Tricky Vic - An Impossibly Good Con Man - Tricky Vic and His Final Con

One spring day in 1935—about two years after America had abolished Prohibition by passing the Twenty-First Amendment—Victor Lustig made a very bad mistake: He betrayed his girlfriend.

Angered because he’d been seeing another girl, she called the police to let them know where they could find her straying beau.

That call led to the end of Lustig’s conning days. With the scar he bore on his left check, from a fight over a girl many years before, the "Count" was fairly easy for the police to identify.

Victor, however, still had at least one more trick up his sleeve—even after the police took him into custody.

Awaiting trial, which was scheduled for the 2nd of September in 1935, the “Count” was held in a third-floor cell at the Federal Detention Headquarters in New York. Showing officials that the facility was not as “escape-proof” as they thought, Lustig crafted a departure plan.

On the day before trial—still wearing his prison clothes—Victor used some bedsheets to make a rope. Lowering himself, to the street below, he pretended to be a window washer. Many people saw him in action but they, too, must have bought one of his last, best cons.

This time, however, he did not remain free for long. He was caught, in Pittsburgh, nearly a month after his New-York escape.

During the trial, Victor realized the evidence against him was overwhelming. He pled guilty to the charges from which he’d fled—a counterfeiting claim—and was sentenced to a fifteen-year term at Alcatraz. The Judge imposed an additional five-year sentence for Lustig's New York jail break.

Victor Lustig joined Al Capone as a prisoner at “The Rock.” It was a place from which he could not escape.

The "Count" contracted pneumonia there, so he was transferred to the Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri. He died, at that medical center, on March 11, 1947.

Tricky Vic's death certificate reportedly notes his real name—Robert V. Miller—and states that he’d worked as ... an "apprentice salesman."

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Aug 19, 2015

Updated Last Revision: Jun 02, 2016

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"Tricky Vic and His Final Con" AwesomeStories.com. Aug 19, 2015. May 26, 2020.
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