I watched Pain & Gain – the wild, ridiculous true story of juicers who almost got away with using massive fraud, kidnapping, murder, and attempted murder to take over the assets of rich targets in 90s Miami – over the weekend. Not only was I blown away by how entertaining, realistic, and engaging the film was, I was also surprised that it was actually true.
Here are a few more absolutely insane real life capers I’ve read of over the years, none of which have yet been made into a movie, but all of which are entertaining reads from start to finish:
Con artist loverboy posing as Nepalese prince bilks victims out of millions, then attempts to take over man’s assets after killing him. The man’s body has never been found.
Interestingly, someone seems to have written a book about this case, though the fact that the author claims to be a bestseller despite an amateurish website and a Yahoo email address may indicate that this itself is another scam. That same person also has a few updates to the case, including someone who was falsely imprisoned in Mexico for a decade under fraudulent charges. For those of you who follow literature, this is essentially The Count of Monte Cristo in real life.
Dead Man’s Float – New York Magazine
Where to begin with this one? I’ll let a quote from the article be your introduction:
Before Seth Tobias wound up dead in his pool; before the accusations surfaced that his wife was a thrice-divorced pill-popper and cocaine user who drugged Seth and killed him for his money; before the claims that Seth had led a secret life in which he drank too much, snorted a boatload of coke, and liked to pick up male hustlers and strippers, including one named Tiger; before Seth’s brothers filed suit in Palm Beach to block Phyllis from getting her hands on Seth’s estimated $25 million estate; and certainly before I found myself face-to-face with the main source of all the dirt—a 300-pound … con man and Internet psychic with a long criminal history named Billy Ash who claims to have been the couple’s personal assistant and may well have fabricated all or part of his claims regarding Seth and Phyllis because he’s a proven liar and self-serving attention seeker … Before all of that, Seth Tobias was known to the world, to the extent he was known at all, as an upright cable-TV talking head and multimillionaire hedge-fund manager. But that’s getting ahead of the story. Let’s just start at the beginning.
Did I mention Tobias’ widow is still making headlines? She’s the woman who infamously flipped off Joakim Noah as he exited the court at a Heat – Bulls game.
Travels in the New Psychedelic Bazaar – New York Magazine
Unlike the previous 2 stories, this one follows a practice/scene – experimental (as in people literally mixing up their own concoctions from base ingredients, trying them, and comparing notes) recreational drugs – as opposed to a particular person. The following excerpt sets the tone for what to expect:
a man at a Tampa nightclub named Rat Soap fall into a bath-salts-induced seizure—clubbers tried to save him by putting a Valium in his mouth and wrapping him in plastic, but he died.
There’s also the not-so-subtle jab of John McAfee being referred to as “the founder of McAfee Virus” (emphasis mine). I couldn’t agree more on that last part.