Criminal: Episode 55: The Shell Game
December 5, 2016 12:21 PM - Subscribe
The Magic Castle in Hollywood has been a private club for magicians since 1963, and its walls are lined with portraits of magicians past and present. Among them is a portrait of one of the earliest American organized crime bosses and conmen, Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith. And though it may seem strange that this "mecca of magic" honors a criminal, Soapy's legacy reveals just how blurry the line is between a delightful trick and a dirty one.
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Soapy Smith is a notorious figure in Southeast Alaska (where I live) because of his flamboyant criminal reign in Skagway, victimizing those who were passing through the boom town at the base of the Chilkoot Trail on the way to (or from) the Klondike gold fields. I presume the episode details some of his more notorious confidence tricks?
posted by Nerd of the North at 7:17 PM on December 6, 2016