Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Never have dinner with Susan Crain Bakos

(Update: You can read comedian and writer Carolyn Castiglia's take on Dinnercon '11 here: A brief glimpse inside the hate-filled mind of a con artist

You can also read accounts of two other women Susan Crain Bakos has scammed in the comments section over here: Ridiculous White Woman… Hold My Pocket)

Beware, up-and-coming female writers in New York! There is a raging 'Dine and Dasher' who is preying on women at some of the city's finest restaurants.

The Granny Grifter is cleverly disguised as a diminutive 60-year-old sex columnist with a penchant for inviting young women to dinner to discuss "a possible job opportunity."

Her name is Susan Crain Bakos, and she is the author of The Sex Bible. She claims she used to be a ghostwriter for Dr. Ruth.

Unbelievably, she has fully admitted to her short con on a blog post she wrote for Salon, called "How And Why I Stuck So Many Women With the Check".

She's currently trying to delete her blog, but thankfully, there's such a thing as Google cache.

For now, you can read a pdf of her essay here:

How and Why I Stuck So Many Women With The Check by Susan Crain Bakos

(Cached Version Here )

Below, is an open letter in response to her article on Salon:

Dear Susan Crain Bakos,

The dinner was great. Thank you again for the invitation. I, myself, also had it for free, since I was unable to pay. I had to speak with the management and give them all my information (and yours!) so they would let me leave. As such, I applaud you on masterminding the lamest con ever.

A Jim Thompson novel you are not.

Your essay was written eight months before we met, so it seems you left out a few of the more current details about your exploits. An innocent oversight, I'm sure.

For example, you didn't mention how you contacted me first and claimed that you had a business opportunity. Nor did you mention how you lied and said that you needed me to take photos for an article you are writing for Playboy.

If you recall, as I sat down at the table, I told you I wasn't hungry (to be gracious and not assume you were paying the bill, I had eaten before I got to the restaurant) but you INSISTED we order huge swathes of food, telling me multiple times "It's on me."

It certainly is all on you, Susan Crain Bakos.

For all intents and purposes, you invited me to a business meeting. A business meeting about which you lied through your teeth and summarily walked out on the check.

Without judgment, I have to wonder: who would want to do business with someone who exhibits these sorts of behaviors?

So, you write about it on Salon. Some might say it's what you do well. You explain that this is a con you enjoy inflicting on other women. You use tags like "my con." You insinuate that the women somehow "deserve" it because they want to network (network over lunch in New York? My stars!). You think they are looking for a free meal.

The main issue is that the scenario you present in your story is absolutely nothing like the actual scene which took place on August 2 at 4:30 PM in Pipa. The one in which you repeatedly said "It's on me." The one where it was your idea to go to dinner.

You made up a story about writing for Playboy and contacted me - an unemployed writer and photographer who is working my RUMP off as a freelancer - to request that I be hired on as your personal photographer.

If anyone was trying to get something for nothing from this situation, I'd say it's you, Susan.

To top it all off, once you finish demonizing your victims as lazy and dumb, you then have the utter gall to claim you're exploring it in an essay because you're trying to understand why you do it?

Well, let me take a wild stab for you.

It's because you grew up with no sense of self worth other than your looks. You have no idea what you can offer to society outside of a sexual context. And now you steal steak dinners from young up-and-coming authors at Pipa and The Ace Hotel and god knows where else. Have you been to Chipotle? They have excellent guacamole.

Do you honestly think these women "deserve" this, or are you just trying to justify your antisocial, cruel behavior?

Do you think you get a free pass because you have "psychological issues"? Because you're a grandmother? Because no one would ever suspect the 60-year-old author of The Sex Bible of purposely being on the grift?

I can think of many reasons you might be doing this and absolutely none of them are acceptable.

Gorging your face on fried ham in a tapas bar and running out on the bill isn't going to change who you are.

Nor is blaming your victims and insinuating that they somehow deserved it because they wanted something from you. Something that you offered.

