CARNIVAL COP

copyright GLENN HESTER 2003

A POLICE MAGICIAN'S PERSONAL ACCOUNT INVESTIGATING AND INSPECTING

CARNIVAL GAME FRAUD

"Rhinestone Redneck"

Foreword by Todd Robbins

"Sideshow Superstar"

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Bruce Walstad, who taught me methods used in carnival game fraud and the procedures for "Keeping Carnies Honest".

Lindsay Smith, who co-authored two books, with Bruce Walstad, on this subject and critiqued my manuscript.

Tom Rinaldo, who enhanced my understanding of carnival game fraud, New York style.

Todd Robbins, who amazed me with his Coney Island style of sideshow entertainment and assisted with the foreword and chapter on sideshows.

Bob Brown, who invented a magic trick I could routine for con games and introduced me to the "Jam Auction".

David Hariton, who had me flown to our nation's capitol to instruct federal agents on con games and carnival game fraud.

Maria Powell Chapman, who inspires me each and every day.

To the game agents who ripped me off at some of the carnival games I played. You helped me have this driving force.

Bert Hester, my deceased dad, who taught me about being fair and balanced to all people. RIP.

Steve Kelley, District Attorney, who assisted with my first game inspection.

Bob May, the city officer who worked with me on many inspections and training.

DISCLAMIER

In no way does the author imply or believe that all carnivals and their games are dishonest. Many carnies are decent, hard-working people. The contents of this book will state personal experiences, some crooked and gambling games found on the midway and the methods employed to deceive the patron. Modifications, if applicable, will be shown as well. Names of carnival companies and personnel will not be used to protect the innocent as well as the guilty.

DEDICATION

This book is dedicated to the sweetest con artists I know:

My twin daughters,

Kimberly and Karen

and

My grandson,

Jaime Tanner

FOREWORD

I'm glad Glenn Hester exists. You see, Glenn is a good guy. But he is not one of those "turn the other cheek" kinds of fellows. No, if you are doing wrong, he will come after you and your life will not be a pleasant thing. Glenn knows right from wrong and works hard at making sure there is as much right in this world as possible.

The material in this book will lay out the ways some less than honorable people make a living. The information in these pages comes not from scholarly research, but from first hand experience in the field. Glenn writes about the scams and cons he has encountered on the midway of countless carnivals. He has not only witnessed grift being perpetrated, he has gone the extra step of seeing that these flat stores and alibi joints are shut down and the jointee running them is stopped from deceiving the public.

What he does is a tough job, and for the most, it is a thankless one. I, for one, would like to take this opportunity to thank him for not only doing this vital benefit to society, but also for putting this book together. It is an important work and will be of use to many.

If you are a law enforcement agent, you will find this book to be a big help in dealing with carnival Bunco crime. This book will make your life easier. If you are just a member of the public, this book will keep you from being fleeced. And everyone that reads it will find the material on these following pages fascinating and entertaining.

I must admit, I love deception. I have since I was a kid and got involved with magic. On a certain level, I admire the ingeniousness in the way the fraud in this book is constructed. There is a certain cleverness to the way it plays upon human weakness to separate people from their money. I do, however, never forget that the smiling folks that run these games you cannot win are predators, pure and simple. Their deceit needs to be exposed.

That is why I am glad there are people like Glenn Hester around.

Todd Robbins

Coney Island Sideshows

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Acknowledgements & Disclaimer

Foreword

Introduction

Chapter 1 Early Experiences

Chapter 2 The Learning Process

Chapter 3 My First Inspection

Chapter 4 Breaking in a new Carnival Company & other inspections

Chapter 5 Agenda prior to Inspection

Chapter 6 Items & Information needed for Inspections

Chapter 7 Gambling/Chance Games

Chapter 8 Fraudulent Games Introduction

Chapter 9 Category Bottle/Pin Games

Chapter 10 Category Dart/Balloon Games

Chapter 11 Category Ring/Block Games

Chapter 12 Category Ball Games

Chapter 13 Category Shooting Gallery Games

Chapter 14 Category Other Crooked Games

Chapter 15 Sideshows & other Features

Chapter 16 Final Church Call

Resources – Books – Contacts

About the Author

Illustrations of Games

INTRODUCTION

You may be somewhat confused with the title of this book as well as the subheading. When I state the words Carnival Cop, this is defined as someone in law enforcement who has knowledge of deceptive methods employed in carnival games, investigates mischief on the midway and/or inspects carnival games. A Police Magician is someone in law enforcement with knowledge of the principles used in magic, as well as con games, and/or themes magic for law enforcement topics in crime prevention presentations. Rhinestone Redneck is a redneck with class.

What follows are personal experiences with carnival personnel, the games inspected, their methods of cheating, and ideas for modifications to some of the games. Also shown will be the various seminars attended, books researched about carnival games, laws from other states that helped with the guidelines for game operators, some laws of physics, and principles of science and magic used as methods for cheating a patron.

Other aspects of the book will show some of the tools used in the inspection procedures; papers used for record keeping and for the edification of carnival personnel, so there will be no confusion as to what is expected.

Some of the games in my collection, which are used for training and research, have been helpful with the segment on modifications. Some games I have not encountered on the midway have been encountered through training seminars conducted by Bruce Walstad, Street-Smart Communications books, other books on this subject matter and training seminars through Professionals Against Confidence Crime.

One objective of this material is to give law enforcement an insight into one method of carnival game inspection, establishing probable cause to make an arrest and case, some guidelines to get the readers to think about and form their own opinions about the games and inspection procedures, as well as show the different classification and categorization that will make inspection easier.

The second objective is for the non-law enforcement reader. Insight into how some of these games can rip you off will give the reader an advantage the next time they visit a carnival midway. Some tips on how to play the games is shown to give that extra edge. However, it must be known that winning is dependant on skill, operators intent & rules posted. If the game operator is intent on making you lose, nothing in this book, short of having them arrested, will assist you.

It is advisable that inspectors have more than a basic knowledge of this subject matter before implementing the inspection process. It is strongly suggested that the inspectors walk different midways, take note of all the games on display, research games through books, attend seminars at training sites on this subject matter, and talk with others who have experience in this type of work. If you plan to investigate and inspect the games, hands on training along with research and practical application will give you the advantage needed to become a "Carnival Cop".

Chapter 1

Early Experiences

Living, and growing up, in the 6th largest city in Georgia allowed for many opportunities to visit carnivals and fairs; eat the food on the midway, ride the scariest rides, play the games on display and witness features in the sideshows.

