The Imposter: Netflix fans bowled over by ‘jaw-dropping’ true crime story of missing 13-year-old

The Imposter: Netflix fans bowled over by ‘jaw-dropping’ true crime story of missing 13-year-old

Netflix viewers have been left stunned by The Imposter, a documentary about the true story of Nicholas Barclay.

The film was originally released back in 2012 – but has found a new audience after recently being added to the streaming service’s catalogue.

Barclay went missing in San Antonio, Texas in 1994, at the age of 13. For three years, it was suspected that he had been murdered, but authorities were unable to find his body.

Three years later, in 1997, the family were informed that their son had been found, alive and well in Spain. He was flown back to the US and returned to them, stating that he had been kidnapped and was a victim of sex trafficking.

The family embraced him on his return, but concerns were raised after they sent him to a therapist.

While authorities were able to identify him through the three distinct tattoos Barclay had had at the age of 13, a number of discrepancies quickly became clear.

He had returned from Spain with dyed blonde hair, brown eyes, and was unable to speak without a French accent. Furthermore, he appeared significantly older than his age would suggest.

Eventually, through work carried out by a private detective and FBI agent Nancy Fisher, the truth was uncovered, after Barclay had been living with the family for five months.

‘The Imposter’ is streaming on Netflix now (Channel 4 films)
‘The Imposter’ is streaming on Netflix now (Channel 4 films)

The man claiming to be Barclay was in fact Frédéric Bourdin, a 23-year European fraudster with an extensive criminal record.

Bourdin was jailed for six years for the ruse, but went on to attempt other similar scams in France and Madrid.

Barclay’s body was never found, and no suspect was ever charged with his disappearance.

Netflix viewers shared their astonishment over the bizarre true crime story on social media.

“Netflix adding The Imposter today, it’s genuinely one of the greatest and most jaw-dropping docs I’ve ever seen. Well worth a watch,” wrote journalist Paul Moore.

The Imposter is back on Netflix and if you haven’t seen it it’s one of the wildest true crime documentaries around,” someone else wrote.

The film is available to stream now.