It's time to do what the rest of us adults in the world have to do and grow up. You're 60-years-old for Godssakes.

Please, Grammy. Act your age.

Oh, look! I just saved you a $75 therapist appointment!

(Not that the check you'd write to the doctor would be any good.)

Sincerely yours,

A (not so) naive mark


Paul Day said...

Hearts, hearts and more hearts!

EleanorB said...

Maybe if you had asked to see what was under those shoes she would have paid!

mik3cap said...

Brian's blog is invite only - can he make that entry public?

Kyria said...

I removed Brian's link for now. He has issues with his Jehovah's Witness family and doesn't want anyone to know that he writes about religion.

Sean Ward said...

What a horrible thing to do.

According to her own blog, she's a mean-spirited petty thief.

I hope you send a link of this to the restaurant so they can post her picture on the wall.

Anonymous said...

I say charge her.

Anonymous said...

Bring charges against her. What she did is a crime.

Then write her editors and licensing board bringing this matter to their attention.

Anonymous said...

As someone who has Borderline Personality Disorder, I can assert that grifting is not on the list of relevant behaviors. Her con has nothing to do with a diagnosis of BPD--she's just making an excuse for being a horrible person.

You should take her to People's Court!

Anonymous said...

OMG yes, People's Court! Judge Milian would shred her.

But I get the impression from the angry emails Kyria just posted that she's not a fan of having her real face seen without some heavy-duty Photoshopping...and TV is so unforgiving, darling. (Now I have an inexplicable urge to play Carly Simon's "You're So Vain".

Anonymous said...

This woman is out of her mind! And she is such a narcissist that she thought she could brag about the con on Salon but still get away with it. She is like the serial killer who calls the police with tips. But she eventually gets caught.

Brian said...

It's always sad to see a professional who stops keeping up on the latest technology in her field.

insafemode said...

I just finished reading a bunch of her blogs and articles. This woman is an all-around racist, sociopathic, nightmare. Why do people allow people like this to publish on their sites?

Sorry you had to experience her in person.

Kyria said...

Yeah, you gotta read the one about how she got knocked on her ass in Harlem. And how the people there all want to blame the "white people" but really, it's the thugs.

A little background, according to a trusted source of mine, she was living in Harlem because she'd shacked up with a (black) guy there, who then ran out on her and stiffed her with the rent.

Bish probably tried to run out on the bill at her beloved jazz club and got a beatdown.

insafemode said...

I read that, along with her article on Why She Prefers Black Men. She's sick in all kinds of terrible ways.

Brian said...

I've posted the link on reddit:

Kyria said...

Nice, dude!

20 American said...

This is so well-written, Kyria. It's like buttah.

Kyria said...

Thank you!

Lee said...

I am completely floored by this kind of behavior... from anyone, let alone an elderly woman who uses her grandma status as a justification for being treated differently in her own articles.

The worst thing is how long she's been getting away with it. As though living in New York among all of those people somehow magically makes this okay. It's just another face, another woman to take advantage of, that's what makes it okay. I just... have no words.

I'm sorry this happened to you and I'm glad the restaurant was understanding enough to let you go home.

Kyria said...

Thanks Lee, I appreciate that. Yes, the management at Pipa was incredibly understanding, and the hostess watched graciously as I shed my tears. A million thanks to them!

Anonymous said...

From the comments section of another article about Susan Crain Bakos, two more women scammed by her in late 2010 - their stories sound nearly identical to Kyria's!