Of course, throughout the late 1950's, 1960's and early 1970's, things were a little different than they are today. Although many carnivals and fairs do have feature attractions, the sideshows of yesteryear are almost extinct. I watched, in awe and amazement, men bite off the head of a chicken, drive a nail up their nose, and put needles through their body and other gross forms of entertainment.

One form of entertainment was the girlie shows. Being too young to purchase a ticket, I did sneak in one night to witness some interesting adult entertainment. Other forms of entertainment with sideshows were the different acts, such as magic, a woman contortionist, a sword swallower, a fire eater and the act where a lady turns into a gorilla, bursts out of the cage and comes into the audience. When first seeing this one, as a young lad, I discovered the reasoning behind my mother always telling me to have an extra pair of underwear.

A form of entertainment on the midway that was most enjoyable for the challenge it presented the player were the games. Some games would give you a prize, although inexpensive and not much to look at, even if you did not accomplish a certain feat with the game (hanky pank games). Other games attempted were hard, and some lowered my self-esteem so much that I never graced that booth again.

Curiosity about the workings of the games and the skill needed to walk away with a grand prize intrigued me throughout the years. As fate would have it, all that was won were small prizes that you could trade up, provided you were successful a second and third time.

Group games, such as shooting water in a clown's head that enlarged a balloon until it burst, gave me somewhat of a thrill. Depending on my skill, which was pitted against others who were playing, I could sometimes win a prize. The only problem was the numbers of players were not that many, so the prize was always small.

Two games I remember, that lowered my self-esteem, were the Circle of Science (Spot the Spot) and Shoot out the Star. With the Circle of Science, you had to place five round discs on a red colored circle and hide all the red.

Time after time, I got close, but as the saying goes, no cigar. Although shooting out the star with a machine gun was enjoyable, it was basically impossible to achieve.

It's hard to recall how much money was actually lost to many of these games. The game operators were so nice and made me feel like they were my friends; I almost hated disappointing them by losing every time. After all, they showed me how to win by demonstrating, giving pointers to correct any mistakes made and a few practice tries to show you could win.

The problem came when I paid to play. Although winning many times in practice, I thought it odd that winning could not be accomplished when playing for real. The exact same technique used in practice was used in real play. It just didn't add up until years later when, as an adult, I learned that these same games, played in my youth, were known as fraudulent games.

As time passed, I continued to try my luck at certain games. And, as fate would have it, I was no better than in the previous years. The fact that these games may not be honest entered my mind. The problem was I had no knowledge how I was cheated if, in fact, that was the case.

Speaking with some law enforcement officers, who were working security at one carnival, they said they had a feeling the games were crooked, but they have been on the midway for years, so no one bothered the operators.

I could not accept this statement. Knowledge was needed to know exactly how these games worked and the method of cheating used. Not being a law enforcement officer at the time, there were no outlets to use in gaining this knowledge.

While studying magic, many principles used in deceptive practices were revealed. These were employed to get the trick or illusion across. With practice on each of these principles, I became better with the moves needed to fool the audience.

Deceptive methods used in magic were shown to be used in criminal activity as well. This began my research into con games.

As I already did Gospel magic (magic themed for use in bible teachings), this started me thinking about using magic in other areas and wanting to develop routines that would educate both youth and adults. The magic shows at various resorts in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York were just entertainment value, with no message or theme. I wanted to be unique with my act.

A friend of mine had me go to a sheriff's office and be interviewed by the sheriff for a job. I was hired on the department as a deputy sheriff and a member of law enforcement. Other things occupied my time, so looking into the deceptive methods used in carnival games was put on the back burner for a while.

Chapter 2

The Learning Process

After learning about my job, going to the academy and getting on the job experience, I decided to use my position to learn more about fraudulent activities. I discovered that many of the principles used in magic were the same that con artists used when they swindled a victim.

Thinking of some of the methods used in con games, I worked with several magic tricks to see if a themed routine would develop. That, along with routines on alcohol and drug use, home security routines, peer pressure, self-esteem, safety, incarceration themes and good citizenship made a prevention program that would not only educate, but entertain audiences as well.

During the five years of employment with the Sheriffs Office in New York, I was able to demonstrate the police magic routines around the state. I was on television, in magazines, newspapers and on the radio telling people about these routines and what messages they could ascertain from each. Numerous crime/drug prevention shows for alcohol and drug awareness, youth of different church parishes, summer camps and resorts around the region were presented.

I loved showing themed magic and tried to use it at every opportunity. Still, the desire to learn how to unlock the secrets of crooked carnival games permeated my mind. The county was large, so finding a carnival around the area was not a problem. Some were church sponsored; others were sponsored by groups or organizations, and some just set up shop anywhere they could.

Observing people working the games, it was pretty obvious that they cheated in order to maximize profits. One game I watched, but did not encounter until later in a training seminar, was the Swinger.

This game uses Newton's Third Law of Motion. That is, "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction". I witnessed people trying to swing the ball past the bowling pin and knock it over on the return swing. No one won during the time I watched. For whatever distance the ball missed the pin on the foreword swing, it missed that same distance on the return swing.

Other games featured were the Circle of Science, the milk bottle toss, the coin pitch, block games and a host of others no one won, unless they wanted you to walk away with a badge of honor.

In a magician's magazine ad, I saw an article where a man wanted info and items relating to con games. I thought this was interesting and wrote to him. He wrote back saying that he had most of what I told him. He gave me his phone number and I contacted him via landline. As he was also a law enforcement officer and a magician, I had found someone who was in line with my train of thought.

This was my first mentor in con games and carnival game fraud. Bruce Walstad was an investigator with the Franklin Park, Illinois, Police Department who was co-authoring a book on scams and carnival game fraud. We discussed many cons played on victims.

Soon afterward, my wife delivered twin daughters, nine weeks early. When the twins had their first birthday, I made plans to return to my native state of Georgia and work with a police department on the Georgia coast.

Before leaving New York State, several law enforcement agencies contacted me to train them in the use of magic in crime prevention. This was my first time giving training on this subject matter. I was surprised at how well it was received, after the two-day session, as I had never taught this before. Shortly thereafter, we left New York to head toward Georgia.

A year after being employed with the police department in Georgia, Bruce sent me a copy of the book he and his friend, Lindsay Smith, published. The name of the book is Sting Shift, The Street-Smart Cop's Handbook of Cons and Swindles. In it, various con games were revealed along with some crooked and gambling carnival games. This was my first introduction into carnival game fraud.

