Though he lacks the suave demeanor and dashing looks of DiCaprio's character, no one involved in his capture would sell short his gifts as an alleged con man. As the head of the U.S. Navy Veterans Association, he oversaw a sophisticated charity operation with chapters in 41 states and was so confident in his ability to give the Navy Vets organization the appearance of a genuine charity, he hired Helen Mac Murray, a former prosecutor of charity fraud in the Ohio Attorney General's Office, to represent the group.
Ultimately, Marshals said they used a combination of Google searching, intuition and a set of 1969 military fingerprints to solve the mystery of Thompson's real identity.
Elliott said that after he saw the striking similarities to Thompson in photos of Cody, other details all started to add up.
Investigators had found bottles of eye drops in the Portland, Ore., apartment where Thompson had been hiding at the time of his arrest. They later learned that Cody was missing tear ducts and needed drops to keep his eyes moist.
Thompson's knowledge of the law in representing himself in court earlier this year also struck the investigators as curious. They later confirmed that Cody graduated from the University of Virginia and Harvard Law School. And there was the pompadour hairstyle that Thompson wore, on display in Cody's photos as well.
"I believe man is always a creature of habit no matter what identity he undertakes," Elliott said.