I think this deserves its own thread.
Has anyone else watched it?
Full title - The Puppet Master - hunting the ultimate conman.
I think it's best to go into it blind, only three episodes...it is genuinely bonkers!
Watched it tonight, how were the victims so monumentally dim to have been manipulated over a large number of years with the MI5 story, these people were college educated. The internet was around for most of this, as were cheap burner mobile phones that any of them could have picked up secretly to contact their family members and/or the police. In the final episode the American paying money to do exams for MI5 spy school, how idiotic can you be.
The conman didn't kill anyone yet initially got life imprisonment, crazy justice system, glad he was released on appeal with lack of proof that the victims were actually held against their will. Any of the victims could have walked in to a police station at any time.
Thought this was the campy horror film... bah.
He seemed to target lots of people by the looks of it, the people that fell for it seemed quite vulnerable some of the time as well. His boss in the car place was even take in by him and he seemed reasonably sensible.
I don't think anyone believed there were spy exams, they were playing along to try and get their daughter back.
I don't know about a life sentence, but he is a really seriously dangerous individual imo coercive control and brainwashing. The point was he destroyed people's lives, controlled everything and isolated them so I doubt they would walk into a police station. He did also lock people up, that lady was locked in a bathroom with no idea where she was for days, and the mother (who is still with him) there was a huge lock on the outside of her bedroom.
Peter Smith was amazingly dogged about getting his daughter back.
I think the man is a monster, but he's served his time, in the eyes of the law, and I would say Freegard has learned how to better exploit the loopholes in the law to ensure he's not locked up again. Hopefully this documentary will raise awareness of conmen in general, but specifically of Freegard and make life more difficult for him. As things stand, his relationship with Sarah Clifton does not appear to be an illegal one (though who knows what he may be putting her through, and convincing her it's good), but becoming isolated from one's family in the way that Sarah Clifton has been is classic controlling behaviour and Freegard's M.O., pretty much.
Also, there is a Twitter account claiming to be Freegard himself. A dubious claim, to be sure, given Freegard's evasiveness, but whoever it may be, they're going to some effort to make it seem legitimate by posting some personal pictures and attacking some of the talking heads in the doc.
Was an interesting doc
I too find it hard to believe they believed his story but some people are gullible (online boyfriends scams etc) and he was a very smooth talker and being told different doesn't sit well with them as intimates they are stupid so easier to go along with the story
I think title should be changed to The Puppet Master - Finding the ultimate gullible victims
farmers in being braindead shocker.
It is interesting that there is the crime of 'coercive control' in Irish Legislation now.
But many in the legal profession claim it is very difficult to prove.
The bit I thought about on that one with the farmers. Wasn't the IRA ceasefire in 1997 - GFA 1998. Yet these people somehow believed Mr Hendy's line that the IRA was supposed to be a danger constantly for many years afterwards.
It's crazy stuff.
Plus that is not to mention the obvious - how many spies tell randomers or even people they know that they are a spy!?