Adam Wheeler was always regarded as an enigma.
The former Harvard student, charged with 23 counts of larceny, identity fraud and more for faking his accomplishments, had long flown beneath any sort of social radar. According to an in-depth profile of the student-cum-con man in the Boston Globe, Wheeler from an early age was in some instances an extreme perfectionist -- and in others an extreme loner:
He made the 14-mile trip to school each day with his father, who was a teacher there, arriving an hour before classes. He often ate lunch in his father's classroom, alone or with a small circle of friends. After school, he stayed late, tossing a Frisbee in the parking lot with friends or kicking a soccer ball until his father was ready to leave. He interacted with few others. He was well-liked but frequently shunned invitations to birthday parties and dances.
Though some teachers felt Wheeler did not work up to his potential, in at least one class he obsessed over his work. A drafting teacher, Richard Pieshala, said the boy repeatedly stayed after school, fastidiously redoing drawings in order to get a perfect score. Once, Wheeler received a 95 because he had written his name and the title of the drawing in lowercase letters instead of the required uppercase. He could have erased the title block and redone only that part, but he insisted on starting over with a new drawing.
At Bowdoin, the first college he attended, Wheeler started to "come out of his shell," writing poetry, playing frisbee. Interestingly enough, he was known for downing 12 bananas in a single sitting. But he was still distant from his classmates and from the hum of a college society -- so much so that a professor at the school, concerned about Wheeler's isolationist tendencies, told a dean about them.
It is not known what came of that report, only that he ended up at Harvard with a resume heavy with lies. Wheeler has returned to Delaware to his parents' house; his next court date is June 9.
Read the full Globe article here.