Welcome to the blog tour of #ACruelDeception with author Kim Booth!
Imagine losing all your wealth put aside for your retirement with no hope of being able to find employment again due to your advancing years
Why write a book about fraud I hear you ask? There’s no sex, drugs or rock and roll, no romance, mystery or a devious and cunning stalker or murderer just plain facts and the intricacies of an investigation and how it’s conducted. Fraud is an area that people basically ignore until they become involved in a set of circumstances beyond their control and result in the victim being manipulated by a typical ruthless and vindictive fraudster, who will not care about the effect their actions have on the victim.
I first became aware of the world of the fraudster prior to joining the police and working in a hotel. I became involved as I met a fraudster who was staying in the hotel where I worked and he made off without paying his bill and after conning members of staff and fellow customers. A subsequent visit by the investigating CID officer whetted my appetite which started me on a 35 year career within the police and investigating fraudsters at every opportunity I could, concluding with being a detective inspector in charge of the Economic Crime Unit previously the Fraud Squad.
Fraud can have a devastating effect on its victims especially where they have lost all their savings and have had their financial future entirely re-mapped by the fraudster. I can attempt describe the effect it can have but on a victim but I am unable to accurately place the reader in the shoes of the victim, as the victims can suffer so many emotions during their sometimes long journey to financial ruin.
The current case involved the most decent honest and nicest couple you are ever likely to meet who fell victim to the fraudster. Both were in regular employment and lived a very modest life. Neither had previously had any involvement with the police, let alone a CID officer.
Upon starting the investigation I was 90% sure that a fraud was in progress but was surprised by the total faith that the couple had in the fraudster. The fraudster had obtained the total trust of the victim to the degree that they considered her to be a “family friend”
One of the most difficult parts of the investigation was breaking the “sense of total trust” the victims had in the fraudster as without their assistance and co-operation it would have made a prosecution extremely difficult but not impossible.
As corny as it sounds I made the decision to join the police to be a CID officer and be in a position to help the more vulnerable and weaker members of public and to be able to remove offenders from society and try to ensure they got their “just desserts”
The victims were one such a vulnerable couple who needed that assistance but before my intervention the offence had been going on for six years which had resulted in financial ruin of the victims. It had to be brought to a halt – not negotiable.
Investigative fraud work can be notoriously boring and the fraud investigator has to be able to remain focused and devoted to the investigation despite the mountain of paperwork it sometimes involves.
To conclude, the reason I put pen to paper so to speak was that it is important in my view, Firstly, that people are aware of just how mercenary, vindictive, and callous fraudsters can be and secondly, the victims and I decided at their request that their story should be told after they has both passed away. They were concerned that people would consider them “idiots for falling for the fraud” which I have to say was not the case.
I hope my modest attempt has achieved the objective
If I had a pound for the times I have heard people say, “I wouldn’t have fallen for that one!” or “It would take a clever person to con me!” I would say “Just be careful, as one day you might just meet a determined fraudster and then we will talk again!!”
With Organise Crime Agency in Japan On Shooting range with FBI in New Orleans
Somethings you didn’t know?
A Cruel Deception by Kim Booth
‘No one knows this horrifying true crime case better than the detective who cracked it. Kim Booth will take you on an unforgettable journey into lies, deceit, cunning and malice.’ Nick Louth
For Joan and Ted Warner, an innocent and trusting couple, a chance encounter with Barbara Hendry, a cunning con-woman who turned their settled lives into a living nightmare
The Warners were not victims of a remote scam, carried out over the internet by fraudsters from afar. For six years, faking a friendship face-to-face, this plausible woman carried off the impersonation of a member of the nobility fallen on hard times, manipulating the emotions of her victims, deceitfully draining them of every penny they had set aside for their retirement, and plunging them into debt.
Hendrys intention was to slip away, having sucked the Warners dry of all their hard-earned savings. But for some dogged investigative work by adetermined detective she would have succeeded- and remained free to prey on other vulnerable victims.
Follow this journey of fraud and depravity in the company of the one man who knows the full story – the British detective who cracked the case and brought Barbara Hendry to justice.
A Cruel Deception is an
The author retired from the Lincolnshire Police as Detective Inspector in charge of the Lincolnshire Police Economic Crime Unit. He now provides anti-fraud advice and fraud investigation on a consultancy basis together with assisting authors with police procedural issues and story lines.