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(1849)

Rank #143 in True Crime category

Society & Culture
History
True Crime

Con Artists

Updated about 1 month ago

Rank #143 in True Crime category

Society & Culture
History
True Crime
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You trust them with your life. They seem like a friend. Family, even. Anyone can fall victim to a con, and many have. What type of person intentionally tries to deceive, manipulate and eventually destroy someone with their web of lies? This Parcast Original peeks behind the masks of the most notorious Con Artists, and explores how far someone will go in order to gain money, power, and respect. New episodes are released every Wednesday.

Read more

You trust them with your life. They seem like a friend. Family, even. Anyone can fall victim to a con, and many have. What type of person intentionally tries to deceive, manipulate and eventually destroy someone with their web of lies? This Parcast Original peeks behind the masks of the most notorious Con Artists, and explores how far someone will go in order to gain money, power, and respect. New episodes are released every Wednesday.

iTunes Ratings

1849 Ratings
Average Ratings
1590
113
54
37
55

Catch me if you can - This is one of the best!

By sh details - Mar 22 2020
Read more
All the stories are great! That’s just my favorite

Recommend

By SeattleEvie - Jan 15 2020
Read more
Awesome podcast. Compelling stories you aren’t likely to hear elsewhere.

iTunes Ratings

1849 Ratings
Average Ratings
1590
113
54
37
55

Catch me if you can - This is one of the best!

By sh details - Mar 22 2020
Read more
All the stories are great! That’s just my favorite

Recommend

By SeattleEvie - Jan 15 2020
Read more
Awesome podcast. Compelling stories you aren’t likely to hear elsewhere.
Cover image of Con Artists

Con Artists

Latest release on Jul 03, 2020

Read more

You trust them with your life. They seem like a friend. Family, even. Anyone can fall victim to a con, and many have. What type of person intentionally tries to deceive, manipulate and eventually destroy someone with their web of lies? This Parcast Original peeks behind the masks of the most notorious Con Artists, and explores how far someone will go in order to gain money, power, and respect. New episodes are released every Wednesday.

Rank #1: NEW: Barry Minkow Pt. 1: “ZZZZ Best”

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We are thrilled to bring you a brand new episode of Con Artists today and for the foreseeable future. We thank you for your patience during this unprecedented time.


In the 1980s, 16-year-old Barry Minkow established himself as a boy-genius after opening a chain of successful carpet cleaning stores in California. However, unbeknownst to his family and the journalists who covered him, Barry was running a ponzi scheme.

Apr 22 2020

51mins

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Rank #2: Stephen Glass Pt. 1: The Devil’s Bargain

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In the 1990's, young writer Stephen Glass left college and entered the journalism world, quickly becoming a rising star. At the New Republic magazine in Washington D.C., Stephen dazzled his editors and captured his readers with compelling pieces written in specific, colorful detail, but it was all false. 

Parcasters - Thank you so much for listening to our new show!

Aug 07 2019

56mins

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Rank #3: Barry Minkow Pt. 2: “ZZZZ Best”

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In the 1990s, California native Barry Minkow was finally released from jail. Determined to prove his redemption to the world, the ex-con became a born-again Christian and even got a job as a local pastor. However, it wasn’t long before the new version of Barry went back to his old tricks. 

Apr 29 2020

52mins

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Rank #4: Frank Abagnale Pt. 1: “Catch Me If You Can”

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In only five years, Frank Abagnale Jr. managed to cause a major stir in the criminal world. After running away from home at 16, Frank survived on forged checks until he created a new identity for himself as a Pan Am pilot.

Mar 04 2020

49mins

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Rank #5: Debby Montgomery Johnson Pt. 1: “The Woman Behind the Smile”

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After the death of her husband, Debby Montgomery Johnson joined an online dating site in hopes of finding love again. What she found was an online relationship with a companion fulfilled her every need, but at what cost? 

