Cassie Chadwick (born Elizabeth Bigley) committed fraud at a level that would be almost impossible to pull off in today’s world of instant communication. Her biggest con was convincing banks that she was the illegitimate daughter of Andrew Carnegie.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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So it is a rather epic tale. A really
in behavior. It features fraud at a level that would be almost impossible to pull off in today's world of instant communication, and this is the story of Cassie Chadwick. But that was not her real name and in fact, naming convention is tricky here, because she switch
her identity. So often so normally we're gonna go by the name she was using at the time we were speaking about because she changes over to a lot of aliases along the way.
This actually along the lines of a question. A listener asked us recently where they were like when, but in the days
for we had that, today's completely connected world and like photographs of people that could just be sent around instantly
where people were able to just walk out of town and assume new identity, and that answer was basically yes, yes, we'll see
like the one one of the times that really tripped her up, which did involved.
Yeah ever mother time was just that she was so bold to the point of just ridiculous. This right of people started catching under what was so Cathy's. Birth name was Elizabeth Bigley. She was born on October, tempting
fifty seven and eastward Ontario in Canada, but use what area is now part of a larger collective of towns and communities. That's known as Norwich. Her father worked for the grand trunk railway which connected
Toronto to Montreal in eighteen, fifty than he was a section boss of amateur step outside of the history. Talk for one second to lake. Have this moment.
Like is our grand funk. Railroad got their name, which is just my child of the seventies question, because I have not heard of it before Elizabeth was one in five children. She had a brother and three sisters, Elizabeth,
went by Betsy as a young child and she allegedly at a fairly flexible relationship with the truth from quite a young age. She was known as something of a
and she began telling lies to get cash. Would she was just a young teenager, her sister Anne
later in life, claimed that she had seen Betsy practicing other family members signatures over and over on various occasions. Although part of me was like who has done that, I used to practice my parents signatures just cause. I thought that was how you learn to make a signature
I was terrible added it at one time,
in my entire life that I tried to forge a note,
my mother excusing me from school. It now
I was I was immediately like this will never work see. I don't think I ever tried it. I just wanted to try copying the way people wrote like it was just
oh I didn't take the letter to school. It was clear to me no one was by a vote. Then we may never even was leg. I went to users and try to do
letter. I just never plant the use of that way, so her first
fraudulent bank account was open when she was fourteen and to this end, the town of Woodstock Ontario. This is about fifteen miles or twenty five kilometres north of her home. She walked into a bank with
oh amount of money and a letter that claimed fee with inheriting money from her uncle in England, and then she opened up an account and then she proceeded to write a whole lot of bad checks. It did not take long
for the establishments where Elizabeth had done business to realise that her checks for no good, so the fourteen year old fraudster was arrested for forgery, but because a very young age she was released without too much in the way of punishment, was kind of a warning and don't do this again.
the age of twenty to see once again seen with a roll of fake heiress and this time to support her claim she paid to have expensive letterhead printed for the fake letter of notification of her inheritance to make it look like it came from an actual attorney's office. She also had calling card printed up that identified her as an heiress and the same as before. She opened up a checking account based on this false information, then wrote a lot of bad checks, the various merchants and this time, instead of just buying things, she also got cash by writing checks over the amount of the purchase price of the thing that she was buying in having the shopkeepers give her the different
I think, that's like a scam that continues to be practice today by various people and I'm sure she didn't invented either. Eventually, Elizabeth Bigley, older sister Alice, got married to a man from Cleveland, Ohio and Alice, move there, so Elizabeth
wash Betsy also decided that she would move to Cleveland and live with them and once
who is the United States? That's when her career in fraud really began. First, she used her sisters, furniture as collateral for a bank loan. They should basically rode up what each of the pieces were in what they were worth and she used that she didn't actually physically carry the furniture with her to the bank, but she basically handed over this note TAT said
you have ownership of this against this loan and when I was her husband realised what Elizabeth had done. He kicked her out. This is also when she said
using aliases the first identity that Elizabeth
frankly, if was Madame Lydia Dvr, another pseudonym, she claimed to be psychic and started a business telling fortunes
Elizabeth as Libya married a man named Doktor, Wallace Springsteen in eighteen, eighty two, and at that time she started going by the name Lydia Springsteen, but this marriage immediately brought problems due to a very foolish miscalculation on Elizabeth part. So when the nuptials were announced in the newspaper, the plane dealer
lead with a photo of the happy couple. People that Libya had fleeced saw the notice and immediately went after the Springsteen's trying to get their money back. It appears that
there are Springsteen had been completely unaware of his new brides shady dealings,
and though the marriage ended abruptly after twelve days with Elizabeth, a Lydia kicked out of the house. The divorce was finalized early the following year.
