‘Chameleon: Dr. Dante’ details the stage hypnotist’s con artistry

True Crime January 9, 2023
Listen to ‘Chameleon: Dr. Dante’

Stage hypnotist Dr. Ronald Dante worked in the 1960s Hollywood nightclub circuit and capitalized on the rising popularity of self-help in the 1980s and 1990s. Dr. Dante was not a real doctor and convinced women to fork over their money, as he took out hits on any rivals and created a fake university. In the latest season of The Binge’s “Chameleon,” host Sam Mullins examines Dr. Dante’s crimes and traced his con artistry through theme parks, prisons, trailer parks, and yacht clubs while learning more about his life.

The season covers Dr. Dante’s on-and-off stage activity ranging from businesses like teaching salon owners the art of permanent makeup to his close call with the Federal Trade Commission, and what paved the way for his most successful con. The series explores one of Dr. Dante’s rivalries, his prison stints, and convictions for a slew of crimes including mail fraud.

Hear what happened when Dr. Dante recruited a documentary filmmaker as he was set to make a comeback to the stage in his 70s. Dr. Dante’s schemes lasted for decades, and he was actress Lana Turner’s seventh husband. He died in 2013.

Stream each “Chameleon” season from the first episode. Season 1 tracked down the “Hollywood Con Queen,” a scam artist who exploited Hollywood hopefuls while draining their wallets and sinking their dreams.

Season two, “Chameleon: High Rollers,” traveled to Las Vegas and followed the undercover FBI investigation of a diet clinic. The “Wild Boys” season told Will and Tom Green’s story – two kids who seemingly appeared from the wilderness and weren’t who they said they were.

Season four was titled “Scam Likely” and covered sketchy phone call operations where everyday civilians handed over their savings and realized what was happening when it was too late.

The sixth season will cover the attempted kidnapping of Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer and will draw from Ken Bensinger and Jessica Garrison’s reporting.

New episodes of “Chameleon: Dr. Dante” will be posted throughout the next few weeks and are available early for The Binge’s subscribers.

Listen to ‘Chameleon: Dr. Dante’

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