Although knowing Bruce for several years now, I never had the pleasure of meeting him in person. It was discovered he was instructing a class on crooked carnival games in Florida, so application was made and accepted. Most people get excited about going to Disneyland or Universal Studios.

This same feeling, knowing I was going to attend this seminar and see, first hand, some of the games on display and the method of cheating used, came over me. Reading about it is good, but applying that knowledge with hands on training has you coming away with a better understanding of the deceptive practices employed against a player.

I was not disappointed after the seminar was over. Bruce had enlightened me about many con games and crooked carnival games. Although I did understand some of the games at this point, there were still more out there that were ripping off people. Bruce and Lindsay came out with another book. The title of this book is Keeping Carnies Honest, A Police Officer's Field Guide to Carnival Game Inspections. Bruce sent me a copy, which was most helpful in furthering my education.

Bruce introduced me to his organization, Professionals Against Confidence Crime. They host an annual seminar each year with a variety of topics relating to fraudulent activities. I flew up to Illinois and attended my first training seminar from this group.

It was also a time that I had written and self published my first book, Police Magic, Using the Medium of Magic in Crime/Drug Prevention Presentations for Youth/ Adults. Bruce asked me to do a segment on using magic with con game themes. It was well received and I was pleased that many people bought a copy of my book during the seminar. I also had the opportunity to buy certain books of interest and meet others who did inspection of carnival games. Their stores were fascinating.

A month after the seminar, the local annual fair came to town. As the practice each year, I attended and made notes of games on the midway. Although a county officer, I still had jurisdiction in the city, where the fair was playing. I wanted to check the games and put to use the knowledge obtained from the past few years of research, study and seminars. However, I had only been with my department for four years and did not want to rock the boat, so to speak. And, what reasonable suspicion could be shown for wanting to do this?

Explaining how some of the games were questionable was not a problem, but without an incident occurring or a complaint filed, how could justification of going in and inspecting the games be shown? Well, it so happened that a complaint was made on one of the games. A local citizen lost $300.00 to a < a href="http://members.aol.com/policemagician/Carnivalgames/pointcoversion">Point Conversion Game. Although the patron did receive his money back (I have not heard if he got all or some of it back), no one arrested the game operator or lodged any charges relating to this incident. More on Point Conversion Games in a later chapter.

Hearing this was the catalyst needed for inspection of the games. I went to my captain first, explained the situation and my intentions. He liked it and made an appointment to discuss this with the chief. The chief liked it and told me to contact the president of the sponsoring organization. He liked it as well and invited me to speak at one of their luncheons to explain to the members what was heard and what was going to be done about it.

Some members told me that they thought all the games were crooked and some let it be known they were not in agreement with this operation, but it was going ahead as scheduled. I sent a letter to the owner of the carnival explaining what had occurred at the 1992 event and what our agencies intended to do about it. It was not well received by him. I asked to meet with him when his company arrived in a neighboring county so we could discuss which games would not be allowed in my jurisdiction.

The fair was several months away. This allowed time to research more games, get a team chosen to assist, provide for training and alert the media to our operation. It was also during this time that a national television news magazine did an expose' on the very carnival that serviced our area. It featured several games on the midway that were non-winnable, the owner, his son, their game manager, and a former carny hired to assist the news crew. No one questioned this operation now.

Chapter 3

My First Inspection

I requested that our local Vice/Drug Squad assist in this operation and sent a letter to the owner of the carnival with some stipulations of conduct expected from the game operators while visiting our area.

Attending a five-day seminar in Florida that Bruce Walstad was conducting allowed me to see other crooked carnival games in more detail. I arranged for Bruce to travel back home with me, after the seminar, and put on a class for the 19 officers and agents (which included state agents) who were going to be part of this operation.

Some members of the sponsoring organization attended and learned the reasons we needed this operation. Bruce had many games on display that were played and shown how they were gaffed (rigged to cheat you).

The local news media was there to observe the class and make it known what we were going to do. Having members of the sponsoring organization attend showed a spirit of cooperation with this operation. The story came out in the paper the following Monday. Several citizens, who were pleased we were going to inspect the games, contacted me and related horror stories about playing some of these games.

Since this was going to be our first inspection, I wanted it done right. Documentation was made of procedures involved in this operation, which would be included in the final game inspection report. I asked an assistant district attorney (now the D.A.) to go with us during the inspection so he could answer any legal questions the carnival company, or the team, had about the games.

A week prior to the opening of our fair, I traveled to a neighboring county to meet with the carnival owner, walk his midway and discuss which games were not wanted in our county. Two of our local sponsoring organization members and one of our multi-jurisdictional agents accompanied me. We were met with resistance upon our arrival.

After stating my intentions to the members of that sponsoring groups organization and law enforcement officers, they told us that the owner of the carnival alerted them that our advent to this event would be with the state police, state investigation agency and SWAT teams to bust the games. It was now clear as to the reason we encountered resistance in this neighboring county on arrival.

Although quite upset with the carnival owner's tactic, I collected myself and was professional during the time spent with him. Again he stated that he did not like our meddling in his operation. He was told it would not have occurred if one of his game operators had not tried to swindle one of our citizens.

We walked the midway, notes were made of several games that were not wanted in our county, and modifications were discussed for those that would be brought in. One game, played a couple of different ways, which has chance as the final outcome, was shown to us. This was the Crazy Ball game. A player wagers on a color or number they feel will come up a winner. A multi-colored, multi-sided cube or ball is tossed into the play area. Whichever color or number comes up is the winner.

This game used a ball tossed into the play area that had a wheel, with numbers around it, spinning. He tried to pass this off as a skill game. I asked him whose skill he was referring too. It was pointed out that other players, who are not allowed to toss the ball, have no skill involved and the final outcome is by chance alone, which makes it gambling. I said that if he did not believe me, he could try to convince our district attorney, who would be with us during the inspection, when he comes to our area.

The Duck Pond game would be shut down. The ducks had hidden designators on the bottom showing which prize would be won. He was told it took no skill to pick up a plastic duck. What was won was by chance using hidden designators not skill, therefore making it a gambling game. Although butting heads on this, he came around to seeing it our way.

We went to different games, had the operator demonstrate, from the point of the player, and tried it ourselves. While shooting out the star, the owner told the others that I was showing them how it was to be done by cutting around the star instead of shooting into it.

Needless to say, the game operator could push some of the red star back up, making it a loser. After completion, our two sponsoring members had their meeting with the owner while the agent and I walked the midway once again.