Nov 27 2019

49mins

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Rank #6: Gregor MacGregor Pt. 1: “Poyais”

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In the early 19th century, Gregor MacGregor's family name had been disgraced. But the young Scot was determined to put his clan back on the map. Following his meteoric rise and fall in the military, Gregor’s desperation for glory led him to pull his first unintentional con.

Apr 08 2020

51mins

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Rank #7: Charles Sobhraj Pt. 1: “The Bikini Killer”

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In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Charles Sobhraj was one of the most elusive con artists in the world. Though his cons were elaborate, he knew he would be able to prey on unsuspecting Western tourists traveling along the “Hippie Trail,” the road between Istanbul and Bangkok. 

Feb 05 2020

56mins

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Rank #8: Charles Ponzi Pt. 1: “The Father of Fraud”

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Italian immigrant Carlo Ponzi came to Boston in the early 1900's intent on making a name for himself. But as he struggled to make ends meet, he discovered a highly lucrative investment method involving the resale of Italian postage. Just one catch—there was no investment plan. 

Nov 13 2019

56mins

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Rank #9: Oscar Hartzell Pt. 1: “The Drake Fortune”

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After starting a string of failing businesses in the early 1900s, American Oscar Hartzell found himself looking for his next path to wealth. He found it when he heard about Sir Frances Drake, and his alleged inheritance. Soon Hartzell began to use tale's of Drake's fortune to make a fortune of his own.

Mar 18 2020

49mins

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Rank #10: George Graham Rice Pt. 1

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A master swindler who operated in the early 1900s, George Graham Rice was a con artist before America even knew the term. He went from amateur forger as a teenager to full-blown criminal in only a few short years, even stealing from his father’s fur business to finance his gambling habit.

Jan 08 2020

50mins

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Rank #11: Frank Abagnale Pt. 2: “Catch Me If You Can”

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In a span of five years, Frank Abagnale Jr. took on various identities: airline pilot, pediatrician, lawyer. He had perfected the art of counterfeiting… until eventually, the law caught up with him.

Mar 11 2020

50mins

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Rank #12: Gregor MacGregor Pt. 2: “Poyais”

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When a string of military failures under Gregor's leadership led to his exile from South America in 1820, the Scotsman returned to Europe a disgrace. But soon his desire for fame and fortune led him to create his most famous, and devious, con yet—the Poyais scheme.

Apr 15 2020

49mins

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Rank #13: Madame Rachel Pt. 1: “The Beauty of Lies”

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In 1860s Victorian London, a woman from humble beginnings cons her way into the world of high society—selling exorbitantly priced bogus cosmetics to the very women she aims to befriend.

Oct 30 2019

53mins

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Rank #14: Anna Anderson Pt. 1: The False Anastasia

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Franziska Schanzkowsky always thought she was destined for something bigger than the life of a Polish peasant. In 1921, after the fall of the Romanov Empire, 24-year-old Franziska claimed she was the Grand Duchess Anastasia, the youngest daughter of deposed Tsar Nicholas II. But to maintain the lie, Franziska would have to surrender more of herself than she ever realized...including her sanity. 

Parcasters - This week on Crimes of Passion we take on the infamous case of Lorena and John Bobbitt! You won’t want to miss this one! Listen today on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

Aug 21 2019

54mins

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Rank #15: Jordan Belfort Pt. 1: The Wolf of Wall Street

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On Jordan Belfort’s first day as a Wall Street Stockbroker, in October 1987, the market crashed over 500 points. A month later, he was out of a job. Down, out, and completely broke, the soon to be Wolf of Wall Street reinvented himself as a penny stockbroker, and devised a scam so simple – so ingenious – he was soon earning almost $1 million a week.

Sep 04 2019

49mins

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Rank #16: William Chaloner Pt. 1: “The Counterfeit Trickster”

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Born into poverty in 17th century England, William Chaloner pulled himself out using a con artist’s tongue and his artistry as a forger. Chaloner chose his nefarious path at a time and place when the deteriorating state of England’s currency made counterfeiting widespread and lucrative—although the penalty was death by hanging.

