Musing on Madoff

By Nate Hendley

Last night, I saw the film In God We Trust at the Hot Docs Theatre in Toronto.

It’s a great documentary about jailed financial fraudster Bernie Madoff.

Originally released in 2013, the film was brought back as part of the Hot Docs’ true-crime series.

Bernie L. Madoff Investment Securities (BLMIS) offered consistent 12 – 15 percent returns to investors, regardless of market conditions. Madoff said he owed his success to something called the “split/strike conversion strategy”. In reality, he was running a Ponzi scheme (a scam in which investors’ money is merely recirculated, not invested).

When the 2008 recession hit, Madoff’s investors wanted their money back. He didn’t have it. BLMIS went broke. In June, 2009, Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in jail for his financial machinations.

In God We Trust
suggests Madoff was also money laundering for some unsavoury clients. While never confirmed, the film did point out most Ponzi schemes quickly collapse while Madoff kept his company going for decades.

It’s an interesting premise, that should be explored in more detail by authorities.

I wrote about Ponzi schemes and Madoff in my book, The Big Con: Great Hoaxes, Frauds, Grifts and Swindles in American History.

Click here for information about the movie.

Click here for information about The Big Con, at my publisher’s website.

Nate Hendley is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and true-crime author. My website www.natehendley.com offers more details about my promotional background.

Advertisements

My Author Page – Crime Books Galore

By Nate Hendley

Click on this link for my author page at the Five Rivers Publishing website.

This page profiles several of my crime books, including works about:

-Al Capone (Chicago’s crime czar, brought down by his failure to file taxes)

-Dutch Schultz (mercurial Jewish crime boss brought down by other mobsters)

-Steven Truscott (Truscott was a 14 year-old boy wrongly convicted of murdering classmate Lynne Harper in 1959, who spent decades fighting to clear his name)

-the drug methamphetamine (destructive, dangerous and very addictive)

All these books make fine Christmas presents.

(Nate Hendley is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and true-crime author. My website www.natehendley.com offers more details about my professional background).

Video of “Toronto Crime as Local History” Presentation

By Nate Hendley

A video is now available of the November 23, 2017 presentation I took part in on the topic “Toronto Crime as Local History”.

The presentation took place in the atrium of the Toronto Reference Library in front of about 75 people.

My distinguished panelists for this event included Peter Vronsky (veteran crime writer and author of multiple books), Lee Mellor (expert on serial killers) and Robert Hoshowsky (who was launching a new book about the shocking 1977 murder of Toronto shoe shine boy Emanuel Jacques).

I spoke about my books on notorious 1950s-era Toronto bank robber Edwin Alonzo Boyd and Ron Moffatt, a Toronto teenager wrongly convicted for the 1956 murder of a young boy on the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE). My book about Moffatt will be released next year by Five Rivers Publishing.

Here is the video of the event (my part begins at the 23 minute mark): href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20zOR4Xd-F4&feature=youtu.be” target=”_blank”>

(Nate Hendley is a Toronto-based author who has written several true-crime books. My website www.natehendley.com offers more details about my books and background).

Interview – “Why I Write About True Crime”

By Nate Hendley

I was interviewed a few years ago by fellow crime writer Rosemary McCracken for her blog. The topic of discussion was why I write about true-crime.

Here’s part of what I said: “I like writing about crime because it lends itself to colourful description and fast-paced writing. Like sex, love and war, crime will never disappear so there will always be a fresh stock of stories to write about. True crime is a wide-reaching genre that allows writers to insert social and political commentary when appropriate. My book on Bonnie and Clyde, for example, discusses the impact of the Great Depression on the United States, and the role fast cars and machine guns played in the criminal demimonde of the day.”

Here’s the whole interview.

(Nate Hendley is a Toronto-based author who has written several true-crime books. My website www.natehendley.com) offers more details about my books and background).

Toronto Crime as Local History – Library Panel Discussion

By Nate Hendley

I will be taking part in a panel discussion in the atrium of Toronto Reference Library tonight with three fellow crime writers. Our topic is, “Toronto Crime as Local History”.

My distinguished panelists include Peter Vronsky (veteran crime writer and author of multiple books), Lee Mellor (expert on serial killers) and Robert Hoshowsky (who is launching a new book about the shocking 1977 murder of Toronto shoe shine boy Emanuel Jacques).

My own books can be found here.

The event is free. There is no need to register: just show up and take it all in.

Click on this link for more deets about the event.

Toronto Reference Library is located at 789 Yonge Street, just north of Bloor Street, near the Bloor Yonge subway station.

(Nate Hendley is a Toronto-based author who has written several true-crime books. My website www.natehendley.comoffers more details about my books and background).

Conned by … Keanu?

By Nate Hendley

According to this story, a woman in Ontario transferred $2,700 to a con-man on Twitter claiming to be actor Keanu Reeves. The Matrix Star said he was filming in Turkey and for whatever reason, couldn’t access his bank account. Would the lady be so kind as to wire him some quick cash? Being a Hollywood big-shot, Keanu promised to pay it all back.

Western Union refused to make the transfer. They told the woman she was clearly being scammed. Undaunted, she went to her bank. Bank officials told her the same thing. After she pestered them, they finally made the transfer. Needless to say, it wasn’t Keanu Reeves asking her for funds. And she never saw her money again.