The day of inspection arrived. The excitement was already building. Like a kid on Christmas morning, I could not wait to unwrap (open the tents and trailers) the surprises that lay ahead. When time came for us to start, the owner called a meeting of all carnival personnel prior to our inspection. He told them about the operator last year that ripped off one of our citizens.

He also told them to assist us when we came around to their booth by demonstrating the game and working with us on any modifications needed for it to open. His speech gave me ideas for other items to be included in the guidelines for game owners/operators.

After the "Church Call", the owner went around with us to the games. Noticing the Duck Pond game open inquiry was made. He wanted to know if there was a way to open it. Turning it into a skill game like Catch the Can would allow it to open. It was closed.

During our inspection, darts, bottles, balls and other game components were weighed, measurements taken for distance from target to player, game components checked to see if they were altered in anyway, modifications made where it was needed and info on the game owner and game recorded.


weighted darts

Each game was videotaped during inspection and pictures taken of each booth. Rules were checked and each game owner was given a guideline sheet for conduct expected while in our area and when the game was operational. Some games were shut down, as there were no modifications that could make it within legal limits. Prize conversion info was posted for patrons to know which prizes they could win and the amount of successful plays and trade ups it would take to get to the big one.

Once again, the owner said he did not like our doing this. He even went so far as to say that he had a certain number of other engagements and didn't need this hassle. It wasn't until the next year that we found out he was serious.

During the run of the fair, compliance checks were made on a daily basis. Some balloon game operators had to be reminded to take down under-inflated balloons and put up fully-inflated balloons. You will see why in a later chapter.

Although not too pleased after the event, a strong message was sent. After completing the game inspection report and disseminating copies to the city and county police chiefs, the assistant district attorney and the officers/agents involved in this operation, a nice letter was sent to the carnival owner complimenting him on the number of kiddy rides and other features he had. I disliked doing this.

Shortly after the New Year, it was learned that the owner said he would not honor the last two years on his contract. He acquired another carnival company to take his place. Now, we would have to break in a new carnival company. It felt like the process was starting all over again. How would they receive this operation? The former carnival owner did give the new carnival owner my papers, so they knew what was expected when they came to town.

Chapter 4

Breaking in a New Carnival Company

And Other Inspections

During summer of 1994, the game manager for the new carnival company contacted me. He said that he had received all the papers from the former carnival owner and wanted to discuss the games. He was told that I had worked with the other carnival owner on a certain set of rules and would want the new carnival company to abide by them as well. He was informed about these rules and understood.

Over the phone, the game manager told me that he knew the former carnival company was crooked and had problems in many venues. He said his was a good company that would work with me on the set up of the games. He referred to a letter I sent the owner of the former company. I told the manager that I had a few more stipulations to add to the list already in his possession. This was due to the fact that I had not been aware of other tactics used and wanted to cover all bases.

I attended more training on carnival games, revised my guideline list for carnival owners and operators, and added more games to my list that would be closed, modified or allowed to remain open as is. Preparations were made for the new company coming in. There should be no problems with this new company since the game manager already knows what is expected from them.

The new company arrived in the fall of the same year, and I met with the owners and game manager. As done the year before, pre-inspection prior to the opening of the carnival was implemented. Since the midway was closed to the public, our inspection would not interfere with patrons. Some games were modified and some were shut down.

I told the game manager that there would be no argument about the games. If no type of modifications could be made and it was recommended a game be closed, if it opened without permission and fraud was detected, the game would be closed, confiscated and the game operator arrested.

This sufficed for many operators. There was very little or no problems with modifications, closings and cheating during the first year they were here. In fact, many loved this new company. More prizes were given away, the carnies were neater in appearance, the rides were great and the games were on the up and up.

This company has been with our area for several years now and has worked with me during our inspections. Somehow, I get the feeling that they do not trust me. After the third year, I turned this operation over to a city officer who was interested in this field. He received copies of all my papers with the research done on this company, prior inspection reports, problems encountered while the fair was open and the carnival hierarchy for this company.

I wanted to let the games open without pre-inspection so we could catch fraud and make arrests. However, this officer was given his chance to obtain experience with inspections. I went with him to assist in inspections with this company and other carnival companies that came to town. He did inspections until 2002 when he left the city to join another law enforcement agency.

Prior to his leaving, I told this officer and his captain that we have inspected this company, who had the contract for the fair, for several years, so they knew what was expected. I wanted to let them open the games without any inspection. Our team would go in and look over the games displayed, make notes which games were questionable, mark their location on the lot, set up the team to hit them all at once and bust them.

This way, no one would be able to pack up and leave. The problem with this was two-fold. One, it may cause hard feelings between the sponsoring organization and local law enforcement, and, two; we did not have enough trained officers to do the raids. Those who were first trained years ago were not available to assist with this.

Other carnival companies came to town in the various parking lots of the strip malls in our area. Each was greeted and inspected. All knew what was expected by the end of the inspection. Only a few gave problems. These were resolved when they were told that if we detected fraudulent activities, or gambling, the game would be closed, confiscated and the operator arrested.

Our old friends from the first carnival company came back to a parking lot near the site of the fair grounds. They also did this close to the opening of the annual fair. I assisted with inspection again. We dealt with the owner's son rather than the owner this time. He was a little better to work with.

A few years later, we would meet once again in another state. I had been contracted to teach a two-day course on carnival game fraud at a military base and assist the third day with inspection of the games. I found out the company was the same one our officers had first inspected and told the special agents my experience with them.

It was told to me that when the carnival owner found out I was on base instructing this subject matter he became upset and complained to the General. Attendees were shown the video of the television news magazines expose' on this company as well as slides of my inspections, overheads, lecture and actual games on display.

The day of inspection we met with the owner. He told the special agents he did not think I was fair in my inspections. I said what he thinks is fair and what I think is fair are two different opinions. He also wanted to know who attended the seminar. I told him that could not be divulged as that information was classified.

His assistant took videotape of us inspecting the games. I told the agent in charge that I was out of my jurisdiction and could only consult. What they wanted to do was their decision regarding which games would stay and which would be thrown out. There were a couple of games that I would have shut down, but they had the personnel to monitor them. And, the personnel had attended the course, so they had an idea of the problems associated with the games.

With the change in administration within our department, due to the retirement of the former chief, and the changes in personnel, it was back to square one on game inspection. I had to obtain permission from the new chief and the new assistant chief now. Although I did not see a problem getting permission, time is a factor.

I do not see overtime being paid to inspect carnival games. Nor do I see comp time being given. One reason is many do not look at carnival game inspection as a priority for the department. This could be a dilemma, not only for me, but for the readers as well. After all, the Fair Labor Standards Act says you are supposed to be compensated for any work you do.

Unless told to do otherwise, always keep your chief or sheriff informed on the process of game inspection. If the news media wants to interview them, and they do not know what steps you have taken, it could make them look bad and hurt, not only this operation, but your career as well. My chief knew every step via my captain, whom I reported to at the time.

Now that you have read a little of my experiences with this, let's take a step into other chapters for a process I have used in this operation. Games encountered, thoughts on opening them, any modifications made to them or closing them down will be addressed. Games will be classified and categorized and a guideline list I developed some years ago that explains conduct expected and consequences of violations will be shown.

Chapter 5

Agenda Prior to Inspection

As mentioned earlier, have more than a basic knowledge of the games; how they work, the gaffs used, classification of each, etc. If you don't understand the workings of a game, and allow it in, it is too late to do anything about it should you find it is crooked or gambling after the fact. After all, how can you arrest someone when you gave him or her permission to open it? This could injure your credibility as well as your employment.

It would be correct to say that you did not become a law enforcement officer just to inspect carnival games. This is one area of law enforcement that is a specialized field and takes training. You normally move into some new field with the proper training beforehand.

As you read, before doing inspections, find some training sites where this subject matter is taught and attend the courses. Speak with others who have had experience doing this. Research and study different books on this topic. You will see that there is more than one way to do inspections. You will learn that attending seminars with different instructors who teach this subject matter.

Your state may already have laws on the books regarding these games. Check with your local prosecutor about any laws pertaining to these games and any info on inspection of each. I strongly suggest that you follow your state's codes on this so that you do not violate law or civil rights. Some state agencies already have investigators inspecting games.

Now, how are you going to ask for permission to do this? What reasonable suspicion do you have for wanting to engage this assignment? What information do you have about the carnival company who services your area? Do you have documentation of prior problems on the midway?

Had information of that incident where the man lost $300.00 to a point conversion game not been revealed, inspection of the games may never have taken place. To be fair to all, I did understand that the dishonest game operator was an independent contractor and not part of the outfit in charge.

Still, I think a good businessman or woman would know the reputation of an individual before they are hired on. The excuse that they did not know he or she was shady or the excuse that the owner or his designee is always on the lot to take care of any problems is not accepted. I have heard this before and, when things have happened, they say that they cannot be everywhere all the time. Does contradiction in statements come to mind?

Even after a few seminars and studying books, I still felt somewhat uneasy. The unknown is scary. Nowadays, I can inspect games and not think twice about it. Experience is the best practice there is. I made sure that I had assistance with this project, especially when doing it the very first time. Nowadays, I am lucky if I get one officer to assist. The reality is most inspections conducted have been solo. I do not like this way, but I cannot force others to engage in this. They should want to assist in this endeavor and not feel made to do it.

It is important to pick a credible team. When assembling a team, I made sure each knows which job they will do. I have one person recording the information on the game inspection sheet, one to take pictures and/or videotape the inspection, and one other to assist me with inspection. Also were undercover officers who kept an eye on things.

These techniques were taught to me by Bruce Walstad years ago and are a good way to inspect and keep a close eye on things. Sometimes there are only two of us, three, if I am lucky. Remember what was stated before; you, like me, may have to go solo on this.

Should you find some people who have the same interests as you, make sure they get the proper training. All they need is a basic knowledge of the games. You will need the advanced knowledge, as you will be the one to talk with the carnival personnel. One item I always take care of, at the beginning of each inspection, is to make sure that the game owner/manager talks with me and no one else. If you have a person with very little knowledge, and they say something to the owner or manager, it will be etched in stone.

An incident happened to a friend of mine some time ago. While inspecting, he encountered a two-way game, which can be played honest or crooked. The experienced officer had an inexperienced officer with him, who was his senior in rank. The game owner talked with the inexperienced officer about the game and was given permission to open, even over the objections of the experienced officer. Prior to the inexperienced officer's bad judgment, we never allowed this game in, no matter how much they pled and begged.

This, along with officers coming along behind you and showing their authority, could cause changes to the game you would not want. It is imperative that no other officers make any changes to the games after inspection. This happened once in another jurisdiction where I assisted with inspection. The officer who did this undermined the operation and allowed the game to be set up crooked.

Corrections were made and this officer was severely reprimanded for his actions. Again, inexperienced officer's screwed up our mandates already known to the carnies. You can't blame the carnies if another authority tells them different from what you told them. They are just following orders, albeit confusing for them.

There is a game inspection worksheet that is very useful. It can be found in Bruce Walstad and Lindsay Smith's book, Keeping Carnies Honest, or you can use a supplemental sheet for notes. If creating one yourself, make sure to include all info needed in case you go to court. Keeping Carnies Honest also has a list of tools that are useful. I have included a compass to check radiuses and a plumb tool to check angles. I sometimes use my traffic template for measurements, instead of using a ruler.

As mentioned, I developed a list of guidelines for the conduct expected of carnival personnel and consequences of violations. An example of it is in the next chapter. I also have classifications with their definitions of the various games. Games will fall under one, maybe more, depending on how they can be altered.

To summarize, have the following list checked off and documented when it is completed:

  1. Game operators will not be under the influence of any drugs, including alcohol or prescription medication that impairs judgment, when working a game.
  2. Rules for the game are to be posted on a permanent background, not handwritten on paper, cardboard or slates. The sign will be posted in an area free of obstructions and accessible for a player to read. The rules should state how the game works, how to play the game, the cost of the game, the degree of difficulty as well as any information pertaining to foul lines and actions of the player. What constitutes a win should be shown.
  3. Prizes will be displayed in the view of players, showing the amount of plays and wins needed to obtain the prize. Trade ups are allowed provided information is shown, in writing, as to the formula for trade ups. No prize will be hidden from the view of the player, set up to block, interfere or diminish a player's opportunity for a successful completion. Winning is dependent on the skill of the player.
  4. Game operators will demonstrate the game, from the point of the player, when asked by patrons or law enforcement officials. The same game components that a player uses will be used during the demonstration. The same set of rules posted will apply to the demonstration of the operator. If, after reasonable attempts, the operator is unsuccessful in winning, the game will be declared unfit to play and shut down. If the game is a known gambling or fraudulent game, it will be confiscated and a case made against the owner/operator.
  5. No credit play will be issued to a player. Money to play will be given, up front by the player, prior to the start of play. If change is due the player, it will be given prior to the start of play.
  6. Game operators will not give the player alibis during or after play. Game operators will show, during the first demonstration, how the game is played.
  7. Should a game need modifications for it to open, the inspector will state any modifications verbally, write them down and give the owner a copy. Modifications will be made before a game is allowed to open. Re-inspections will occur after modifications are made. Any changes, other than the stated modifications, made to a game will cause the game to be closed. Should those changes constitute criminal intent, fraudulent or gambling means, the game will be confiscated and a case made.
  8. Game owners and operators will allow law enforcement access to the games upon request.
  9. Only skill games will be allowed, to include those listed in the "group" classification.
  10. Game owners and operators will not communicate, either verbally or through written means, that law enforcement sanctions or approves the game.

