Man Overboard - The Counterfeit...
The true-crime story of one man’s life after his faked death, by the New York Times–bestselling author of Murder in the Family.
1982: Oregon businessman Phil Champagne, age 52, dies in a tragic boating accident off Lopez Island off the coast of Washington state. He is survived by one ex-wife, four adult children, an octogenarian mother, and two despondent brothers. Phil didn’t know he was dead until he read it in the paper. All things considered, he took it rather well. So did Phil’s brother, Mitch, the beneficiary of a 1.5 million dollar policy on Phil’s life.
1992: Washington restauranteur Harold Stegeman, famous for his thick, juicy steaks, is arrested by the Secret Service for printing counterfeit United States currency in an Idaho shed. In addition to the bogus bills, Stegeman also has a fraudulently obtained passport, a fabricated Cayman Island driver’s license, and Phil Champagne’s fingerprints.
When the uproarious reality of Harold Stegeman’s secret identity hit the headlines, the counterfeit resurrection of Phil Champagne became one of the most celebrated and hysterically funny true-crime stories of the twentieth century. And while every supermarket tabloid and television talk show hounded after the untold story, only Edgar Award–winner Burl Barer captured Champagne’s confidence and received permission to detail Phil’s post-mortem career of fraud, deception, trickery, lies, and fine prime rib, bringing to life the exploits of a man his family thought dead over a decade ago.
Includes bonus photographs, a police interrogation transcript, and an afterword by Phil Champagne
Praise for Man Overboard
“True crime at its best. . . . Barer has undeniable talent, pizzaz and imagination!” —Jack Olsen, New York Times–bestselling author of Son: A Psychopath and His Victims
“Crisp as a freshly printed C-note. Exceptionally clever and vastly entertaining!” —Lee Goldberg, #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Bone Canyon
“Barer does it again! A deft and dazzling display of solid research and rapier wit—a must for all true crime aficionados.” —Gary C. King, author of Love, Lies, and Murder