* * * * *

Jamie Quinn | October 15, 2010 at 11:16 am | Reply
I have nothing to comment on this woman’s writing, but rather her character. I met Susan last night at a bar in NYC called the “Madhatter”. I came in with my boyfriend and as soon as my boyfriend left, Susan scammed me. She seemed like a very nice woman, until her bill came. I am currently unemployed and could only afford to pay my own bill. She pretended that she had forgotten her wallet. She said that she only lived 6 blocks away and would pay me right back as soon as we left. However, it was raining and she didn’t even want to try and get a cab, even though I offered to pay for the cab to her house so she could pay me back the $60 she (still) owes me. She tried to make a lunch date for the next day and said I could leave and we would meet up the next day. But I wouldn’t leave until I got my money. She then proceeded to sneak out and never return. Susan is a mean, horrible woman, and I hope that karma kicks that dumb bitch’s ass REAL hard. You suck, Susan, you took advantage of a nice 24 year old girl. You should be ashamed of your horrible slutty self. You disgust me and I hope many read this post and learn about your real reputation. Fuck you Susan. Thanks

* * * * *

thatgirl | November 22, 2010 at 9:07 am | Reply
jamie–and anyone else left holding a cheque by ms. crain bakos:

susan must be working the entire grammercy neighborhood! on november 5 at about 4 p.m., susan anchored the bar at the globe on 23rd street, and proceded to order four glasses of wine, nachos, and a plate of cheese fries. she spent no less than three hours impressing bar patrons (and one unwary bartender) with her most recent book, passing it around and telling tales about being dr. ruth’s ghostwriter, and a tale of woe about having had a computer case with a macbook stolen at penn station just an hour prior.

being 95% full of men, the patrons were dazzled enough by her book’s photos of lingerie-clad couples cavorting that they didn’t realize susan would, eventually, declare that her wallet had been in the computer case, and that she would need to repair to her apartment on grammercy park south, “only 10 minutes away” to get some cash to pay her tab. i was the only one who thought, “what woman carries a purse and a computer bag, and keeps her wallet in the computer bag?” i smelled a rat, but wanted to give her the benefit of a doubt.

needless to say, she never returned. the bartender was called back to pay her tab, as it was on his watch. the poor guy didn’t want to dwell on the lost $45.00, but i felt hurt on his behalf, because his day’s take was $100.

to those who don’t know her record of behavior (and where there are two anecdotes, there are surely more), she was merely someone who titillated some men enough to (temporarily) escape reproach. but it both screwed a man of his wages, and left me feeling rather skeptical about everything she had to say. at first, i thought, who’s stupid enough to leave a book she authored with bar patrons when skipping out on a tab? clearly this is the mark of a desperate woman whose hubris has turned her into a pariah. fuck you very much for doing your part in reinforcing one of the worst female stereotypes, susan! the neighborhood police and barkeeps will appreciate knowing your habit, and soon shall. feel free to contact me, jamie.

Brian said...

The Playboy lie is especially hillarious. Nobody wants to buy a magazine that says "we'll be back to your airbrushed and photoshopped pictures of nude large-breasted young women in a moment, but right now, here are some pictures of a woman old enough to be your grandmother plus an article she wrote about kinky sex!" It would be the worst selling Playboy in history.

Aaron said...

Unfortunately, Google's cached version is no longer reflecting her article, but a message from her saying she's trying to delete her account.

thwany said...

it's so unfortunate when miserably living people try and drag others into their miserable little lives.

Kyria said...

Cached version is gone. There's a pdf here:

(How and Why I Stuck So Many Women With The Check by Susan Crain Bakos)

RachelMSaavedra said...

Have you considered contacting Arnold Diaz's Shame On You Skit on Fox? He would probably love something like this, especially because she writes for the Post.

White Women Confessions said...

Kyria Abrahams is our hero.

wb2bwu said...

I had dinner with Susan Crain Bakos twice and she left me with the check. Besides the disappointment of being duped, I really felt in the pocket book since I've unemployed mostly since 2009. That people like this exist is a poor testament of a tasteless hack like Ms. Bakos.

Kyria said...

I'm so sorry that she got you, too. I know your pain. I'm glad that you were able to find this blog post. It should stop her from doing it again!

wb2bwu said...