    Feel free to use any or all of the above listed guidelines.

    Consult with your local prosecutor on this first.

    MODIFICATION(S) NEEDED FOR GAME TO OPEN

    The following are modifications needed before play can start with your game. Failure to adhere to this will result in your game being closed and possible charges lodged against you if changes, other than specified in the modification list, are made.

    At this point, write the owners name, the name of the game, and time of inspection, date of inspection, inspectors present, and the modifications needed for the game to open. Make sure the owner has an exact copy of what you have so no argument about the changes can be made.

    Before leaving, make sure all questions are asked and answered. Remember, what you have said or done is etched in stone with them. Any changes afterward may be difficult. Have videotape of this before and after for your records.

    CLASSIFICATION OF GAMES

    The following is a list of different classifications for the various games. Some information on the list was obtained through lectures and seminars conducted by Bruce Walstad, Professionals Against Confidence Crime, Street-Smart Communications books and other material used in my research.

    FLAT: This is the worst game on the midway. The elite of the grifters use games in this classification. The games are non-winnable during real play. The Swinger is an example of this type game and there are many more out there.

    CHANCE: Also known as Gambling, the final outcome of the game is determined by chance alone, not skill. Wheel games and any other game where a bet is placed can be considered chance. Even if one player uses skill, if the other players do not take part, where is their skill involved?

    TWO-WAY: This is a skill game that is changed into a flat game. Altered game components and other means are used to cheat the player. Knocking over the bottles is an example. The bottles may be of preferred weight when inspected, but could be changed to have heavier bottles after you leave.

    SKILL: This is the only game allowed. The final outcome of the game is determined by the skill of the player. This classification should also be in the Group Games as well. Shooting baskets, knocking down cats on a tier, etc. are some prime examples of skill used, as long as the game is not altered to make the player lose.

    PERCENTAGE: Although it is basically gambling, it depends on a large volume of players for the owner to get a certain percentage of the payoff. An example would be the Bulldozer game, where tokens or quarters are used.

    GROUP: The player competes against other players, not the game. An example would be a water race game. The size of the prize won depends on the number of players involved. Skill is a factor in these games. Other group type games, such as Crazy Ball, consist of chance, not skill, which determines outcome.

    HANKY-PANK: A favorite of children, this offers a prize every time, depends on a large volume of players and gives a good profit to the owner. An example would be a duck pond game (which is gambling) or a dart game (which is skill) that offers children something each time, no matter if they win or lose. A sign stating that a prize is given every time should be displayed on these games.

    ALIBI: This is where the operator offers excuses as reasons a player does not win. The player, thinking corrections made will enhance their chance of winning, will continue to pay and play. Any game can be considered an alibi game. An example that Bruce Walstad mentioned was telling the player that they crossed the foul line or something as ridiculous as telling them that they did not hold their tongue the correct way when playing.

    One other item I need to mention is the midway itself. Although the carnival company is in your jurisdiction, when you are out on the midway, you are in their world. The midway, and surrounding areas where the employees rest, is like a little city. They do look out for each other, so if you are snooping around, someone asking what you are doing will approach you. I had this happen when I went back into the rest area, where trailers and tents were set up for the carnies.

    Although I was looking for someone, I was told that I should not be back there. I told the carnie that I was a police officer, this was my jurisdiction, and I could go anywhere I wanted as long as I did not violate anyone's rights. I did ask the location of the individual I was searching for. Until it was known that I was not there to arrest him, information on his location was not easily obtainable.

    You will quickly learn some carnival personnel do not like law enforcement personnel. This may be due to a bad experience they had with some cops, the fact that they may be wanted in other states or they have been trained not to trust anyone in law enforcement.

    I found carnies that did show respect to officers were looked down upon by their peers. This may be due to the fact that they feel information is being passed to us about someone who has a warrant out on them, dirty dealings going on inside the area, or other information we could use to arrest or make trouble for another carnie.

    Having met and dealt with both honest and dishonest personnel within the carnival industry, the honest game owner does not have a problem with inspection. Some of the dishonest game owners may have a problem. Some will express their concerns while others will try to make you feel that they are your best friend. These you have to be concerned with as they may engage in tactics that could compromise your standing and the operation.

    How do they do this? Offering you free sodas, free tickets for you and your kids, or they may want to give you some prizes to donate to your choice of charities. Acceptance of these items could compromise the operation and your standing.

    I learned this in the academy. Think how it is if you are eating in a restaurant and the manager offers you half price or gives you the meal for free. They do not do this because they like you; they do it because, while you are there, they feel safe and protected and hope you will frequent their establishment often. With me, I leave a tip comparable to the full amount so I don't feel indebted to anyone.

    If you accept their offer, it may be uncomfortable if arresting the manager. I am sure you will be reminded of all the considerations given you while at his or her restaurant. It is no different while on the midway. Carnival personnel may want to buy you off with trinkets of their trade. Police ethics is involved here.

    Also, think about your being hired to work security at the fair. Who pays for this: your department, the sponsoring organization, or the carnival owner? If the last, you may be given certain rules while on the midway. When problems do arise, the owner or designee will intercede to look out for the interests of the business.

    I have spoken with law enforcement officers who worked security on the midway. The owners would give ride tickets for their kids, free food and drink for them and some prizes for their children. They were told to contact the owner or manager if there was a problem on the midway and let the owner/manager handle it. This way, control was with the carnival, not the police.

    How can you make an arrest if the owner is paying your salary? You might advise them you will do your job (make arrests, etc.), regardless of who pays you. Whatever your departmental policies regarding off duty employment, remain true to them or you could jeopardize your career.

    Taking a gift, on or off duty, while employed by the carnival owner, sponsoring organization or your department, could be considered a bribe, which makes you breach your oath of office as a law enforcement officer.

