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The Orchid Thief, John Laroche Now

Orchid Thief 1998-2023, From Then Until Now - FAQ

Who wrote the Orchid Thief?

The Orchid Thief was a book written by Susan Orlean in 1998, after she published an article on John Laroche in the New Yorker in 1995. The Orchid Thief book inspired movie titled Adaptation, released in 2002, which was about a self loathing screenwriter named Charlie who was hired to write a screenplay of Susan Orlean's Orchid Thief. All of this thrusted the main non-fiction subject of the book, John Laroche, into the public spotlight. 

Where is John Laroche now?

The last known accounts of John Laroche on the internet were in September 2022. His Facebook page, established as "the orchid thief" with 130 likes / 130 followers, has this headline: "join Mr. John as he talks about The Orchid Thief, Adaptation and relates stories of his larger than". He shared a post (of course it could be some imposter, which could always be the case on the internet) of a post that was made on his business page, The BromeliadTree adding this comment: " New plants for my new old venture, or would that be an old new venture?  The Bromeliad Tree is born again. Rare and Unusual Tropical Plants.  Enjoy." The post received 0 engagement. The page currently has 4 likes and 9 followers. 

Most recently on Twitter, John Laroche posted as John Stafford @johnstafford219 on September 9, 2021 with a smile in response to someone else's post about the effects of a proposed covid treatment, His bio reads: "I used to be The Orchid Thief (John Laroche). Now I age poorly; rant about politics, life and the Internet."

Prior to that John Laroche briefly appeared on Twitter (@realorchidthief), last posting November 10, 2018, having the name "Stafford" in parenthesis, so maybe he is going by John Stafford now. 

His website, The Real Orchid Thief, appears to be up, although the Get In Touch button doesn't appear to work. His email is published on the FB page noted above: john@therealorchidthief.com

Comment with anything you find out there about what happened to John Laroche. He could be going by John Edward Laroche (his given name) or John Stafford, or anything else by now. 


1. Wikipedia article on the Orchid Thief book. 
2. An Amazon link where you can buy the Orchid Thief book. (we may receive affiliate commissions which is a nice way of helping us create these research articles, thanks :) 



Featured Horticultural Expert

Dr. Taha Arooj works as an Assistant Professor at GC University, where she teaches various botany courses including courses on physiology, phytopathology, and ethnobotany. She holds a PhD degree in Botany from GCU, Lahore.

Dr. Taha Arooj

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