Truly Unforgettable Essay

Truly Unforgettable Essay-3
She said that she had been watching a television program the other night about one of the world’s most infamous impostors: Frédéric Bourdin, a thirty-year-old Frenchman who serially impersonated children.“I swear to God, Bourdin looks exactly like Francisco Hernandez Fernandez,” the administrator said.A police captain in Pau noted, “When he talked in Spanish, he became a Spaniard. My job is to manipulate.”In Pau, the authorities launched an investigation to determine why a thirty-year-old man would pose as a teen-age orphan.

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When Rafael returned the phone, Francisco displayed a photograph on its screen of a young boy who looked just like Francisco. Francisco was soon one of the most popular kids in school, dazzling classmates with his knowledge of music and arcane slang—he even knew American idioms—and moving effortlessly between rival cliques. “He had this aura about him, this charisma.”During tryouts for a talent show, the music teacher asked Francisco if he was interested in performing.

He handed her a CD to play, then walked to the end of the room and tilted his hat flamboyantly, waiting for the music to start. On June 8th, an administrator rushed into the principal’s office.

As Francisco entered Chadourne’s office, the police seized him and thrust him against the wall, causing her to panic: what if he really was an abused orphan?

Then, while handcuffing Bourdin, the police removed his baseball cap.

He had no money and carried little more than a cell phone and an I.

D., which said that his name was Francisco Hernandez Fernandez and that he was born on December 13, 1989, in Cáceres, Spain.”Over the years, Bourdin had insinuated himself into youth shelters, orphanages, foster homes, junior high schools, and children’s hospitals. State Department warned that he was an “exceedingly clever” man who posed as a desperate child in order to “win sympathy,” and a French prosecutor called him “an incredible illusionist whose perversity is matched only by his intelligence.” Bourdin himself has said, “I am a manipulator. “In my twenty-two years on the job, I’ve never seen a case like it,” Eric Maurel, the prosecutor, told me. His profit seems to have been purely emotional.”On his right forearm, police discovered a tattoo. Grann,” Bourdin said, politely extending his hand to me.His trail of cons extended to, among other places, Spain, Germany, Belgium, England, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Bosnia, Portugal, Austria, Slovakia, France, Sweden, Denmark, and America. We were on a street in the center of Pau, where he had agreed to meet me one morning last fall.Chadourne called the police.“Are you sure it’s him?” an officer asked.“No, but I have this strange feeling.”When the police arrived, Chadourne sent the assistant principal to summon Francisco from class.Initially, he barely spoke, but after some prodding he revealed that his parents and younger brother had been killed in a car accident.The crash left him in a coma for several weeks and, upon recovering, he was sent to live with an uncle, who abused him. A state-run institution that housed about thirty-five boys and girls, most of whom had been either removed from dysfunctional families or abandoned, the shelter was in an old stone building with peeling white wooden shutters; on the roof was a statue of St.May 3, 2005, in France, a man called an emergency hot line for missing and exploited children.He frantically explained that he was a tourist passing through Orthez, near the western Pyrenees, and that at the train station he had encountered a fifteen-year-old boy who was alone, and terrified.Finally, he fled to France, where his mother had grown up. Vincent protecting a child in the folds of his gown.Francisco was given a single room, and he seemed relieved to be able to wash and change in private: his head and body, he explained, were covered in burns and scars from the car accident.


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