And a new identity was soon born. This time she was still posing as a psychic boat. She took
nay, Madame Marilla rose
madame arose soon found herself. Another husband in John are Scott, who was a farmer and that marriage actually lasted for years. The pair were
Eddie divorced. When Elizabeth gave birth to a child in eighteen. Eighty six, it is
I know who the father of the child was was a boy named Emil after a meal was born
Elizabeth sick on yet another identity, and this was Lydia Scott. She once again
to be able to tell fortunes and a meal was sent to live with relatives.
In eighteen, eighty nine, while living in Toledo, Elizabeth Swash, Lydia forged a promissory note for several thousand dollars signing the name of Richard Brown of Youngsters Ohio. She used a connection that she had made as a clairvoyant to help her cash. The note and after this was successful the first time around she did the same thing several more times she and her accomplice were caught, but the man named Joseph Lamb was acquitted, as it appeared that he actually didn't know that he was participating in fraud. He thought he was cashing legitimate notes. Elizabeth Slash Lydia was convict
and she serve time, but she got out of her sentence early on parole. She first started using the name Cassie Ass, soon ass. She got a prison and that's the name that is most commonly known as a historical record she's the last name Hoover when she got
prison and moved back to Cleveland this time. Instead of having a single as a psychic or a clairvoyant, she opened up a brothel, but when,
a doktor nimbly Roy Chadwick, who was a widower, she gave him a very sanitized version of her story. She was still going by Cassie Hoover, but
you told him that the home that she ran was a boarding house and not a brothel, and then she fainted,
when he assured her that everyone knew it was a brothel and she begged him to help her get away from it see, definitely did get away from it and.
talk about her transition to a life of wealth. After we pause for a quick word from a sponsor this episode of stuff, you missed in history, glasses brought you buy Norton three sixty with lifelong
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Right before the break, we mention the Kazi had met a doctor, namely Roy Chadwick, an Cassius
married in eighteen, ninety seven and this marriage opened up.
all the world to the drifter Cassie, her husband had society connections. His house was on you
avenue in a very wealthy neighbourhood is an icy refer
whose millionaires row and the marriage had been really pretty sudden. Most of Doktor Chadwick Friends first met Cassie as Leroy wife, Leroy Cassie travelled to New York together in this
of nineteen o to this trip and about being really momentous, but not in a good way. While visiting the city she decided to pay. A visit to Andrew Carnegie
lawyer that sinew through Leroy, he was named. James Dylan went with her Dylan, it appears was.
privy to the scam that she was hatching, he waited outside the mansion at ninety. First him, fifty in a carriage cassie entered spoke with
housekeeper under the guise of asking for a reference for a main. She was considering hiring and then returned to Mr Dillen in the waiting carriage Andrew Carnegie with a Scottish born steel tycoon who had moved the United States is a teenager and
his own fortune. His name is popped up on the show many times over the years, and you probably seen or heard it in relation to grant funding, and that's because he eventually focus
I'm using his wealth for philanthropy and the foundation that he has done
continues and supports all kinds of causes. So yes, at some point he will be his own episode of the show yeah, I'm pretty fascinated by his story
but at the time that Cassie went to the Carnegie Home Andrew Carnegie was widely recognised as one of the wealthiest men in the world and when Cassie returned from this social call during which she had not ever met Andrew Carnegie, she had a too
and dollar promissory note, allegedly issued by the man. Cassie use this document to fraudulently acquire a lot of money. Cassie visited multiple bang,
the Eastern United States and using this promissory note as proof of her worth, was able to get financial advances against it. Of course, the question of why such a power
Oh and wealthy man would offer a random woman, so much money did come up. The Kazi Chadwick had an answer ready for that situation. She told those who inquired that she was actually the illegitimate daughter of Miss
Carnegie and this was actually sort of a brilliant. Why? Because she knew that no banker was going to be willing to go to Andrew Carnegie and ask this wealthy and important man for verification of what was considered a really tawdry factor,
I'm they would never as such a man if he had an illegitimate child simply out of politeness. Additionally, thinking Cassie was a wealthy and important nuclear in many of the bank's she caught and also wanted to keep her secret for her
and the whole time Andrew Carnegie had no idea how much money was treating hands just through the mention of his name and a falsified documents.
The lawyer who had gone with her, that was James. Dylan, had been basically a clueless corroborate her cat.