Feb 19 2020

46mins

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Rank #17: Victor Lustig Pt. 1

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He cut his teeth swindling victims through a series of card game tricks. Soon Victor Lustig would move onto more elaborate, skilled schemes in which he would systematically earn his mark's trust for weeks before taking off with thousands of dollars. But it was in Paris where Lustig pulled his biggest con—selling the Eiffel Tower—twice.

Jan 22 2020

51mins

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Rank #18: Stephen Glass Pt. 2: “Hack Heaven”

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In May of 1998, rock-star journalist Stephen Glass tried to break into the burgeoning field of reporting: digital technology. He wrote an article that impressed his colleagues, his editor, and the general public. Unfortunately, not a word of it was true. 

Parcasters - Thank you so much for listening to our new podcast!

Aug 14 2019

48mins

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Rank #19: Charles Ponzi Pt. 2: “The Father of Fraud”

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Within 16 years of coming to America, Italian immigrant Carlo Ponzi would build a financial empire based on a massive scam. But by 1920, Ponzi would be exposed as a fraud, but unwilling to go away quietly.

Nov 20 2019

51mins

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Rank #20: Debby Montgomery Johnson Pt. 2: “The Woman Behind the Smile”

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In 2012, after borrowing nearly $100,000 from her parents to loan to her online boyfriend, Debby Montgomery Johnson was growing worried about the relationship's financial burden. She'd soon find the man she had been dating for nearly 2 years had a secret of his own.  

Dec 04 2019

50mins

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Con Artists Bites: Economic Misfortune

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In addition to new episodes of Con Artists each week, you’ll now also hear Crime Bites every Friday. Each Crime Bites episode gives you a deeper, yet brief look into true-crime topics covered at Parcast.


Today we’re discussing cases of criminality inspired by economic misfortune. What happens when a person who has fallen on hard times turns to a life of crime? We’ll take a closer look using clips from shows across the Parcast Network.


Clips featured: Crimes of Passion: Bonnie and Clyde Pt. 1, Con Artists: Anna Anderson Pt. 1, Espionage: George Troflimoff Pt. 1

Jul 03 2020

21mins

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Mark Hofmann Pt. 1: “Religious Forgeries”

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In the mid-1980s, Mark Hofmann was one of America’s most prolific and successful forgers. He rocked the Mormon Church to its core with convincing historical "finds" that struck at the faith's very foundation—its founder, Joseph Smith.

Jul 01 2020

48mins

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Con Artists Bites: Isolation

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In addition to new episodes of Con Artists each week, you’ll now also hear Crime Bites every Friday. Each Crime Bites episode gives you a deeper, yet brief look into true-crime topics covered at Parcast.


Today we’re discussing cases of isolation. What kind of effect does living in isolation—with little contact with the outside world, friends, or family—have on the psyche? We’ll take a closer look using clips from shows across the Parcast Network.


Clips featured: Hostage: Colleen Stan Pt. 1, Cults: Workers Institute Pt. 2, Unexplained Mysteries: Silent Twins Pt. 1

Jun 26 2020

21mins

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Bre-X Pt. 2: “Mining Fraud”

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From 1993 until 1997, Bre-X stocks soared from pennies to billions of dollars, all based on steadily increasing estimates of gold beneath the soil in Busang. Yet these estimates were all based on lies, and there was no gold to be found.

Jun 24 2020

46mins

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Con Artists Bites: Satanism

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In addition to new episodes of Con Artists each week, you’ll now also hear Crime Bites every Friday. Each Crime Bites episode gives you a deeper, yet brief look into true-crime topics covered at Parcast.


Today we’re discussing Satanism. What kind of influence has Satanism had on crime and society? We’ll explore this topic using clips from shows across the Parcast Network.


Clips featured: Serial Killers: David Berkowitz (Son of Sam) Pt. 2, Unsolved Murders: Jeanette DePalma Pt. 1, Cults: Church of Satan Pt. 2

Jun 19 2020

19mins

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Bre-X Pt. 1: “Mining Fraud”

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Founded in Canada in 1989, Bre-X was the last-ditch effort of failed prospector, David Walsh, to literally strike gold. His company stock was worth pennies until 1993, when they purchased land in Busang, Indonesia, and claimed to have discovered the largest gold deposit in the history of the world.