I'm so glad you posted this blog. I walked away from that experience demoralized and disappointed. You have helped put this experience in context. Now, I'll file it away for reference. The fact that there are people like you in the world balances things out for me. I feel better about the world and recognize that some people should be avoided at all costs.
You are also my hero. Keep writing about things that bother you; you're making the world a whole lot better!
Joe Berrios

Kyria said...

Thank you, Joe! I was feeling a bit down-in-the-dumps this afternoon and reading your kind words cheered me right up. Here's to the people in the world who graciously pick up the check! :)

- Kyria

Kyria said...

Thank you, Joe! I was feeling a bit down-in-the-dumps this afternoon and reading your kind words cheered me right up. Here's to the people in the world who graciously pick up the check! :)

- Kyria

wb2bwu said...

I'm glad I made your day because you certainly made mine! I wish you continued success and all the best life has to offer. Don't be discouraged. You made a friend today!


Anonymous said...

How is being a grandma some kind of cred or status? All it means is you had unprotected sex a really long time ago.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Grandma is committing small crimes just to be mean and small minded. However, consulting the police to see what can be done to stop "granny" is worth an examination.

The weeds of crime bear bitter fruit.

tom said...

It's sad. I've just read one article from a piece she did back in 2005. She masqueraded as a '40' something? Seeing her photos and reading all the nonsense this woman has done... Susan says she likes sex with black men; if she 'ever' crosses a hard-core brother or a street-down sister, po-po can't get there fast enough! Funny thing about the personality of people who engage in cons... they tend to do riskier things til it blows up in their face. Karma will bite this woman in the ass hard.

Gavin Aisling said...

Hey, you fuck enough black dudes in Harlem and eventually you start acting like them...

joejamax said...

Oh Kyria, I am just now reading this. I read her blog entry on this subject, got to page two which began "For much of my life I have been struggling with psychological issues" (What?! No!) and stopped.

For what its worth, I'd pick up the tab at a nice Waffle House here in Atlanta. The waitresses are generally nicer and more well-adjusted to life than this character.

Now, about the plane fare...

Anonymous said...

I was shocked and happy to find this blog. I manage a bar/restaurant in the village and several years ago (apparently around the same time as these other postings)this woman came into my establishment and sat at a bar table alone and eventually called me over and asked me a random sexual question which led to a long, nice conversation about men, sex, dating etc. She told me I was fascinating and thought I should be a writer and share some of my experiences and wrote down her name because she wanted to help me write a book blah, blah, blah. Eventually, when it was time to go, she forgot her wallet and I knew something was up cause I have been in this business for a long time and I can smell sh*t from a mile away. She started making (fake?) cell phone calls to friends who "lived around the corner" and was going over to their house to get the money. When she left (a little tipsy) I followed her a block away as she entered the closest subway station and surprised her when I appeared behind her and asked "I thought you were going to your friends house?" "Oh, yes, it's only one stop away. I'll be right back" "Whatever" I said and just turned and walked away in disgust. I knew she wasn't coming back but I was so happy that I followed her and confronted her. I've seen lots of scams in my day, but I was really shocked that this grown woman would go to such lengths and spend so much time sweet talking just to get a couple glasses of chardonnay and a cheeseburger. How pathetic. The next morning I found her blog and saved it and every once in a while when I am scanning my computer I glance at it it reminds me of that incident and your know it still irks me in a way. Today I happened to google her name and I found your blog and I couldn't believe it. Reading it and responding kinda puts the whole thing at rest for me cause obviously, she is a psycho and I can forgive myself for being such a nice guy.

wb2bwu said...

Silly question: did Susan Crain Bakos actually die, or was that another con?

If my asking the question seems cruel, I am sorry. However, Ms. Bakos did leave me paying the bill a couple of times.

Jose Berrios said...

according to her blog, she was dying of cancer (as of January 2012). Does anyone know if this occurred?

I'm just curious.

Kyria said...

I have no idea what happened to her. I hope that if I get terminal cancer no one is wondering if I'm LYING about it or not. That shows you lived your life incredibly wrong.