Impossible paradise

Document Type



Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Creative Writing

First Advisor's Name

Lynne Barrett

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Mary Free

Third Advisor's Name

Les Standiford

Date of Defense



IMPOSSIBLE PARADISE, a collection of five nonfiction stories, profiles the most skilled and Inventive South Florida con artists of the last ten years. These swindlers have both fascinated and repulsed Miamians with their criminal behavior.

A murder landed Danny Faries in the Dade County Jail, where he performed one of the largest credit card scams in U.S. history. Tommy Williams scammed limousine rides, luxury hotel stays, even escaped from jail, impersonating judges and celebrities. Richard Hayward was “The Romeo Bandit.” Henry Gherman convinced prominent Miami Beach surgeons that he was a financial genius. He spent their earnings, then fled the country. Daniel Lugo emerged from federal prison with a Medicare fraud idea. The scheme unfolded disastrously, resulting in two killings.

In writing these true tales of trust and betrayal, I employed the theories and techniques recommended in The New Journalism by Tom Wolfe.



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