Talk:Frank Abagnale

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High traffic

On 22nd October 2007, Frank Abagnale was linked from Slashdot, a high-traffic website. (See visitor traffic)


Somebody who knows how to do this should add the tag "people of French descent", for which he qualifies. In fact, he's even entitled to French citizenship having one parent of French citizenship. (talk) 19:37, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Inconsistency in extradition treaty status[edit]

According to List_of_United_States_extradition_treaties, an extradition treaty with Brazil was in force by 1964, several years before Abagnale's first capture. How can this article claim that the destination Brazil was chosen due to its having no extradition treaty, when in fact one had been in effect for five years? Aaroncorey (talk) 18:31, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Since no one came with an explanation, I'll remove that piece of information.FlavianusEP (talk) 19:18, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Time served as a Doctor[edit]

According to the book version of Catch Me If You Can, Frank Abagnale spent 11 months as a doctor, not ten days. The doctor he filled in for never returned from leave. He was paid $125/day consulting fee for his work. Ukvilly (talk) 12:57, 17 May 2008 (UTC)UKVilly

In choosing to impersonate a paediatrician, Abagnale consciously chose to almost certainly cause the deaths and maiming of innocent babies and children for financial gain. It doesn't get much lower than that.
Frank did not write that book, see below*:IE-SearchBox&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7GWYE&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=jqCbSaqfPKH4NO2MyJMF&sa=X&oi=video_result_group&resnum=8&ct=title# —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
Information from Catch Me If You Can is suspect, at best. It was ghost-written and the author changed numerous "facts" to make the story more sensational. So we need facts ref'ed from sources other than Catch Me If You Can. — Frecklefσσt | Talk 14:05, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
There's no cite for that. Still, there's little factual information about his frauds anywhere; even if he had written every word in the book, there still wouldn't be corroboration that it was true, only that he claimed it was true. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 19:10, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

According to : Abagnale said "I impersonated a doctor for a few days. I was a lawyer for a few days. In the book, it's like I'm doing this for a year." In his book "The art of the steal", Abagnale says: "I had spent a year there [in Atlanta] pretending to be a doctor" (page 8, see the book preview on Amazon). He pretended to be a doctor, but he has not actually served as a doctor during a year.

Sociology teacher in Utah[edit]

The following website claims that Frank Abagnale worked as a Sociology teacher at Brigham University. This website was the same reference used in the section "legal industry jobs". I don't know how accurate this site is, but it would make sense to follow suit since we are using it as a credible source in other areas. --ciyean

Helping Authorities for Free[edit]

He was not released upon that condition. He had tried several jobs, then became fed up and approached a bank with an offer. He explained to the bank what he had done, and offered to speak to the bank's staff and show various tricks that "paperhangers" use to defraud banks. His offer was, if the bank did not find his speech helpful, they owned him nothing; otherwise, they owed him $50 and spreading his name to other banks. Naturally, they were impressed, and this event was how his new, legitimate life, began. (You may actually find what I wrote here to be usable in the article!)

-- Myria 2004/09/10

Added the info--thanks! I guess the previous information was gleened from the movie Catch Me If You Can which took a lot of "liberties." Thanks for the correct information! :-) Frecklefoot | Talk 14:04, Sep 13, 2004 (UTC)

Check your facts. --

I see you edited that information back in. Where did you get your information from? The only two sources I know are the book and the movie. The book took some liberties, but the movie was pure fantasy. Cite your source or I'll change it back. I suspect you're taking the movie as your source, which is fictional. Frecklefoot | Talk 18:14, Apr 22, 2005 (UTC)
According to that he got pulled out of prison by the government so the whole "going to a bank and showing them tricks" thing is false. I-baLL 14:39, 30 July 2007 (UTC)


Article is currently not very good. I am an avid fan of Frank Abagnale, but my only source has been Art of the Steal and Catch Me if You Can, and I know both are fictionalized to a certain extent. I for one was surprised, when reading the article, when Abagnale also claimed to have just been a TA. The whole filling-out-account-numbers con was listed in CMIFYC, but that was much later. Can someone who knows Abagnale better clean up the article and confirm facts? 02:43, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The current state of the article is actually pretty good. That is, it is wikified, the grammar is correct, it flows nicely. Factual errors aren't a reason for placing the {{cleanup}} tag. If something really is factually wrong in the article, fix it. But don't place the cleanup tag in order to prompt others to check facts. You can bring it up here, as you have done, but every article is a work in progress. Frecklefoot | Talk 16:47, Jun 6, 2005 (UTC)
There are actually several sentences that are written very poorly. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 12:49, 25 April 2007.

I heard Frank Abagnale speak at NYS Government Techonolgy Conference yesterday (9/25/2008) and he told his version of his story. According to Mr. Abagnale, woking for the FBI was a condition of his early release from US prison . —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:05, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Williams, not Conners[edit]

According to the book Catch Me if You Can, Abagnale's medical 'career' was under the name Frank Williams. "Conners" seems to be an invention of Catch Me if You Can the movie. I've made the change. 06:29, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

New York City, Westchester County[edit]

The article mentions he was "born and raised in New York City, Westchester County," but given that Westchester doesn't contain any of the boroughs of the city of New York I'm a little confused. I don't know his biographical information, however, should the article say he was born and raised in NYC and Westchester should one of those locations be deleted?


