Joseph A. Cafasso was not prepared for the scrutiny he faced in Mendenhall, Mississippi. Leave it to a small town sheriff and a smaller town mayor to get the drop on a national conman.
Joseph "Jay" A. Cafasso, is a man of multiple talents, the foremost it seems, is to run scams on unknowing victims. These are not ignorant people, they include Fox News, Columbia University, the Dallas Morning News, the New York Magazine, and many others.
Cafasso zooms into town with accolades and education dripping off him. His game is to talk about his background, and his expertise, and volunteer to help people in their endeavors.
He worked for Fox News until they found out he was a phony. Locally, Cafasso worked for the Mendenhall Ministries as a Development Director, until he was found out, then he moved on to try and "help" Mendenhall.
The con man claims he is ex-CIA, secret agent, a Knight of Malta, claims to be traveling on a Vatican passport, and claims a vast array of illnesses and injuries.
If the name Joseph Cafasso or Jay Cafasso is searched via Google or Yahoo, voluminous text, pictures, and stories pop up.The photographs reveal all the stories are about the same person, although Cafasso has been known to change his appearance drastically. He lost 50 pounds, ditched his glasses, and shaved off a mustache and beard to alter his appearance. Now, he has something like, "the Indiana Jones look,"
going on said Mendenhall Mayor Randall Neely.
While in Simpson County, without knowing he was being thoroughly investigated by local law enforcement, Cafasso had the backbone to meet with Mayor Neely, the Sheriff, representatives for a senator, and Simpson Count Emergency Services Director. Neely said, "We knew he was a fake, we just wanted to see where he was going."
Evidently he was going somewhere because now he has disappeared from Mendenhall.
Neely said the last time he had seen Cafasso the con man had said he was going to St. Dominic's to have his gall bladder removed.
That behavior too was part of his typical pattern. Most of the reports have indicated that when things began to go "bad" for the con man, he would "suffer" some illness or injury that required medical treatment and simply disappear.
Although local law enforcement knew Cafasso was a fake, they also could not find that he had broken any laws. Zealous work on local, state, and national crime computers have also not provided any outstanding warrants. Although Cafasso leaves a swath of stolen identifications and credit card theft, it appears he did none of that
while in Simpson County.
However, the man had a plethora of approximately 15 aliases. It is suspected there are warrants against him under other names. Anyone with information regarding this man is urged to contact the Simpson County Sheriff Kenneth Lewis, at 601-847-2921, or Mendenhall Police Investigator Bruce Barlow at 601-847-2641.
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