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  • The police have files on many different types of con artists, among them fake spiritualists or psychics who prey upon the desperation of individuals looking for information as comfort. One specific individual for which they have a file is Dr. Rupert Trykel, who called himself a spiritualist, but who was really a shyster. He had stable of associates who acted both as his faithful followers to their marks, but also as researchers who dug up the most basic of information on those marks to use to feed back to the mark at their sessions. One of his marks was Mrs. Martha Kenneson, who was desperate for information on her son, Philip Kenneson Jr., a soldier who had been listed as MIA for six months when she first went to see Trykel. As desperate as Mrs. Kenneson was to find out information about her son, for which she would continually and somewhat happily pay for more and more, people like Dr. Trykel, who work just within the law, are equally desperate: desperate to maintain their con and what they see as easy money without regard for what they are doing to their victims. This desperation on both sides often leads to desperate acts.

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  • This Crime Does Not Pay entry focuses on fake spiritualists. A mother is worried about her son, who is missing in action. Over time, she gives a con man all of the family savings to find reassurance that her son is all right. When she can no longer pay, events take a tragic turn.


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