Counted on his surprise and all this reveal which she made when he questioned her. After the visit to the Carnegie Mansion that Andrew Carnegie, with her father, she told him it was a secret
You must tell no one, but she counted on him being unable to keep that kind of information to himself. She wanted to feed
rumour mail and build up her story II, yet completely horrendous behavior. But part of me has to respect her thought process here where she's like. I know, I'm gonna build this fiction out so that it it seems, really galvanised. If anybody tries to question me so here's how the actual com worked, Chadwick walked into the Wade park. Bank of Cleveland and she presented a box of forged notes, allegedly signed by Andrew Carnegie and promising her various sums of money, including that one from that visit to his home and she handed them to a cashier named. I reynolds the cashier took the papers issued a receipt for them describing all of the information contained therein and also the fact that Andrew Carnegie sing
was worth millions in order to get them to lend her large sums of money and in some cases she would use borrowed money from one bank to make payments to another kind of circulating. Some of this money around and keeping the whole charade going domino style. One of the primary forged documents in the whole scheme reads this way quote: no all men by these presence that I undertook to give New York City do hereby acknowledged that I hold him
bag to make payments to another kind of circulating some of this money around and keeping the holes
reed going domino style. One of the primary forged documents in this whole scheme reads: this
I quote: no all men by these problems that I and recurrent give New York City do here, acknowledged that I hold in trust for MRS Cassie L, Chadwick, wife of Doktor Leroy S, Chadwick of eighteen, twenty four Euclid Avenue, city of Cleveland, County of Kyoto and state of a higher
properly defined and delivered to me for said, Cathy L Chadwick by her uncle Frederick, our Mason and his lifetime. Now deceased, which property is of the upraised value,
ten million. Two hundred and forty six thousand dollars then lists various bob
and railway interests that make up the sum. It goes on to say quote the income from the above,
grabbed property. I agree to pay over too said: Cathy L Chadwick Semi annually between the first and the teeth days of June in December of each year during the life of this trust, without any direction or charges or services or expense of any kind, and then the document
On to state that should Andrew Carnegie die, Cassie will receive all of the assets that it named. This was of.
Is not the only document she forged. It was one of many forged documents that she used to claim a personal fortune that simply did not exist.
It wasn't until a banker and Brookline Massachusetts checked around
inquiries that her scam was finally uncovered. He had been suspicious, but his invest.
Jason reveal Bessie had accumulated millions of dollars of debt off of posing as the unacknowledged child of Andrew Carnegie. The Massachusetts banker named Herbert Newton Food, Cassie Chat,
and this started an avalanche of creditors coming forward an catalyzed, a federal investigation. Cassie was,
Did in New York City, which had become a second home to her shortly after the scandal broke and at the time she was wearing a money belt containing one hundred thousand dollars cash. The problem,
crime that was find in the charge is involved. The citizens National Bank of Oberlin Ohio, this institution had loan Cassie, eight
a thousand dollars and consequently had to declare bankruptcy. The conspiracy charge also involve two men who worked at the bank in Oberlin Bank president. Charles back with an cashier aid, be sphere were also accused. Back with a spear had endorsed fraudulent notes presented by Chadwick bearing the forged signature of Andrew Carnegie on December tenth, the New York Times ran back with story. He had confessed the federal authorities that, yes, he had conducted transactions with Chadwick, but they here
done so based on documents that she provided sheet indicated that Citizens National Bank of Overland would be made the trustee of her five million dollar estate and that all the related documents would begin,
to the bank on July. First, nineteen o three, so that was that was what back with said that she had told him correct and where this whole thing gets a little bit. Dicey is the fact that Chadwick promised both Charles back with and the cashier av spear each ten thousand dollars a year for him.
with her financial affairs as beneficiaries of this scheme. This is where they legally became co conspirators an
Nicole that ran in the New York Times on December. Sixteen nineteen o four described a meeting between the Oberlin Bank President, MR back with an Cassie and the latter's jail cell, and it did not go as you might expect. It read with a man whose bank and whose private fortune have been wrecked stood face to face with the woman who is charged with having been responsible for the wrecking the two looked steadily at each other. For a moment, then they shook hands. You got us into an awful fix, said the aged banker. It looks as if it were time
You to tell all you know. Cathy did not offer up any information in response to this end and, according to this account back with continued you
ruined me, but I'm not so sure. Yet,
flawed I've stood by you to my last dollar, and I do think now is the time for you to make known all. I always told you.
like the idea of your changing attorneys so often get a good one and keep him. I wanted to include this exchange because it speaks to just how good Cassie was gaining the confidence of the people she defrauded,
even after this man had become a pariah to his peers, both in the banking community in the community at large, because his bank had really damaged a lot of people who had their money there
and it was all because of his involvement with Cassie Chadwick, but he still wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt we'll tax, the more about how back with, was drawn into this
and then strung along, but first we are going to have another little sponsor break.
