Season 3 Episode 5: Cassie Chadwick (a.k.a. Elizabeth Bigley)

In this episode, Katie is bewitched by Cassie Chadwick. 

In 2021, everyone learned the name “Anna Delvey,” fake heiress and SoHo grifter extraordinaire. But over a century before Anna partied with pharma bros and Fyre Fest scammers, Cassie Chadwick was laying the foundation for all female con artists; setting a bar so high for fraud and fakes few would ever come close to achieving her level of Master Swindler. 

Born Elizabeth “Betty” Bigley on a rural Canadian farm, this gilded-age grifter would go on to operate under dozens of aliases. From clairvoyant to an heiress, Bigley wreaked havoc across the midwest with a lifelong string of scams. But it was as Cassie Chadwick, the illegitimate daughter of Andrew Carnegie, that her name and face would gain international attention when she pulled off one of the biggest financial frauds of all time. 

If you are interested in purchasing any of the books mentioned in this episode, visit our bookshop! 

Staff picks: 

The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller

Abbott Elementary (TV series)

Recommended reading:

Queen of the Con by Thomas Crowl

Greed in the Gilded Age by William Elliott Hazelgrove

Confident Women by Tori Telfer

Pretty Things by Janelle Brown

Lucky by Marissa Stapley

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

Sources: 

The High Priestess of Fraudulent Finance  

Nerves of Steal 

Cassie Chadwick: Female Wizard of Finance 

Glitzy, Tragic, and Selfish 

Cassie L. Chadwick 

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