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Fraudster earns 'world's biggest bigamist' title for marrying 105 women

By Jovelyn Cullado Published Apr 13, 2023 1:32 pm

A man in the US married about 105 wives—not because of a cult or religion, but to steal their money and possessions.

Giovanni Vigliotto, whose name isn't even his real one, lured women across 27 states in the US and 14 other countries, "using a different fake identity each time" between 1949 and 1981. None of these women were aware of his other marriages.

According to the Guiness World Records, Vigliotto would target women in flea markets across the States and propose to them on their first date.

After women confirmed their yeses to Viogliotto’s proposal, a wedding would be held.

As marriage means the union of two people and their committed engagement, Vigliotto would tell that he resides in a far away state and that they would need to pack their belongings and join him.

However, Vigliotto’s true nature and intentions unfolded as women claimed that he drove away with their possessions and was never seen again.

Vigliotto sold the robbed items in other flea markets where he would look for his next wife, or rather his next victim.

The cycle happened for over 30 years in which he had marriage accounts of 105 to different women without divorcing them. Hence, Vigliotto gained the record of having the most bigamous marriages.

But Vigliotto’s robbing strategy met its demise when his latest wife Sharon Clark, a manager in a flea market in Indiana, moved on her own to track the whereabouts of Vigliotto. She found him in Florida after he drove away with her possessions worth $49,000 (or $162,168.98 in the year 2023). He was later arrested by authorities on December 28, 1981.

Vigliotto was charged with bigamy and fraud on the grounds that he married Patricia Ann Gardiner—another victim whom he swindled out $36,000 ($119,144.55 in the year 2023) in possessions and property—despite having tied the knot with Sharon Clark in just five months.

Vigliotto’s trial case began in 1983 in Phoenix, Arizona.

While in jail, Pulitzer Prize reporter Tom Fitzpatrick had the opportunity to talk with Vigliotto wherein the latter denied the accusations, and insisted that the police had it all wrong.  

“I don't recall half a dozen times when I had to ask anyone to marry me. It was always the women who popped the question," Vigliotto said in the interview.

"I find it incredible that some of these women are now saying terrible things about me. If they really feel that way, why did they marry me?" he continued.

In one of the trials, Giovanni was asked whether he could remember the names of his wives. Interestingly, he was able to list more than a hundred names.

In just 24 minutes, the jury decided Vigliotto was guilty of all counts of bigamy and fraud and was sentenced to 34 years in prison.

Vigliotto spent eight years in Arizona State Prison at Florence before he died due to brain hemmorage.