A frank and intimate portrait of a charismatic,
larger-than-life underworld figure, as told by the daughter who nearly followed
in his footsteps
“Do unto others before they do unto you,” John Vogel used to
advise his daughter, Jennifer. By his account, the world was a crooked place,
and one had to be crooked in order to survive. A lifelong criminal, John robbed
banks, burned down buildings, scammed investors, plotted murder, and
single-handedly counterfeited more than $20 million. He also wrote a novel, invented
a “jean stretcher,” baked lemon meringue pies, and arranged for ten-year-old
Jennifer to see Rocky in an empty
theater on Christmas Eve. In his reckless pursuit of the American Dream, he
could be genuinely good. When it came time to pass his phony bills, he targeted
Walmart for political reasons.
In 1995, following John’s arrest in what turned out to be
the fourth-largest seizure of counterfeit bills in US history, he managed to
slip away, leaving his now grown daughter to wonder what had become of him.
Framed around the six months Jennifer’s father ran from the law, Flim-Flam
Man vividly chronicles the police chase—stakeouts, lie detector tests, even
a segment on Unsolved Mysteries.
In describing her tumultuous life with John Vogel, Jennifer deftly examines the
messy, painful, and almost inescapable inheritance one generation bequeaths to
the next. Download and start listening now!