Secret Lives - OZY | A Modern Media Company


Sometimes the real story is taking place behind the scenes.

By Fiona Zublin

Nobody truly interesting is ever entirely as they seem. Everyone has secrets — but some people have secret identities, and we’re not talking about Batman. The people in this series on “Secret Lives” are spies, killers, national heroes and film footnotes, a motley crew that has one thing in common: They all lived a completely different life behind the scenes.

Charles Lindbergh’s Secret Double Life in Germany

A national hero, the groundbreaking pilot was also known as a family man. Turned out, he was a multiple-family man: He had several children by multiple women across the Atlantic, a fact unknown to the world until his kids came forward after their mother’s death.

Pham Xuan An: The Spy Who Tricked America

This Vietnamese journalist was the first Vietnamese person hired by Time magazine to cover the Vietnam War. He was also a pioneer in a key spy program run by the Vietnamese government, which sent him to train as a journalist and used him to direct American press coverage — and thus American public sentiment — over the war.

Luca Brasi Sleeps With the Fishes No Longer

Leonardo Passafaro, aka Lenny “Bull” Montana, was a security guard for a mobster on the set of The Godfather when he found his true calling: acting. One actor down due to unfortunate circumstance, Montana was called in to play a mobster … and eventually left his life of crime for the silver screen.

One of America’s First Nursing Homes Was a Killer’s Playground

Amy Archer-Gilligan was a pioneer in the health care industry, opening what’s thought to be one of America’s first nursing homes around the turn of the century. She was also a killer, suspected of dozens of murders, largely by poisoning. She lives on though in a Cary Grant movie that fictionalized the story as a black comedy.

More Secret Lives

Tips for Leading a Secret Double LifeOur guide to what would-be double lifers are risking.

Leading a Double Life as a Member of the MobJoe Pistone, aka Don Brasco, risked his life to go undercover.

Russia’s Cross-Dressing War HeroAleksandr Sokolov proved himself on the battlefield in the early 19th century … while hiding the fact that he was born a woman.

Was This Blond Bombshell the CIA’s Secret Weapon? Candy Jones was a pinup girl. But she also claimed to have taken LSD as part of secret CIA experiments.

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