William James Clark, a two-time felon, was able…

William James Clark, a two-time felon, was able to take command of the I-40 Bridge Disaster scene for two days by impersonating a US Army Captain. After a briefcase belonging to an actual Army captain was recovered from the river, William took possession of it and contacted the officer’s widow on multiple occasions. On May 28, 2002, he obtained the use of several motel rooms in Van Buren, Arkansas, by representing that he was an Army captain and assuring motel management that other government officials would pay the tab, which eventually totaled $900. That same day he obtained $464.26 worth of provisions from an Army surplus store in neighboring Fort Smith, Arkansas, by telling store employees that he was an Army captain who needed the supplies for the rescue effort. The following day he appeared in uniform and “borrowed” a 1997 pickup truck from a dealership in Searcy, Arkansas, telling the owner that he needed it to transport supplies to the rescue workers in Oklahoma. He failed to return the truck as promised.

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In 1849 New York, a man would walk up to strangers…

In 1849 New York, a man would walk up to strangers and begin a conversation. Gaining their trust, he would ask “Have you the confidence to trust me with your watch until tomorrow?” He would never return. When finally caught, he was labeled a “confidence man”, later shortened to simply “con man”. The man, William Thompson, would reportedly gain the confidence of his upper-class “mark” by dressing very nicely and pretending to be an old, forgotten friend. He was eventually arrested when one of his former victims recognized him on the street.

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