Catch me If You Can

Timeline created by wheatley1
  • Frank is Born

    Frank is Born
    Frank Abagnale Jr. was born on April 27, 1948, in Bronxville, New York. He was one of four children born to parents Frank Abagnale Sr. and Paulette Abagnale.
  • Frank's Parents Divorce

    Frank's Parents Divorce
    Frank had a happy childhood, and was especially close to his father. When his mother decided leave his father, however, the Frank's life was disrupted. Not only were his siblings devastated, but so was his father, who was still very much in love with his wife. Frank decided to live with his father after the divorce, and he often tagged along on his dad's business dealings. It was during this time that Frank learned a lot about white collar businesses.
  • First Con against Father

    First Con against Father
    Frank began using his father's gas credit card to make some money to take girls out. Frank would convince gas station attendants to give him a portion of his sale back in cash, and let them take a little cash when he would return items. The scam fell apart, though, when Frank's father got the credit card bill, which topped several thousand dollars. If Frank didn't have such a lenient father this first con would have been his last con.
  • Runs Away from Home

    Runs Away from Home
    Abagnale left home with $200 in his bank account and no formal education. Running away from his father was tough decision for him because he knew his dad cared about him. Today running away from home is much more frowned upon; since he was so young when he ran away he would have been returned home to his dad and all his crimes in search off money would have been prevented.
  • Ideas Brew

    Ideas Brew
    Using his knowledge of the stationery business, Frank altered his driver’s license to make himself 10 years older than he was, and exaggerated his education. This helped him get better paying jobs, but he still barely could afford to live. He attempted to brainstorm of better ways to create money.
  • Start of Bad checks

    Start of Bad checks
    Using his checkbook, Frank decided to quit his job and write bad checks to support himself. Before long, Abagnale had written hundreds of bad checks and had overdrawn his account by thousands of dollars. Understanding that he would eventually be caught, he became more cautious and created more schemes that returned even more money.
  • Creates Fake FAA License

    Creates Fake FAA License
    Gathering knowledge from other pilot's about FAA licenses he quickly creates a scheme to use a plaque and copy it with his name inserted in it to make something that looks almost identical to a pilot's license.
  • Starts "deadheading"

    Starts "deadheading"
    Frank tried to learned all he could about flying, by pretending he was a student doing a research paper on Pan Am, and later through stewardesses he dated and airport bars while in uniform. His persistance earned him valuable information about how to impersonate a pilot, which he did in order to catch rides on planes all across the world.
  • Believes FBI is on to him, goes into hiding

    Believes FBI is on to him, goes into hiding
    Frank begins to "feel" the FBI getting closer to him so he takes his money and settles down in Alanta, Georgia to hide from the FBI.
  • Is a Doctor

    Is a Doctor
    Once Pan Am and police began catching on to Frank's lies, he changes his identity again, this time becoming a doctor from California that is taking a break from his practice. When a local doctor came visiting, Frank thought his identity was blown, but instead he was invited to visit the local hospital, where he became a regular vistor. He used their library to study up on his new role as a pediatrician. He then was in charge of interns, he made them do the majority of the work.
  • Ends Doctor Career

    When a child almost died because of Frank trying to pretend to be a doctor he realizes how serious his job is. He soon quits and leaves Georgia.
  • Works for Louisiana Attorney General

    Works for Louisiana Attorney General
    Over the next two years, Frank bounced from job to job. He passing the bar to be a legal assistant in Louisiana. He claimed he was from Harvard but when an actual Harvard alum started asking him questions he coudn't answer he quickly left that job.
  • Finds Work as Professor at BYU

    Finds Work as Professor at BYU
    Works for BYU as a socialology professor for the summer, saying he worked at New York University during the regular school year. Everything goes well until the summer is over and he has to find new work.
  • Creates European Photo Tour

    Creates European Photo Tour
    Organizes an elaborate scheme to take college students, and make the part of his "crew" as stewardess. Always cashing there large checks for them.
  • Hides in Montpelier France

    Hides in Montpelier France
    Frank had a special relationship with France, his mom was born there and he had a girlfriend in the north. However, in Montpelier he felt safe, he analyzed everything before moving there. For example, how close the nearest airport was and how tight knit the city was. He felt safely hidden from the world.
  • Arrested by French Police

    Arrested by French Police
    Frank's past caught up with him when he settled down in Montpelier, France. He had defrauded banks across the country for more than $300,000, and decided he wanted to hide and start a new life. However, a former girlfriend recognized his face on a wanted poster, she reported him to the police.
  • Sentenced to Prison

    Sentenced to Prison
    Sentenced to 1 year in Prison at the Perpignan. He only had to complete a six-month's in jail, where he almost died from malnutrition and pneumonia. He was living and sleeping in his own fecal matter and urine on a stone floor in a completly dark room for the duration of his sentence. Today many people continue to be imprisoned in these sub par conditions, France claims it prevents people from recommiting a crime, while other disagree.
  • Sent to Sweden

    Sent to Sweden
    Sweden had a much more lenient system aimed at helping return the person back to normal. They organized a deal that allowed him to return to the United States. Frank was transferred from Perpignan to a low security prison in Sweden. Within the Swedish prison, the treatment of inmates and the conditions were considerably better. Frank had been sentenced to six months, which sped by quickly in the near luxurious conditions.
  • Flight to America

    Flight to America
    Frank locked himself in the plane's bathroom and unscrewed the compartment surrounding the toilet. Once it was loose, Frank lifted the whole thing, to reveal an open compartment. He then climbed in and crawled beneath the plane, waiting for it to touch the ground during its descent towards the landing strip. In the darkness of the night, he jumped from the plane as it approached the ground and ran from the landing strip. He was free for a little but by this time everybody knew who Frank was.
  • Going to Prison Again

    Going to Prison Again
    While awaiting his flight to South America, Frank was recognized and arrested by Canadian police. Shortly thereafter, he was released into the custody of the FBI who made sure Frank was safely delivered to a federal detention center. Several months later, he was transferred to a prison in Georgia to await trial. Once again, Frank decided to attempt another bold escape. This time he enlisted the help of an outsider, an ex-girlfriend.
  • Joins FBI

    Joins FBI
    Frank was granted parole by the FBI for his knowlegde of falsifing check and identification. After his time was served, Frank continued to work for the FBI. He started to teach other employees of the FBI what he knew of about check frauding. He started and lead their white collar crimes division for a while.
  • The End

    The End
    Frank soon became one of the most valuable people of the FBI for catching some of the worlds most exlcusive check forgers and counterfeiters. Frank has also helped the banks by designing some of the most secure checks. He has been married for more than 26 years and has three children.