Art Forgery Is Easier Than Ever, And It’s A Great Way To Launder Money
More and more rich people are buying art and stashing it in strange places. According to infamous scammers, it’s not even close to legit. In some respects, it mirrors the giant pools of money sloshing around in Manhattan or London real estate—funds that are relatively concentrated in a few hands spending it in a few places.
‘The Big House And The Picket Fence’
Tonya Crowder still dreams that she and her fiance, Roosevelt Myles—who’s been in prison for decades fighting what he says is a wrongful conviction—will one day build a life together somewhere “nice, quiet, and simple.”
The Lawyer Whose Clients Didn’t Exist
A well-known attorney helped land a $2 billion settlement for Gulf Coast seafood-industry workers after a BP oil rig 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana, had exploded. But who was he really representing?
La Linea, Europe’s Narco City
La Linea is a Spanish coastal city built on the drug trade. Smugglers and policemen often come from the same street. Off the Grid met people on both sides of the divide.
How A Single Mom Created A Plastic Food-Storage Empire
The story of Tupperware is a story of innovation and reinvention: how a new kind of plastic, made from industrial waste material, ended up a symbol of female empowerment. The product ushered women into the workforce, encouraging them to make their own money, better their families, and win accolades and prizes.
How Ring Went From ‘Shark Tank’ Reject To America’s Scariest Surveillance Company
Amazon’s Ring started from humble roots as a smart doorbell company called “DoorBot.” Now it’s surveilling the suburbs and partnering with police. Although there’s no credible evidence that Ring actually deters or reduces crime, claiming that its products achieve these things is essential to its marketing model.
Plane Stowaway: The Man Who Fell From The Sky
It was sunny and warm on 30 June as residents in south London finished their lunch and unwound on a leisurely Sunday afternoon. But the peace was shattered in Offerton Road with a terrifying thump. A man occupied a crater in one of the back gardens after falling through the sky for a kilometer.
The Outsize Influence Of Your Middle-School Friends
The ability to make and keep even one close friend has been seen as vital to children’s well-being for more than half a century. What has changed is that we now understand at a biological and even evolutionary level why that is so.
Uncatchable: The Story Of Fugitive George Wright
George Wright, America’s most elusive fugitive, ran for forty years. He ran from the cops after escaping from prison. He ran from the feds after the most brazen hijacking in history. He ran from the authorities on three continents, hiding out and blending in wherever he went.
How To Spot A Perfect Fake: The World’s Top Art Forgery Detective
The incentive to be a proficient forger has soared; a single, expertly executed old master knockoff can finance a long, comfortable retirement. The technologies available to abet the aspiring forger have also improved. Forgeries have got so good – and so costly – that Sotheby’s has brought in its own in-house fraud-busting expert.
Javier Peña, as a character, was popularized through the Netflix series ’Narcos.’ But the story of the real Peña—who lives in San Antonio—and his quest to end the reign of Pablo Escobar is bigger than a screen. Peña’s life, or death, was particularly valuable to Escobar—fear of the U.S. government made DEA agents a tough mark for hitmen.
How A Good Scam Can Bypass Our Defences
Scammers exploit cognitive errors, like “optimism bias.” Most people think they’re a little bit charmed, a little luckier than average. We harbour a personal fable that things are likely to go well for us.
The School Shooting That Austin Forgot
John Ray barely remembered the details of that day—May 18, 1978—when a friend at his Austin junior high school walked into class and, in front of Ray and twenty other eighth graders, shot and killed their teacher, Wilbur “Rod” Grayson. Ray and his classmates still wonder: What really happened?
Iron Is The New Cholesterol
Oxygen and iron are essential for the production of energy, but may also conspire to destroy the delicate order of our cells. Elevated iron is at the center of a web of disease stretching from cancer to diabetes.
Army Ranger School Is A Laboratory Of Human Endurance
The military’s toughest training challenges have a lot in common with outdoor sufferfests like the Barkley Marathons and the Leadville Trail 100: you have to be fit and motivated to make the starting line, but your mind and spirit are what carry you to the end.
So You Rented Out A Meth House
After finding meth paraphernalia, the only way for a property owner to be protected from any liability, both monetary and/or criminal, is to have the property properly tested for meth residue, and if found, cleaned according to state guidelines and by a state-certified inspector.
How The Pinellas Sheriff’s Office Boosts Its Rape Stats Without Solving Cases
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has used a designation, called “exceptionally cleared” to close some cases where it hadn’t identified a suspect, assigned a detective or even confirmed that a crime had occurred.
I Was a Proud Non-Breeder. Then I Changed My Mind.
When I hear younger women confidently describe how they’ll feel when they’re older, sometimes I feel a pinch of such condescension myself. Not because I think they’ll all necessarily want kids, or that they should have them, but because one tricky thing about your 20s is the need to make decisions for a future self whose desires are unknowable.
The Saga Of Punkin’ Donuts
The Dunkin’ Donuts that used to be at the northwest corner of Belmont and Clark earned its nickname in the 80s and 90s. How a doughnut-shop parking lot became a confluence of Chicago youth subcultures—and what killed it off.
The World’s Oldest Winery in Armenia
The Areni-1 complex, uncovered in 2007, contains a 6,100-year-old winery replete with fermenting vats, a grape press, and subterranean clay storage vessels. Altogether, it’s the best-preserved archeological site in the ongoing search for winemaking’s birthplace.