I could say it was a blast from the past, but I don’t recall much of a blast and quite frankly, when a writer from New York City asked me last week of details regarding an interview I’d had with a convicted con artist from Canada/Germany/Florida/Arkansas/Missouri -- oh heck, let’s just say a convicted con artist and leave it at that – well, I needed her to remind me of some details because, as I told the writer, I have not only slept since then but I often have trouble finding where I had laid down my keys the night before.
Thanks to the writer, author Tori Telfer, I began re-hashing some of the story that included her mother, a German countess, and an abusive father who has associated with German Fuhrer Adolph Hitler’s military, as well as Hackney’s criminal activities, the least of which was not her falsifying her mother’s death so that she could claim her assets. In fact, she had attempted to run over her mother and her mother’s boyfriend.
By the time I chatted with Hackney, who had more aliases that your average criminal, she was awaiting extradition back to the states from Canada. Here’s the crazy part... SHE CALLED ME! She wanted her version of the story, which I remember stumping her right off the bat when I asked, “Which one?”
Her mother was Gerda von Meerscheidt-Hullessem, a German-born countess. Prior to the countess returning to the states, Hackney successfully managed to convince a judge and the sheriff she had died in Germany. She signed her death warrant.
That plan was about to be ripped apart when the countess planned a visit at her large country estate in the Ozarks.
After picking her up at a local airport, Hackney tried to pin her mother against a concrete table with her car. Initially, Hackney claimed Mama Countess’ broken pelvis and internal bleeding were the result of her foot having slipped off the brake. She said she could never get the vision of her mother’s arm hanging over the hood of the car, motioning her daughter to back up.
The local sheriff had a good laugh at what Hackney -- aka Lisa Thomas, Rowitha Elisabeth Melanie Mills, Elisabeth von Hullessum, Hullessem von Meersheidt -- had told me. (A Canadian newspaper reported she had 12 to 13 aliases). He said she must have erased the memory of her backing the car into a yard to get to her mother.
She posted bond and went on the lam for four years, running a scam of bogus writers’ conferences and concerts in Ontario. All of her misdeeds ended when she was nabbed and eventually extradited.
Telfer is writing a book on con women, and wondered if she could pick my brain on what Hackney had talked about during her interview.
Telfer has also authored Lady Killers, Women Throughout History, and Confident Women.
Now, has anyone seen my keys?