Melanie Thernstrom’s account of a Harvard murder-suicide struggles with the personal
French rugby, fake runners, and more.
Though [Bourdin] emphasized his cunning, he acknowledged what any con man knows but rarely admits: it is not that hard to fool people. People have basic expectations of others’ behavior and are rarely on guard for someone to subvert them. By playing on some primal need — vanity, greed, loneliness — men like Bourdin make their mark further suspend disbelief. […]