This article is a reminder why even the most ridiculous cons (such as the Nigerian Prince email) will never go away. A tiny number of people continue to fall for them–which is all the motivation scammers need to keep at it. Like persistent salesmen, they know that the secret of a good con is volume. Hit up enough people, and eventually someone will buy your product or service–no matter how useless or fraudulent it might be.

My book, The Big Con, covers a wide a variety of hustles, hoaxes and swindles, some as foolish sounding as the Keanu Reeves story.

The Big Con is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and at the website of publisher ABC-CLIO

(Nate Hendley is a Toronto-based author who has written several true-crime books. My website www.natehendley.com offers more details about my books and background).

“The Big Con” Gets Good Review

By Nate Hendley

My book, The Big Con: Great Hoaxes, Frauds, Grifts and Swindles in American History, received a very positive review in The Miramachi Reader.

Here are some choice selections from the review:

“The Big Con is a big book, almost 400 pages, and as such, it is very authoritative, making it a great reference book to have for those who enjoy reading true crime, crime fiction, or who are born skeptics and get a certain “kick” out reading how easily people can be fooled.”

“Very readable The Big Con is one of those books that you can pick up and start reading anywhere. There is an extensive bibliography at the back for further reading suggestions. Mr Hendley has done sceptics a genuine courtesy by assembling the history of frauds, cons, scams and hoaxes into one beautiful volume.”

Here is the review: http://www.miramichireader.ca/2017/11/the-big-con-review/

The Big Con is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and at the website of publisher ABC-CLIO

(Nate Hendley is a Toronto-based author who has written several true-crime books. His website – www.natehendley.com – offers more details about his books and background).

Black Donnellys Film Screening a Hit!

By Nate Hendley

I had a great time at the October 20 Toronto screening of the new movie, Black Donnellys.

Directed by Aaron Huggett and filmed with a cast of volunteers in Southern Ontario, this 45-minute short feature depicts the violent, true story of the ill-fated Donnelly family. The Donnellys were a big, brawling Irish-Canadian clan that feuded with their neighbours for decades in 19th Century Lucan, Ontario, with grim results. Fed-up neighbours formed a “vigilance society” and a massacre resulted–for which no one was ever convicted.

As far as I know, this is the first movie ever made about the tragic Donnelly case.

I detailed these horrible events in my book, The Black Donnellys: The Outrageous Tale of Canada’s Deadliest Feud available through Chapter’s Indigo , Barnes and Noble, Amazon.ca (Canada), Amazon.com (United States) and publisher Lorimer.

The screening took place at the Royal Cinema in Toronto. The theatre was packed and the audience very receptive to the movie.

I was part of a panel that took to the stage after the screening to discuss the film and answer questions from those in attendance. My fellow panelists were all cast and crew members of the movie. Their ranks included director/writer Huggett.

More screenings are to be held across Southern Ontario in the next few days. Hopefully, more packed houses will ensue. A full-length Donnelly movie or a TV mini-series would be a great next step.

For film deets visit http://www.blackdonnellysmovie.com/story.html

(Nate Hendley is a Toronto-based author who has written several true-crime books. His website – http://www.natehendley.com/ – offers more details about his books and background).

Black Donnellys Film Panel Discussion Toronto Oct. 20

By Nate Hendley

I will be taking part in a panel discussion at an October 20, 2017 screening of an independent movie about the ill-fated Black Donnellys in Toronto.

The Donnellys were a brawling Irish-Canadian family who feuded with their neighbours for decades in 19th Century Lucan, Ontario, with grim results. Fed-up neighbours formed a vigilante group and a massacre ensued–for which no one was ever convicted.

I detailed these horrible events in my book, The Black Donnellys: The Outrageous Tale of Canada’s Deadliest Feud available through Chapter’s Indigo, Barnes and Noble, Amazon.ca (Canada), Amazon.com (United States) and publisher Lorimer.

The screening takes place at the Royal Cinema, 608 College Street, Toronto, starting at 7 pm.

The panel will include members of the cast and film director/writer Aaron Huggett.

For film deets visit http://www.blackdonnellysmovie.com/story.html.

(Nate Hendley is a Toronto-based author who has written several true-crime books. His website – http://www.natehendley.com/ – offers more details about his books and background).

Fun and Sun at Toronto’s Word on the Street Literary Festival

By Nate Hendley

I had much fun at Toronto’s Word on the Street literary festival, held September 24, 2017, at Harbourfront Centre.

The heat was insane (Toronto went through a very unseasonal heat-wave in mid to late September, with temperatures over 30C, or into the 90F range for people who don’t follow metric) but spirits were high.

I did a shift at the booth for the Toronto chapter of the Professional Writers Association of Canada (a fine, national organization representing freelance, non-fiction writers). Then I worked the booth for the Crime Writers of Canada (which represents fiction and non-fiction crime writers). This photo was taken at the CWC booth.

I also got a chance to talk to reps from various publishing houses, magazines, etc.

Am impressed to see that despite dire warnings of the demise of reading and writing in general, a strong publishing sector was on full display at Harbourfront.

Kudos to the organizers, the volunteers and all those who turned up to listen to speakers and check out booths, despite the sweltering sun and weirdly intense heat.

(Nate Hendley is a Toronto-based crime writer. His website is located at www.natehendley.com).