Why is this article under the categories Category:People_from_Oklahoma and Category:People_from_Tulsa,_Oklahoma? Frank Abagnale was born in New York and spent most of his childhood there. Does he live in Tulsa now? If so, is there any source to back up this claim? Thanks. Ufwuct 16:04, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

  • There are multiple, credible sources that confirm that he has been living in Tulsa for several years. That he has made Tulsa his home for some time is not in dispute. Harry Yelreh (talk) 08:16, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

OR material removal[edit]

I attended a speaking engagement by Frank Abagnale at a dinner of the Raleigh-Durham Chapter of the Institute of Internal Auditors at which he described his imprisonment in France as being held in a 5x5x5 metal box. He stated that when extradited to Sweden, the first judge he saw had him to a hospital because of his emaciated physical condition. It was a very moving speech by a sincerely contrite man. Lincher 21:45, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Not really Brigham Young University[edit]

I attended a speaking engagement by Mr. Abagnale last night (19 January 2007) near Park City, Utah. Someone asked him if he really posed as a teacher at Brigham Young University, and he said "no", that the author of the book changed names and places, so listing Brigham Young University is not factually correct -- although he did pose as teacher somewhere.

  • Yes, and the example you raise helps make the point that people need to be extremely careful when using the book Catch Me If You Can as a reference. There are numerous differences - mostly minor, but differences nonetheless - between what happened in the book and what happened in Abagnale's real life. Harry Yelreh (talk) 08:19, 14 April 2009 (UTC)


Jimbo has come down strongly on the side of User:CyberAnth in the CA's removal of unsourced material. Please get some citations on the bad stuff that Abagnale did or consider re-applying CA's deletions. You know: line up the sections with the external links. -- 02:48, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Now I think I see what the problem is: Is all that info is from his book and is not cited? If so, then please just say it is from his book to clear up the matter. I am certainly not going to read his book so somebody else, please step up. Also: This guy cannot sue himself for libel, so if you think that his book has any "exaggerations" in it, then please tone it down to just the verifiable facts. I am sure that he spends a lot of time of entertaining, dramatic (or dramatized) moments that are, in the end, not notable. -- 04:25, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
There is nothing controversial here. If you or CyberAnth have specific concerns then put a "citation required" tag on the bits you find controversial. Jooler 18:49, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Slapping a "citation required" tag on a BLP article isn't the right thing to do. It needs to be properly sourced or removed. Frise 08:39, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Jooler, Frise is exactly correct. This is not an article about Bluebirds, who can only scantly be affected by what is said about them. Read WP:BLP and all policies appertaining carefully. Problematic BLPs on WP can stand to bring this entire Project down. They must be gotten right. CyberAnth 10:22, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Prison term dates?[edit]

Did he go to jail in 1971? Then he couldn't have been released in 1974 and served 5 years. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 12:51, 25 April 2007.

Escape from airplane[edit]

The article claims he escaped the airliner as shown in the movie, through the toilet gap. This is incorrect as he states in a talk that is available on Itunes in a podcast called "Flying pilot podcast" Episode- #17 Catch frank abagnale if you can! *Podcast is free of charge* The podcast plays a recording of a speech given by Frank Abagnale where in he states he did not go through the toilet space, he jumped out of a galley door onto the taxi way and the door swung closed behind him. And is confirmed by Frank himself as he is interviewed by the Podcast owner. I would highly recommend anyone that is interested in Frank Abagnale to listen to this episode of the podcast. The talk Frank gives is very informing. The toilet trick was invented by the movie producers and is stated to be impossible. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Spbeyond (talkcontribs)

I thought it was in the book too. But that doesn't really matter, as the book has been demonstrated to contain fictitious accounts as well. If you can give a ref to the Podcast, we can use it as a source and change the info in the article. — Frecklefoot | Talk 14:15, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
Whoever had posted that [Why say claims and go on for a few sentences] part, that is most definitely not the formal tone of an encyclopedia. If you have questions about the way articles are written, leave them here. 02:12, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

its Joe Shea not sean o'reily[edit]

it says that its sean o'reily who was the f.b.i agent in charge of his case in the section of his escapes, that section was taken from Frank Abagnale's book, where he used the pseudonym "Sean O'Reilly" in his book because Joe Shea was still in the F.B.I. it has been changed to joe shea now.

Current life[edit]

Currently living in Oklahoma I think. Has several children -- one of them named Sean. Someone want to look this up? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:07, 8 September 2007 (UTC)


The article bio follows extremely closely the subjects self-published (ghost written) autobiography "catch me if you can". The similarity extends to perspectives on incidents, his and others words and reactions, and the like, which greatly mirror the book.

The article also contains unencyclopedic editorializing, such as "Naturally, they were very impressed, and he began a legitimate life as a security consultant."