Jun 17 2020

43mins

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Con Artists Bites: Crimes That Changed Society

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In addition to new episodes of Con Artists each week, you’ll now also hear Crime Bites every Friday. Each Crime Bites episode gives you a deeper, yet brief look into true-crime topics covered at Parcast.


Today we will take you chronologically through three crimes that inspired change in society, laws, or policies.


Clips featured: Not Guilty: Ernesto Miranda Pt. 2, Serial Killers: Ottis Toole Pt. 2, Unsolved Murders: Tylenol Murders Pt. 2

Jun 12 2020

19mins

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Introducing SOLVED MURDERS: TRUE CRIME MYSTERIES, A Parcast Original Series!

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To commemorate its fourth anniversary, Parcast and the team behind Unsolved Murders are taking a closer look at what it takes to catch a killer. In the new series Solved Murders: True Crime Mysteries, you'll follow the clues and uncover the missing pieces to some of history's most gripping cases. Every Wednesday, join hosts Carter and Wenndy as they explore the days, months, and even years leading up to a killer being caught. Each episode plays out like a classic murder mystery—where the final reveal is nearly as shocking as the murder itself. Solved Murders: True Crime Mysteries is only available on Spotify.


Enjoy this exclusive clip from the first episode on the infamous “in cold blood” murders of the Clutter Family. If you want to listen to the full episode, follow Solved Murders: True Crime Mysteries, free and only on Spotify.

Jun 11 2020

16mins

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Lou Pearlman Pt. 2: “Entertainment Mogul”

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For over 20 years, music mogul Lou Pearlman perpetrated one of the longest-running Ponzi schemes in history, scamming investors out of more than $300 million. His years spent bankrolling his pricy lifestyle and promising premium profits came to a crashing halt in the 2000s, shortly after his former boyband *NSYNC told him "Bye, Bye, Bye." 

Jun 10 2020

51mins

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Con Artists Bites: Political Crimes

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In addition to new episodes of Con Artists each week, you’ll now also hear Crime Bites every Friday. Each Crime Bites episode gives you a deeper, yet brief look into true-crime topics covered at Parcast.


Today we’re discussing political crimes. What types of political crimes are there, and what is their impact on society and governments as a whole?


Clips featured: Political Scandals: Jack Abramoff, Espionage: The Rosenbergs Pt. 2, Assassinations: Pancho Villa Pt. 1

Jun 05 2020

21mins

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Lou Pearlman Pt. 1: “Entertainment Mogul”

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He sparked the rise of the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC in the 1990s. But a decade earlier, wannabe-mogul, Lou Pearlman, made his start in the world of aviation. With a dream, a penny stock scheme, and a single makeshift blimp, Pearlman built an empire defrauding investors. 

Jun 03 2020

41mins

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Con Artists Bites: Torture

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In addition to new episodes of Con Artists each week, you’ll now also hear Crime Bites every Friday. Each Crime Bites episode gives you a deeper, yet brief look into true-crime topics covered at Parcast.


Today we’re discussing cases in which a criminal tortured their victim. What would compel someone to torture another person, and what are the lasting effects on a victim who was tortured?


Clips featured: Female Criminals: Gertrude Banisewski Pt. 1, Serial Killers: David Parker Ray Pt. 2, Hostage: Colleen Stan Pt. 2

May 29 2020

23mins

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Steven Russell Pt. 2: “Con For Love”

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In 1995, Steven Russell met and fell madly in love with Phillip Morris, a man who inspired his most ingenious cons and audacious prison breaks. Before his final arrest, Russell upped the ante, embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep his paramour in luxury.

May 27 2020

49mins

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Con Artists Bites: Wealthy Criminals

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In addition to new episodes of Con Artists each week, you’ll now also hear Crime Bites every Friday. Each Crime Bites episode gives you a deeper, yet brief look into true-crime topics covered at Parcast.