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in a right out from the Philadelphia North American written while Cassius case was still playing out, so this is a contemporary account. The paper printed. This quote this extraordinary performance was accomplished by a woman. Fifty years old was neither physical beauty nor personal charm by one whose taste in dress totally lacking in discernment, who is rather death and harsh voice and who, when it all excited, speaks without regard to grammar. So if she was their charm
How will we be able to convince these shrewd bankers to hand over so much money? There were a lot of theories that sea used, hypnotism or a similar device to control the actions of the men she did business with. But I really don't seem
Come down about her being really smart about human nature, referring back with spears a significant annual income to manage her financial affairs. Cassie gave her marks a by you,
of course, they wanted her story to be real. They wanted it to be true for their own benefit, plus with them, as with all
banks involved she had been willing to accept loans with really high interest rates. The bank's thought they were
gonna make a lot of money for these deals, and even once suspicions arose in some cases. At that point,
here of feeling or looking foolish seems to have made many of the people who had made these bad decisions to trust her stay silent. Heaven
known people who were the victims of fraud like the shape?
having been defrauded is powerful. Yes, indeed, so, additionally Cassius
which was so good at developing our story that it really drew people en back with described. Have she first told
that she was related, the Carnegie she kept a portrait of an elderly man in her home and she started their conversation with thereby hangs the tail when the banker noticed it while visiting her home care
That's funny yarn about how the man in the portrait was an uncle, the one reference to be forged Carnegie document and that the uncle, despite not being wealthy himself, was always providing money to her family. While on his death bed, this uncle, she claimed told Cassie that she was in fact Carnegie S daughter and that he had been following money from the tycoon who felt guilty or eat fearful of being exposed
to the family in exchange for silence in the matter. Even in his confession, and just as the conversation with Cathy and jail back with, was really reluctance and believe that this Cassie Chadwick who had trusted was a criminal. He seemed convinced that someone else must
have been deceiving all of them and then this lines up with his comment to Cassie that she should not change attorneys. So often,
He seemed to be indicating that you thought one of her lawyers was really the one behind the fraud and even though,
problems with Chadwick Money began to evidence themselves before her arrest back with continued to believe her assurances that everything was going to get fixed. She
aimed at one point that a man named William Baldwin in New York was one of the trustees of her estate and that they needed to contact Mr Baldwin to get everything turned over to the bank and Oberlin after several unsuccessful attempts to reach some mythical, Mr Baldwin back with and see whether bank officials travelled to New York to meet with Cathy and her attorney, which, as MR powers than they were supposed to me with Baldwin himself,
but though Cassie you seem to be cooperating to get the bank the money needed at the last minute. A problem arose. She told back with the documents needed to resolve. The issue were in the possession of her husband back in Ohio. This whole trip had been a bust, and this is just the first in a series of concocted complications that kept Cassie from making good on her debts with back with a bank
attempted to secure the funds that she owed. He met with a new excuse at every turn, including at one point the introduction into the rules of a Pittsburgh banking firm that allegedly had power of attorney and had to be included in the proceedings in order to make the Citizens National Bank of Oberlander trusty of hers
At this point, the overland banks ready cash, was depleted and, back with was in serious trouble. I want
bearing a meeting called with Citizens National Bank directors than Chadwick at the Chadwick residents, Cathy claimed that Charles back with was ended, adjacent room with,
is an revolver in his possession and that he intended to take his own life back with when confronted by the bank. Colleagues said that he had merely idly suggested. That idea, but wasn't serious when any case, the
The version worked because the meeting ended, and there was no resolution to the financial issues between the bank and Cathy. In his statement, as he told his story backwards, said quote, I am either an awful do
or a terrible fool. I know I have done wrong. But, although crushed, I do not propose to be made a scapegoat to shield the sins of others back with who was pretty elderly at this time that have all of this was playing out was described as incredibly distraught and tearful Charles back with died before the charges against him were taken a trial my cache year, who had also been charged, which was a bee spear plaid guilty and was sentenced to seven years in prison. According to news reports, spears a wife when insane because of the stress,
the situation once Cassie was in custody, not only were back within spear questioned, but, as you may have been wondering, yes, Andrew Carnegie was summoned to appear, but
a federal grand jury to answer questions in the matter, he said that he had never met Cassie Chadwick, anything
