Getting taken twice by Soapy Smith

From Jeff Smith:
“Some of my favorite stories involving Soapy and his Tivoli Club in Denver are the times he was able to swindle the same dupes twice. A good confidence man can take any victim once, but only a great one can take the same victim twice on the same day. Think of the smooth intellect needed to fool a man twice.

“You need to know that I don’t condone or admire crime. However, anyone who studies Soapy for the shortest amount of time ends up admiring his methods, much the same way a police detective might admire an intelligent crook. My website has a saying I changed around to meet my needs. “He left his mark on history, so we won’t become one.”

“My book has two such examples in which victims were lured back into the Tivoli Club after having gone to the police and complained about the first case. In the example below the victim did enter the den a second time but was able to escape before he was taken again…so he says.”


“Twice inveigled into a Gambling Den on Seventeenth Street. The latest hold-up on Seventeenth street is reported from the gambling rooms over the Tivoli saloon, Seventeenth and Market streets. As the result of a brief experience in the notorious resort Rudolph Hann mourns the loss of $95 in hard cash which he earned by the sweat of his brow on a Kansas ranch.

“The lamb from the Sunflower state floated into Denver Friday night and put up for the night at one of the cheap down-town lodging houses. There he was evidently spotted and yesterday forenoon as he meandered out to view the scenes of the rising metropolis he was approached by a smooth stranger who inveigled him into the Tivoli gambling rooms. Three men were playing cards at one of the tables.
“The new comer was presented with a handful of checks and in five minutes he arose, loser by $130. Upon applying at the police station he was sent back to the place accompanied by an officer, and succeeded in recovering $35. Before night Hann was inveigled a second time into the building but made his escape and took the first train for his old home in Kansas. He related his story to a News reporter as the train left the union depot.”
Rocky Mountain News, 1893

Posted on September 10, 2011, in Alaskan Gold Rush, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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