Dec

13

 Amazing how long it can take to bring them to the light of day and justice and people's willingness to give the benefit of the doubt.

Story 1:

The international con artist's tale of deception began 35,000 feet in the air, on a small plane shipping flowers to Miami International Airport.

He was found unconscious on the tarmac under the Arca Airlines plane. It was 80 degrees at 2:30 a.m. on June 4, 1993, but his olive skin was frostbitten and turning blue.

When immigration officials greeted him at Pan American Hospital, he said he was a 13-year-old orphan from Colombia who sneaked into the Arca Airline plane's wheel well. Name?

“Guillermo Rosales.''

That was the first lie.

Now he has matured into one of the world's notorious jewelry thieves, who has escaped prison and dizzied detectives in at least five countries using a slew of stolen identities: A budding doctor studying in Ireland. A Colombian diplomat's son. An English family man. A New York priest. A German prince. A wealthy Bahraini.

The thefts, though, were stunningly similar. In each, he pretended to be a guest at a five-star hotel. Then he'd sweet-talk a member of the staff into getting a room key and the password for a safe. Finally, he'd pocket everything — credit cards, jewelry, cash, passports. Police estimate his total bounty at close to $1 million.

Story 2:

He seemed like Superman, able to guide jumbo jets through perilous skies and tiny tubes through blocked arteries. As a cardiologist and United Airlines captain, William Hamman taught doctors and pilots ways to keep hearts and planes from crashing.He shared millions in grants, had university and hospital posts, and bragged of work for prestigious medical groups. An Associated Press story featured him leading a teamwork training session at an American College of Cardiology convention last spring.

But it turns out Hamman isn't a cardiologist or even a doctor. The AP found he had no medical residency, fellowship, doctoral degree or the 15 years of clinical experience he claimed. He attended medical school for a few years but withdrew and didn't graduate


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