S509 The Santa Claus Man
Play • 44 min

A con artist save Christmas

Brian Earl with the Christmas Past podcast shares a Christmas story you’ve probably never heard before. In the early 1900s, children’s letters to Santa Claus never made it to the North Pole. They landed in the dead letter office and were eventually destroyed.

But along came John Gluck, a hustler who took these letters to Santa and turned it into an opportunity to get rich and famous.

It’s the strange and true story of government agents, spies, an art thief, U.S. presidents, and gun-toting boy scouts.

Check out “My Dear Santa” with Brian Earl from the Christmas Past podcast



Today’s show was written and edited by Javier Leiva.

Our theme music was written and composed by Joe Basile with TheChicken.net.

Additional music by Podington Bear.


Support for this episode is brought to you by Detective Trapp

Anaheim investigator Julissa Trapp is not like other detectives. She’s the only woman on the homicide squad, and a skilled chameleon: undercover cop in vice stings, crime-scene commander, patient confidante of killers. A master interrogator, she invokes her personal experience – and deepest griefs — as a tool to elicit confessions. When a young woman’s body is found at a trash-sorting plant, Trapp learns the murder may be linked to the disappearance of three other women in nearby Santa Ana. Trapp embarks on a dark journey that brings her face to face with a man who takes “a little piece of her soul.”

Listen now at Wondery.fm/PretendDT


Story idea?

If you have a story to share, email Javier a voice memo or short written description at info@pretendradio.org.

For more episodes like this visit pretendradio.org.

To get early releases and bonus episodes go to pretendradio.org/donate

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