Episode 3: 364.163- Frank Abagnale, Jr.

In this episode of The Reference Desk, Katie is bewitched by Frank Abagnale, Jr. 

One of America’s most notorious con-men, Frank Abagnale, Jr.’s unlikely journey into the world of check forgery, criminal impersonation, and other scams, inspired the popular film “Catch Me If You Can.” From his humble beginnings as a teenage runaway cashing bad checks, to his summer spent escorting a group of Pan-Am flight attendant hopefuls through Europe, this episode covers his life of crime from beginning to end. After our deep-dive into Abagnale’s problematic rise to notoriety, we give you book recommendations about the world of fraud, scams, and swindles. 


 Abagnale, F., Jr., & Redding, S. (2000). Catch Me If You Can: The True Story of a Real Fake. Crown.

Brock, P. (2009). Charlatan: America’s Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam. Crown.

Carreyrou, J. (2020). Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup. Vintage.

Dean J., Grigoriadis, V. (Hosts). Chameleon: Hollywood Con Queen. [Audio Podcast]. Campside Media. https://www.campsidemedia.com/shows/chameleon 

Docter, P., & Powers, K. (Directors). (2020). Soul [Motion picture]. Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios.

Frank Abagnale. (2020, August 10). Retrieved January 27, 2021, from https://www.biography.com/personality/frank-abagnale

Haig, M. (2020). The midnight library. New York, NY: Viking.

Highsmith, P. (2013). The talented Mr. Ripley. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

King, S. (2014). Revival. Scriber.

Mosley, Laci. (Host). Scam Goddess. [Audio Podcast]. Earwolf. https://www.earwolf.com/show/scam-goddess/ 

Sales, N. J. (2013). The Bling Ring: How a Gang of Fame-Obsessed Teens Ripped Off Hollywood and Shocked the World. It Books.

Spielberg, S. (Director). (2002). Catch Me if You Can [Motion picture]. Dreamworks Pictures.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: