King Con: The Story of Soapy Smith by Jane G Haigh
Alaskan historian Jane Haigh chronicles the life of clever, conniving, confidence man Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith, and his death in a vigilante shootout on a wharf in Skagway at the height of the Klondike Gold Rush. Starting as a street corner shell game artist in Denver, where he learned everything he knew about confidence games, Smith rose to power as a gang leader in Denver. After being run out of Denver, Smith chose raw, lawless Skagway as his headquarters and gathered shills and toughs from around the West to fleece the thousands of tenderfeet heading for the Klondike Gold Rush in 1897-1898.
King Con documents Soapy's life from his infamy as a Denver crook and gang leader and his takeover of early Creede, Colorado, to the fake businesses, rigged card games, and brutal murders that marked his year of dominance in Gold Rush Skagway. This fascinating biography is illustrated wit period photographs that show Soapy and his gang from their glory days to his autopsy in 1898.