~ THE OLD BADGER GAME ~
EVELYNE FRECHETTE, once John Dillinger's "moll," has posed for The Sunday Star in its exposure of rackets. In these pictures, the second group in the series, she demonstrates how racketeers swindle victims of the "badger game," one of the oldest rackets. Told and re told, it's always the same story. A pretty woman serves as bait. The victim is a rich man. An enraged "husband" always breaks in on an affectionate scene. And the victim always pays. [Text continues below images]
1. THE CONFIDENCE GANG PREPARES to "milk" a victim
Miss Frechette will be the "bait," while the smooth-haired, mustached
gentleman is the "steer," or outside man. It is his job to find the
"sucker," the gangsters' term for victim. One with plenty of money
who likes a "good time" is preferred.
2. THE VICTIM IS A RICH YOUNG LAD not too responsible. His type makes the best "suckers" because they seldom think to "squeal." The "steer" has told him of a lonely widow, with plenty of money, anxious to meet a nice young fellow for an evening of fun. The victim rises to the bait and is introduced to the girl.
3. THE VICTIM AND THE "WIDOW" ore soon alone. The
steer left with the excuse that he was going to get another girl and return.
Meanwhile the inevitable bottle of liquor is produced and the gangsters'
"sucker" begins to fall. Badger victims are easy game because they
are partially guilty themselves.
4. MEANWHILE the two other confidence men wait outside. They
hold off long enough to let their "bait" get their "sucker"
into a compromising spot.
5. INSIDE THE ROOM bait and sucker are performing nicely.
The victim has been lured by drink and feminine wiles into an embrace. The
stage is set for an "enraged husband."
6. "MY GOD! MY HUSBAND," cries the bait, as her two companions, feigning rage, rush in. The husband, with on oath, strikes his pretended wife, knocking her across the bed, where she pretends to fall unconscious.
7. THE HUSBAND turns his attention to the sucker. He draws a
pistol to pretended rage. The act is strengthened when the husband's friend
grasps his arm and begins to plead for the frightened victim's fife.
8. THE FRIEND SUCCEEDS in pulling the husband off. The
"wife" regains consciousness and the trio prepare to fleece their
victim for all he can stand. They now have him where they want him.
9. "I DIDN'T KNOW SHE WAS MARRIED," the sucker
pleads as he begs for his life. The husband continues to snarl, until the
friend suggests that the entire matter can be dropped if the victim pays for his
10. THE PAY-OFF comes offer the victim decides that any amount is worth getting out of the spot he is in. If payment is made by check, the friend obligingly runs down to cash it before the victim leaves. Then the gang rushes out of town before the victim recovers sufficiently to call police. Most badger victims, however, prefer the monetary loss to publicity involved in arrests. (Copyright, 1938.)
[“The Old Badger Game,” The Sunday Star (Washington, D.C.), This Week Magazine, May 15, 1938, p. 20]