4. A Deal with the Devil by Blake Ellis and Melanie Hicken
In 2015, Ellis and Hicken, a CNN investigative duo, unearthed a long—rrunning con by a French psychic named Maria Duval—who, they learned, had over decades duped millions of people out of an estimates $200 million. In this quick-paced exposé, they detail how Duval preyed on the elderly and senile, promising health, good fortune, and wealth in exchange for the purchase of a $40 crystal or talisman. The deeper the team digs, however, the murkier the ruse becomes, and it’s soon unclear whether Duval exists at all.
This story appears in the July 2018 print issue, with the headline “Scenes of the Crime.”
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