Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Josephine White

Real Name: Josephine White
Aliases: Known to use the aliases of "Judith Hunt," "Denise C." or "Judith Campbell"
Wanted For: Fraud
Missing Since: April 26, 1989


Details: Josephine White is a con-artist who has stolen nearly a million dollars from retired citizens, using a scam known as the "Pigeon Drop". She has allegedly been perpetrating this scam since 1963. She also uses a variety of different disguises.
One of her victims was "Barbara" an immigrant and retired hospital worker who lives on a small pension. On April 26, 1989, she met Barbara in a parking lot, acting nervous and agitated. She claimed that she found $70,000 in a bag left in the parking lot. Barbara told her to go to the police, but she did not want to do that because she didn't want them to take the money. She then showed her a note that she "found" in the bag, stating:
Dear brother - We've done it again. This time at the race track. I've enclosed the money and sent it this way to avoid paying income tax. - Jose
Shortly after showing her the note, an African-American man approached them, agreeing to help them. Josephine and the man (her accomplice) convinced Barbara to go with them to Josephine's boss. During the car ride, the man tells a "hard luck" story about how much he needs the money. This convinced Barbara even more to help them.
After arriving at her "office building", Josephine went inside to speak to her "boss". While waiting in the car, Barbara continued to talk about going to the police. However, the man convinced her that they would not get to keep the money otherwise. When Josephine returned, she told them that her boss said that they could legally keep the money, $22,000 each. However, she claimed that a $5,000 "good faith" deposit for income tax purposes was required.
Josephine and her accomplice then convinced Barbara to go to her home and pick up her checkbook. At the bank, she withdrew $5,000 in cash and gave it to Josephine. This was nearly all of her life savings. Later, they returned to the same office building. Josephine went inside, claiming to show the money to her boss. When she returned to the car, she told Barbara to go to a room in the office building to meet with her "boss". However, when she went to the room, there was nobody there. Finally, she went back outside and discovered that Josephine's car was gone.
Fortunately, Barbara went to the police and they were soon able to determine that Josephine White was responsible. She is believed to have perpetrated her scam again in Boston in September 1991. She is known to operate in the eastern United States and California.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the October 16, 1991 episode. This case was similar to another fraud case, involving "Spanish Lotto" which was perpetrated by Emma Figueroa.
Results: Captured. Josephine White was arrested during one of her scams in July 1994. She pleaded guilty to three larceny charges and was sentenced to fifteen years in prison. She has since been released.