We have very few independent reliable sources that these are in fact neutrally stated, and reliance on his own description is unwise and probably very limited. With a background of this notoriety, other sources exist, many of them. We need to be referring to them, not just his bio or things he originated, as a fact-check. Even if the book is neutral and factual, we would still be better to cite third party sources where possible, but there are few sources cited, and most of the "story" is a mirror of the subjects viewpoint.

Accordingly I've tagged this article since it doesn't actually meet the need to be primarily based on independent reliable sources yet.... FT2 (Talk | email) 01:40, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:08catchme.jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot (talk) 04:47, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Date of birth[edit]

Hello, I watched the video I will reference below which is alreadey referenced here for other reasons. Here is the video of a speech he gave .

In this speech he says he was born in April of 1948 and not 1946. (talk) 04:25, 30 March 2008 (UTC)Mike Herndon


I wanted to bring up this video of frank speeking that is contrary to things on this page. His parents are the main one. divorced at 16, never saw father again.*:IE-SearchBox&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7GWYE&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=jqCbSaqfPKH4NO2MyJMF&sa=X&oi=video_result_group&resnum=8&ct=title# —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:39, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

If it could be confirmed that it is really Frank speaking, and there's some sort of authentication for it, it could be used as his statements, to some extent. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 19:04, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

So talking in front of an NADA conference, showing his face, and haveing press talk about it is not proof enough. The NADA it self says it was him...

In the an interview with Abagnale in the special features of the movie Catch Me if you can he states that he was 16 when his parents divorced and he subsequently ran away. I changed it for now, but can anyone come with some reliable citations? Kentourian (talk) 03:30, 3 March 2009 (UTC)Kentourian

  • That is without question the real Frank Abagnale giving the speech to the NADA in that video. However, there are several minor inconsistencies with what he says in the speech and with what is written in the book Catch Me If you Can. He condenses some things in the speech, and other things are just flat-out changed. For example, in the speech in the video he says that his father died while Frank was in the French prison. In the book, he clearly explains that his father was still alive and that Frank contacted him even after Frank had served prison time in Europe and had been sent back to the U.S. Whatever the case might actually have been, I believe it is true that Frank did not actually see his father in person after the age of 16 and that his father did die while Frank was incarcerated somewhere. Exactly where and when, though, I don't know. So, some the precise details are tough to pin down. Harry Yelreh (talk) 18:33, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

Carl Hanratty[edit]

Did Carl Hanratty exist if not the main article needs to be edited. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:11, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

  • Good catch. Fixed. This is something that people need to be careful about. Essentially, Carl Hanratty was the name of the FBI agent in the film. O'Reilly was the pseudonym of the FBI agent in the book. Joe Shaye (sometimes people spell it "Shea," and without a reference in front of me, I'm not sure which is correct) was the name of the real-life FBI agent. Harry Yelreh (talk) 05:37, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Time as a doctor[edit]

The paragraph says "For almost a year" and "he stayed for twenty-five months" Which is it? I'm pretty sure in the book he writes it was about a year... but like someone said above it's not exactly trustworthy... Robert Beck (talk) 20:41, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

"Veracity" section[edit]

It's rather confusing - I think that whoever wrote it was getting the DC-10 and the British VC-10 confused. Since I haven't seen the movie or read the book, someone else is probably going to be a better person to correct/update it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:09, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

I concur. I do not have the information at hand to confirm, but I strongly suspect it was a McDonnell Douglas DC-10, as the Vickers VC10 was a much rarer airplane. Seen landing in the movie was an airliner with engines under the wing, consistent with a DC-10 but not the VC10. Whatever airplane it is, the text is quite confusing. Numero4 (talk) 08:01, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
It's definitely the VC-10. The first deliveries of the DC-10 were in 1971. If Frank was on a DC-10, it would have been one of only a handful in existence at the time. In addition, all the DC-10's would have been with American or United: the launch customers. Both carriers were purely domestic at the time. This also matches the reference given to the paragraph.--Fbfree (talk) 04:47, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Prison of Perpignan[edit]

The description of Perpignan's prison is extremely confusing and seems to describe 1569 and not 1969! As far as I know (I'm french), not a single person has been jailed like that after WWII times and I really wonder why a trickster would deserve a treatment that even terrorists or violent prisoners never got. I think it would be nice to check the sources of the correspondant paragraph; if Abagnale himself is the only source, maybe it's not very reliable... And if there are more reliable sources (an article repeating Abagnale's own words don't look enough to me), maybe link them? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:30, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

The Art of the Steal dates[edit]

In the Books section, it says The Art of the Steal was written in 2002 and published in 2001. Fp cassini (talk) 02:04, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

tv series white collar[edit]

It is said in the article that he was the inspiration for White Collar protagonist, Neal Caffrey, but I didn't see any reference that proved it.

—Since the first time I knew about Abagnale I also thoughth he was the inspiration for Neal's character, but I like to be sure about things, does anybody knows about an interview or anything in which that is admited? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Chupafrutas (talkcontribs) 02:20, 14 February 2015 (UTC)