of which is divine intervention. No matter what the cause of the outcome of this crisis, you will see that there is no denying that it was a very lucky day for a lot of people.
On May 16, 1986 at around 1:00 p.m., a man and his wife walked into the Cokeville school with five rifles, five handguns and a homemade bomb, which was made with gasoline. They proceeded to take every individual in the school hostage. They rounded up all of the school employees and the children therein then placed them in a single classroom. Once inside the classroom, the man placed his explosive device in the center of the room and told the children that if they we…