Today we’ll focus on wealthy criminals. We’ll discuss what leads high-status individuals to commit crimes, as well as the consequences they face once captured.


Clips featured: Kingpins: Pablo Escobar Pt. 1, Con Artists: Bernie Madoff Pt. 1, Female Criminals: Leona Helmsley Pt. 2

May 22 2020

23mins

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Steven Russell Pt. 1: “Con For Love”

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After cutting his teeth on his family's illegal bid-rigging scheme, Steven Russell branched out into his own criminal enterprises, scamming corporations in Texas out of tens of thousands of dollars. Russell's escapades throughout the ‘90s landed him in prison, but he executed a cunning escape to reunite with the man he loved.

May 20 2020

51mins

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Introducing SON OF A HITMAN, A Spotify Original Podcast!

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If you love the controversies explored in Con Artists, you’ll definitely want to check out the new Spotify Original podcast, Son of a Hitman. Although it’s not a Parcast production, Son of a Hitman features all the twists and turns you love in a true crime series. Follows the present day investigation into the murders, crimes, and conspiracies involving Charles V. Harrelson—the father of Jordan, Brett, and famous actor Woody Harrelson, with details never shared in the media before.


Enjoy this exclusive clip from the first episode of Son of a Hitman, where you’ll meet Brett Harrelson, one of Charles’ sons, and hear what he really thinks about his father. If you like what you hear, search for Son of a Hitman and listen to the rest for free, only on Spotify.


Son of a Hitman investigates the murders, crimes, and conspiracies of convicted hitman, Charles Harrelson-- father to Jordan, Brett, and famous actor Woody Harrelson. Listen now at spotify.com/hitman.

May 17 2020

15mins

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Con Artists Bites: Revenge Killings

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In addition to new episodes of Con Artists each week, you’ll now also hear Crime Bites every Friday. Each Crime Bites episode gives you a deeper, yet brief look into true-crime topics covered at Parcast.


What makes someone so vengeful, they’re willing to take a human life? Using clips from across the Parcast Network, we’ll search for clues by taking a closer look at some of history’s most infamous revenge killings.


Clips featured: Crimes of Passion: Marty and Michelle Theer Pt. 1, Female Criminals: Valerie Solanas Pt. 2, Assassinations: Phoolan Devi Pt. 1

May 15 2020

19mins

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Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith Pt. 2

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In the late 1800s, notorious outlaw and con artist Jefferson “Soapy” Smith had created a criminal empire in Denver. But when a "law and order" league threatened to shutter his businesses, Soapy decided to expand his operations—resulting in a violent end.

May 13 2020

47mins

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Con Artists Bites: Dead Political Figures

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In addition to new episodes of Con Artists each week, you’ll now also hear Crime Bites every Friday. Each Crime Bites episode gives you a deeper, yet brief look into true-crime topics covered at Parcast.


Today we’re discussing the deaths of American political figures. Whether their demise came at the hands of an assassin, or a political rival, the loss of each of these leaders left an indelible impact on U.S. history.


Clips featured: Political Scandals: Election of 1800, Assassinations: Lincoln Pt. 2, Conspiracy Theories: JFK Assassination Pt. 1

May 08 2020

21mins

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Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith Pt. 1

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At the end of the 19th century, Jefferson Smith was just a teenage cowboy who stumbled into the world of shell games and card sharps. But after just a few years he would assemble a gang of like-minded crooks, and mastermind a slew of ingenious cons to become the scam king of Denver. 

May 06 2020

48mins

Play

iTunes Ratings

1849 Ratings
Average Ratings
1590
113
54
37
55

Catch me if you can - This is one of the best!

By sh details - Mar 22 2020
Read more
All the stories are great! That’s just my favorite

Recommend

By SeattleEvie - Jan 15 2020
Read more
Awesome podcast. Compelling stories you aren’t likely to hear elsewhere.