“THE MAN WITH THE SQUEAKY VOICE”

CANADA BILL JONES

— FLEECING THE WEALTHY — “Suckers have no business with money, anyhow,” said Canada Bill Jones, one of the most capable card sharps in history. 

Born in Yorkshire, England, in the early 1800s, Jones immigrated to Canada when he was about twenty.

In Canada, he mastered three-card monte, which is more of a scam or swindle than a game.

After several years of fleecing suckers in Canada, he […]

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“THE REAL MC COY”

CATTLE BARON

— CATTLE BARON OF ABILENE — An oversupply of Longhorn cattle drove prices to rock bottom in the 1860s. But businessman Joseph McCoy figured a way to help Texas ranchers send their herds East to satisfy a big demand for beef.

Following the Civil War, cattle prices on the frontier dropped to between three- and four dollars a head. Chicago buyers, on the other hand, were paying $30 to $40 […]

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“THE DECEIVERS”

SWINDLERS AND SOUNDCRELS

— TRY YOUR LUCK, DOUBLE YOUR MONEY — Time proved the best ally of con men who roamed the wide open spaces of the Old West ready to spin their creative schemes on all gullible segments of society.

The families who traveled west usually made the rough journey of four to six months with all their possessions plus an average of about $1,000 in cash—considered a sizable amount […]

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“A CHANCE AT THE BIG TIME”

OUTLAW SAM BASS

— THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY — In the early fall of 1877, six masked gunmen broke into the office of Big Springs, Nebraska, station agent John Barnhart. After destroying the telegraph, they forced him to hang out a red lantern to flag down the eastbound Union Pacific express passenger train from San Francisco.

For Sam Bass and his Black Hills Bandits, this marked the first step into big time crime.

The gang’s previous […]

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