Pretend - a true crime documentary podcast

Creative Babble

Pretend Radio is a documentary-style podcast about real people pretending to be someone else. I interview con artists, snake oil salesmen, undercover FBI agents—pretty much anyone living a lie.

The Real Catch Me If You Can part 6
The Real Catch Me If You Can part 6
This series is not just a story about a con man who lied about his past experiences. No, it's much bigger than that. This series is about correcting history. For decades, we've celebrated Frank Abagnale's life. He's invaded our living rooms in countless tv interviews. He's had Leonardo DiCaprio play him in a movie. John Williams even scored his superhero theme song. And his life has even been turned into a musical that one reviewer wrote: "is an amazing true story with a happy ending we all need." But it turns out that America's favorite con man is really just another petty criminal who's never really repaid all the money he stole. But if we zoom out, this is the story of the spread of misinformation. Where politicians and other grifters have taken a page out of Abagnale's book and learned that if they repeat multiple lies over and over, most people won't question it. And they can get away with it. Frank claims he evaded the FBI for five years. They couldn't catch him even if they tried. Sure, he admits he finally got arrested, but in his version of the story, he's the hero working undercover for the FBI. I may not believe his account, but I think he won in the end. The guy is in his mid-70s, lives in a multi-million-dollar island home, and makes a pre-school teacher's annual salary every time he takes the stage. He made it! And besides his alleged victims, no one seems to question his success. He fooled us all. And he would have gotten away with too, if it weren't for this meddling kid and his scrappy friend from Belfast. (The Irish guy is Alan Logan, the author of The Greatest Hoax on Earth.) We're on a mission to set the record straight. So that when you ask someone if they know who Frank Abagnale is, Instead of it being based on a true story, they'll tell you that he made it all up. Abagnale may have been on the run for the last 50 to 40 years, getting away with his biggest lie. But guess what? We caught him. Listen to part 6 of The Real Catch Me If You Can, then send me a voice memo with your thoughts on this series. Your audio could make it on the show. Email me at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit