Chances are you have been ripped off at a friendly traveling carnival, set up at your local fair or festival, because you had been left unprotected by police.
The intention of this book is not just to tell readers about the games which keep ripping them off, but most importantly to explain the clandestine behind the scenes workings of a not so friendly, well organized, criminal element.
From the innocent looking and usually rigged, two to five dollars per play "Duck Pond," to the $10,000 contribution by the itinerant carnival owner to the state or national political action committee or candidate, the author, a retired police officer, specializing in carnival midway game enforcement, has been able to associate a portion of illegally obtained cash proceeds from anonymous transient weekend midway scammers to carnival owners, to public servants, and also to distinguished politicians.
This 100-year-old entrenched system of confidence crime and public corruption still operates relatively unrestricted at weekend fairs and festivals in America.
Police simply do not arrest carnival thugs or their politician pals. No one cares about duped children or teenagers since many civic leaders ultimately get a cut of the midway loot in some way, shape, or form.
Because this traditional chicanery is actually endorsed by wink & nod carnival security (dubbed "carny-cops") and public officials, trusting carnival patrons have a high likelihood of being either swindled, pick-pocketed, or short-changed on American midways by anonymous serial criminals.
Unfortunately for unprotected American children, all but a few police agents nation-wide are either untrained, don't care, or are on the take, and refuse to address fraud (theft by deception) and gambling violations on their anything-goes, hit & run, carnival turf.
While crooked carnival owners operate these drifting mobile crime syndicates under the radar of federal law enforcement, few citizens know the full extent of the systemic immunity and corruption involved. Thus, victims of this multibillion-dollar racket continue to remain unprotected on 21st century carnival lots.
The author's exclusive investigation describes, for the first time, evidence of facilitation of free-wheeling criminal acts combined with the curious contributions/payoffs which enable this annual crime spree.
The author also uncovers crafty "payments" from culpable carnival owners and lists renowned U.S. politicians associated with the perpetuation of this ten to forty-billion-dollar per year, largely unregulated, rolling racketeer industry.
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About the Author
Always fascinated with trickery, Richard Margittay, author of "Carnival Games: The Perfect Crimes," is a retired Dearborn, Michigan police officer.
A native New Yorker and long time Michigan resident, the author is a student of carnival game crimes and was one of only a few police officers formally trained in carnival game enforcement.
Often called on to demonstrate illegal carnival games to fellow cops and friends, he has enhanced his midway crime proficiency by studying illegal games at a number of carnival locations. Most importantly, the author has analyzed the presence of facilitation outside the carnival, which enables midway crime to continue unscathed.
Earning a BS at Western Michigan University and majoring in Sociology, the author has researched not only the games, but the behavioral patterns of both the transient midway con men and their dubious facilitators from the communities.
In addition to his law enforcement career, the author is a retired commissioned officer in the Michigan National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves, with experience as a mechanized rifle platoon leader and a POW camp assistant enclosure commander.
Also a professional photographer with twenty-two major golf tournaments to his credit, the author has worked for several national sports magazines, including assignments for "Sports Illustrated." He is the featured photographer in "Wings of Fire, The History of the Detroit Red Wings," by Paul Greenland, 1998. One of his World Series photos and his World Series lithograph are part of the historic archives of the Baseball Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This very well written book is an evidence gathering investigation and inquiry which describes crimes in progress (swindles and gambling)on traveling carnival midways today. Through undercover photography, Richard Margittay explains how crime still prevails in plain view as police often patrol along the midways and allow kids to get ripped off. Unlike other carnival books, this author lists payments, payoffs, and contributions, and names well known politicians (Hillary Clinton's brother and U.S. Congressmen) who accept money from wealthy (named)carnival owners displaying crooked games. (Great action photographs!) The author, a retired cop, trained in carnival scams, has worked to rid carnivals of age-old cons, but payoffs and politics have impeeded him and other police specialists. (He was actually sued for $10,000 by carnies trying to stop him and shut him up.) The chapters also lists video links so that readers can also use the Internet (Google) to see features (Barbara Walters, etc.)on the inner workings of the midway confidence crime he describes. (That was really cool!) I have also read Margittay's first book: Carnival Games: The Perfect Crimes, and recommend that wonderful book also.
Hard to read: one star