mostly offended that anyone who had seen the fraudulent letters that Cassie claimed he rode would think that he had such poor, spelling and punctuation later on. He said quote if anybody
seeing this paper and really believe that I have drawn up and signed it, I could hardly have been flattered. He also stated that he had not signed such a note. In thirty years, Cathy's trial began on March six, nineteen o five and it lasted two weeks. Andrew Carnegie. It
handed the proceedings. She pleaded not guilty and denied. She had ever claimed that Andrew Carnegie was her father. She was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud national bank and was sentenced to fourteen years in prison and find seventy thousand dollars
Alan Prison Chadwick, was still allowed to keep a lot of the items that she had gained through her criminal enterprise, particularly her rather impressive wardrobe, but though she enjoyed a lot of lavish possessions. While she was incarcerated, she still have problems. Her health really rapidly declined in MID September of nineteen o seven, it was reported that she exe
reinstall nervous collapse, while speaking with her son a meal he was visiting her after this collapse. She experience
temporary blindness. Doctors at the prison reported that she recovered
less than a month later. On October, ninth nineteen o seven the papers reported that duty heart disease and a weak stomach. She was weak and
Sperience, bouts of delirium, Cassie Chadwick, die
In the o, higher Penitently in Colombia, so high o on October tenth, nineteen o seven- it was her fiftieth birthday and she had been in a coma in those last hours leading up to her death and while she was attended by heart,
staff, no one from her personal life was there her son a meal was informed of her condition prior to her death and he was expected.
hospital, but he didn't arrive until after her passing
It may never be known exactly how much money Cathy Chadwick was able to get through fraudulent means. The New York Times special that Ray
that between the years he was arrested, speculated that, based on all the reported disclosures,
a bit as much as twenty one million dollars, but estimates they were the year
over the years, have really been all over the place. Yet some of the difficulty pinning down to is
shame that we talked about earlier. There are a lot of people that also offered her personal loans thinking. She was a wealthy and important person and its believed that a lot of them never pursued the issue because they were too embarrassed that she had made fools of them. One of the other problems in assessing the real extent of her ill gotten fortune was the difficulty that authorities had in finding all of it. Various items like trunks and satchels that were believe to contain valuables were difficult to track down, as Cassie had left a number of them with various people over the course of her masquers
as an heiress. Her body was transported back to Ontario to be buried, which was in accordance with your wishes. The name on her gravestone reads: Elizabeth Bigley. As forecasts he's husband, Doktor Leroy Chadwick, he attempted to get distance from Cassie as soon as this scandal broke. He basically left for Europe to get away from the whole business, but eventually he
return home and while he really had no knowledge of his wife's trail of fraud, while it was happening, creditors still pursued him to try to get their money back in late summer of nineteen o eight, we re Chadwick declared bankruptcy deal
I have lost my email. I do it's way more, a beaten being defrauded by horrible pursue. This was the real is beautiful and I will explain why it comes from a listener. Barbara hope she does
meetings. How are you Tracy? I love your podcast, I found it less than a year ago and about working through the back catalogue and between new episodes. I was super excited by the Schelling Michael episode in December, as I am a native of Ireland very near to Schelling Michael and I have visited this remarkable island twice once when I was twelve and again, thirty years later in twenty thirteen, when I took the photos that grace in front of this card. So that's why I love it. It's like a custom postcard with her gorgeous fatigue,
that's me next to the rock way split with her light sabre in the last July, that rock is actually known. As the wailing woman on my first visit, the sea crossing to the island was so rough. I thought we would capsizing drown, but my recent, if second visit, was much smoother, although my husband is still traumatized by
fear stone steps. I level over the UK heads the stamps there very cool game, a throne stamps lovely
You talk about my home on your podcast. This is so cool one. Those games earns dams are beautiful. To again I love that she has his beautiful pictures of Schelling. Michael three. I understand her husband, fear of those steps. As you will recall that episode, I commented that I would be terrified to be there. If you would like to write to us, you can do so in history. Pine cast a house, don't start com. You can also find this across the spectrum of social media as missed in history and missed in history. Dot com is the place to go. If you would like to visit our entire bank catalogue, the full archive of episodes more than a thousand of them going way way back to previous host.
And any other was the treaty, and I have worked on will also have some show notes with some references that we ve used along away. Took him out visit us that Mr Industry, back for more
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