    You may have problems with your own peers who were hired by the carnival owner to work security. If a problem arises, they may try to sway your decision. This is not uncommon practice. People ask officers they know if they can help them have a ticket changed to a warning so they will not have to pay a fine and have points accessed on their drivers license.

    Your peers, hired by the carnival owner, may develop the "Stockholm Syndrome" symptom. That means they will side with the carnival owner rather than doing what they know is right. I have seen this a few times when asked to go easy on a game or let it in if it was considered a "gray area".

    Last, but not least, is local politics. I have encountered this a few times when trying to rid the midway of a game or making changes that were not popular. Since law enforcement is governed by politics, it is best to know your limitations and what you can or cannot do. As Bruce Walstad said, it can be an unwise career move for the officers who do not conform to the wishes of their departments CEO.

    The following chapters will show games encountered on the midway, already set up or wanting to be set up. Four of the games mentioned were encountered during training seminars and not on the midway in a law enforcement capacity. These are the Can Smash, Swinger, Over the Rail, and Scissors Bucket, aka Chinese Basketball. Two of these games are in my collection.

    My twin daughters have used some of these games, in their science fair projects, to show the laws of physics and other principles of science and magic used for deception. They placed in the top three each year. I have also shown these principles to students and science educators from around the state of Georgia at conventions. I was told that my segment was the most entertaining and educational class during the convention. That was my whole objective to begin with.

    Chapter 7

    Gambling/Chance Games

    Please note that this is not all-inclusive of the gambling games found on midways across the nation. These are some, but not all, I have encountered during inspections in my jurisdiction and other venues. Remember that any game that has chance as the determining factor in the outcome is a game of chance and is considered, by law, Gambling.

    Included in this classification are the hidden designators. These can be tags behind balloons, numbers or letters in cups, on the bottom of plastic ducks and in other games. The hidden designator determines the prize won, by some sort of skill or by chance. You may see prizes having markers on them showing which number is needed to win that prize.

    While encountering the bumper car game, (where the player rolls the car and it hits the end, bounces back and comes to rest on a certain number) the prize won was determined by that number. Again, no skill involved and a designator determines the prize won. Other games use a letter, showing small, medium or large as the size prize that will be awarded the winner.

    To CYA (cover your ass), check with your local prosecutor on the laws relating to these type games. In some areas they may be allowed under certain conditions; like at an agricultural fair or by popularity polls.

    On a personal note, I am not against gambling. I invest in the South's 401K (Redneck Retirement). Of course, winning is not a consideration for me; I only play the games to support education in my state. As much as I have expended on tickets, and the low return over the years, my daughters should go to Harvard or Yale; paid in full by the Georgia Lottery Commissions Hope Scholarship. Alas, this scholarship is only valid for students in Georgia. The University of Georgia, perhaps? "Go Dawgs!"

    Chance games are some of the easiest to recognize, unless the game has been altered into a FLAT classification. I witnessed this with some wheel games that Bruce Walstad has for training purposes. On one wheel game, there is a hidden button, covered by cloth, which the operator presses to make the arrow skip over certain pegs around the wheel. Controlling the game like this makes it fraudulent instead of gambling.

    You should have no problems with these games if they are shut down. Should, for any reason, these games be allowed to open, check them for devices that control the outcome. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to discover these controls. The games I have investigated were not that high tech for this redneck.

    WHEEL GAMES

    There are many different styles with this game. Some use the regular numbers around the wheel while some others have used different identifiers, such as months in a year, colors, and names of television shows, famous actors and various products such as soap or bath oil beads. The last had these as prizes. I thought this was a good way to advertise for certain companies, but I had to shut them down as they did not fall under skill type games. One type of Crazy Ball game uses a spinning wheel.

    THE DUCK POND GAME

    Although wheel games are commonly known to be gambling devices, other games on the midway may not be easily recognizable. The Duck Pond game is one of these. I never really looked at the Duck Pond game as being a chance/gambling game until hearing a game operator shout Try your luck, pick a lucky duck. I thought to myself, "Luck" is associated with the quote The luck of the draw, which means what you win is by chance, not skill.

    Hmmm, better take a closer look at this game. Further research revealed that some games, such as this, would not even give a player a chance at a good prize. Ducks with designators for a large prize were held back or not in the tank at all. With games set up this way, I thought of a third verse game operators could include after the first two; Try your luck, pick a lucky duck, get yourself f….d!

    I had the opportunity to speak with an owner of a Duck Pond game. After encountering some resistance about closing it down, it was suggested he turn it into a Retail Store where the player bought the prize. He told me that he was an independent agent who was hired on by the carnival company to fill in spaces for games. I asked him what the problem was with the modification.

    Expecting the usual excuses given for this game, such as giving a prize every time, being a favorite of children and being on the midway for years, he surprised me by saying that, on a good day, he could bring in close to, or over, two thousand dollars. Seeing the number of people crowded around these games with their children at past events made me think he was telling the truth.

    He said that some of that income went to pay for his space on the grounds. Although he would not divulge the cost of his space, I thought to myself, two thousand a day with a five day run is ten thousand dollars. Multiply that by 50 weeks and he stands to make half a million dollars. Even with payments to a carnival owner and taxes (if any are reported), he still makes a good living.

    Although devotion to duty does keep me honest, I seriously thought about investing in one of these games.

    I would suggest the following regarding changes made. To run as a retail store have the ducks use the letter "C" on the bottom. This stands for "Choice", which means patrons can choose which prize they want. There is no luck of the draw this way.

    RING THE BOTTLE GAME

    This is another game you may find on many midways. Those I walked over the years always had at least one of these games. Whether it is a favorite with people is beyond me, but there were crowds around it at times. Inside the square are crates full of soda bottles. A player tosses small, hard plastic rings at the bottles. If a bottle is rung, they win.

    What makes this chance is the way it is played. An owner demonstrated his game. He tossed a few rings at the bottles but did not ring any. I knew the odds against getting a ringer were astronomical so I had him toss as many as needed in order to ring a bottle.

    Prior to his start of play, I asked which bottle he was going to aim for. He said that was not the way it was played. He was informed that throwing at any bottle; even ringing another one on a ricochet is considered chance, not skill. He attempted to throw rings, one at a time, at the bottles. Others he threw all at once.

    I estimated almost 300 rings thrown. None had rung the neck on any of the bottles. Since the rules state that any bottle rung is a winner, and they do not have patrons choosing a certain bottle to toss the rings to, I shut this game down as it fell under the chance/gambling classification.

    THE FLOAT PITCH GAME

    This game is similar to the above listed game, except the patron tosses ping pong balls into dishes or ashtrays that are floating around a baby pool. The dishes/ashtrays are different colors. Depending on which one receives and keeps a ball in it decides what type prize is won.

    While doing an inspection with another agency, I came across this type of game. Although suggesting having it shut down, the consensus was to allow it to open. They asked if there was any way to modify it so it could stay open. Problems with this game were explained.

    Since it is outdoors, you have wind variables to factor in. When the ping-pong ball strikes inside of the dish, it bounces out. If it does stay in a dish, it will be one from a ricochet shot and not the one the patron aimed for in the beginning, similar to that of the Ring the Bottle Game. I had the operators put water in the dishes to cushion the ball.

    Setting up the game this way did give the player a better opportunity for winning, but the rules had to be changed or the booth would lose every prize it had. They could use three in the same dish, or three in a row. Personally, I suggest this game being shut down, but you have been shown one way to modify if pressure is put on you to keep it open.

    DART GAMES

    Some of the games on the midways use tags hidden behind the balloons. When a balloon is broken, the operator will take the tag down, turn it over and show you the size prize won. In this game, what is won is by chance, not skill, since the player has no control over which prize they win.

    One problem that can occur with tags is the operators switching it for a smaller prize should the player actually win a large or medium. Another problem you may encounter is a board with under-inflated balloons or darts in bad shape. More on this in another chapter. I recommend taking down the tags and having the rules changed to have the player break three in a row or something similar, which denotes skill.

    SHOOTING GALLERY

    Plastic cups are on a tier with hidden designators inside the cup. Player uses a cork gun to shoot the cup off the tier and into a trough below it. Again, what is won is by chance, not skill, since you have no say in the selection of the prize.

    Although listed under chance, this can also be turned into a fraudulent game if the operator switches cups with a smaller hidden designator inside which gives you a smaller prize, if in fact you had knocked a cup down with a large or medium designator in it.

    You can modify this game to make it skill by having the player knock down two or three cups in a row or something similar. Disregard the hidden designators and let the player choose a prize. Some may use the trade up formula, which is all right with me.

    RAT/MOUSE GAME

    My sister played this game many years ago. She put her wager on a square having a certain number on it. When all the players had placed their bets, the operator released a rat or mouse into the circle. Inside the circle were holes with matching numbers. Whichever numbered hole the animal went into was declared the winner. Played like this, it is pure chance. However, it is said that the animal can be controlled. More on this in another chapter.

    BULLDOZER/TOWN CLOWN

    This is a game that has been on our midway for many years. Popular polls allow it, I don't. This game gives little return to the patron. A slot is used to slide a token down onto a playing field that has more tokens on it. A slide, usually in the form of clown shoes or a bulldozer pushes the tokens toward the edge. Those falling in front of you are your winnings.

    Some are pushed into side spills as the path of least resistance causes tokens to expand out sideways instead of going forward. The edged lip of the play field is beveled. Tokens teeter on the edge for an eternity before falling off. Some tokens have prizes placed on top of it that hinders them from getting over the edge. I don't care for this game either.

    COIN PLATE PITCH

    Many people love this type game. A player tosses a quarter toward a plate with hopes that it will stay on the plate. I watched this game for almost thirty minutes before someone actually did win. If you look at the set up of the plates, some will show being in a row. I classify this chance because I feel skill is not a factor with winning.

    Many times I have witnessed people trying for a particular plate, only to have the coin travel to another one, and then onto the ground. This is your call. If you do want the game to open, make sure the prizes are high enough so the player can toss the coin in a high arc. Some prizes have been hung so low that it prevents the player from getting the right arc. If you want to win, you could use wax or spit on the coin. However, that is cheating and you will be disqualified when discovered.

    FOOL THE GUESSER

    Although more of an attraction than a game, the player pays a couple of bucks for the guesser to divine his or her weight, birth month and age within a set limit. No skill is involved with this as far as I am concerned. If the guesser wins, he keeps your money and you walk away with nothing. If he loses, you get some prize worth a half a buck or less and the guesser keeps your money.

    Either way the guesser wins. I do know a magic device that can be used to cheat on this game as I have one I use for mind reading acts. I won't divulge what it is, but it cannot be detected unless you know what to look for. As far as I am concerned, I allow them in since people do enjoy this and popular poll says to keep them.

    There are several more games in this classification. Some have you thinking that skill is the determining factor when, in fact, chance determines the outcome. Look at each game and see if this is the case. If so, and you are not hindered with the inspection procedures, shut them down. Remember that popular poll can override you on some of these games, as has been the case in a few inspections I have conducted.

    The next few chapters will deal with some games that are crooked. I will categorize each so you will have a better idea of which they are. Also know that some of these can go under different names. If you do encounter some of these games, make sure videotape is used to record the inspection procedure.

    Chapter 8

    Fraudulent Games Introduction

    As mentioned, the next few chapters will show some fraudulent games I came across on the midways. Four games mentioned have been tried and tested in seminars and two of these games are in my personal collection.

    While researching fraudulent games, I also had the opportunity to come across some interesting trivia. Many will look at certain quotes as being attributed to certain people. There are some inaccuracies with a few. One of which is a quote many attribute to P.T. Barnum.

    Although Barnum may have looked at society in this manner, he did not say There's a sucker born every minute, but, he is associated with this saying as it came out of a court case where Barnum made a false claim and was sued. The case fell through as the judge said you couldn't claim fraud with something that is already fraudulent. For more on this, consult information on The Cardiff Giant.

    Another man who still lives on today in books, newspapers, television and museums is Robert L. Ripley. You may know his name from the acclaimed show Ripley's Believe it or Not! Unlike Barnum, Ripley never said his stories were true or false. He challenged you to decide that answer.

    Some people have called Ripley an honest charlatan. Although an oxymoron, I would assume this title when someone asked me, in my capacity as a magician, if I cheated people when doing magic shows. I would tell them that I do cheat people while doing magic.

    If I didn't, the effect of the trick or illusion would not come across. In a sense, I swindle them, lie to them and basically cheat them. There is one difference however. They know that what I am doing is for entertainment and/or educational purposes and not used to profit from criminal acts. So, yes, I do cheat people, although it is in an honest way. Hmmm, I cheat people honestly? Does that mean that I honestly cheat people? You decide? Believe it or Not!

    Some other quotes you may have heard mention fraud. Here are some of my favorite and definitions for each: