Head-Ticking Scam

Robert Sanders of Loogootee, Indiana would get a job with a railroad, fake an injury, and then claim that, as a result of the injury, he had developed a ticking noise in his head.

Doctors who examined him would confirm that he did, indeed, have a "peculiar ticking" like a "great big alarm clock" coming from inside his head. Sanders would then collect insurance money.

Sanders repeated this scam multiple times, collecting around $28,000 over the course of 12 years, until finally the Union Pacific Railroad charged him with fraud.

He was found guilty and sentenced to Wyoming's state penitentiary.

What I can't figure out is how Sanders managed to produce the ticking noise in his head, because the doctors who examined him seemed to hear something.

Billings Gazette - Feb 12, 1952

     Posted By: Alex - Fri Dec 17, 2021
     Category: Frauds, Cons and Scams | Noises and Other Public Disturbances of the Peace | 1950s





Comments
"Good news. We understand that society failed to give you a home, so we're belatedly giving you a home in our lovely state penitentiary."

BTW, not only is there a Loogootee, Indiana, there's also a Loogootee, Illinois.
Posted by ges on 12/17/21 at 09:44 AM
“What I can't figure out is how Sanders managed to produce the ticking noise in his head, because the doctors who examined him seemed to hear something.”
?
Can’t everybody do that? No, really. Is it unusual? I've always been able to do it.
It seems like the doctors would have known about it.
Anybody else?
Posted by Luke The Drifter on 12/17/21 at 02:25 PM
I know of a certain crocodile who could tell you exactly how he did it. Of course, it would cost you an arm and a leg - or at least a hand.
Posted by Richard Bos on 12/18/21 at 09:54 AM
I haven't thought about that particular crocodile in a very long time. Always thought he did a service for Peter 😊
Posted by Steve E. on 12/18/21 at 01:19 PM
I can click my eustachian tubes voluntarily, and if you put your ear to mine you can hear it. I think this ability is genetic; my father and I could do it, but no one else in the family could. I would think this would have been well known to the medical profession, even in the 1930s.
Posted by FRANK HARRIS on 12/23/21 at 01:54 PM
Frank, you could have been in an episode of David Letterman's "Stupid Human Tricks" and become famous.
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 12/24/21 at 08:52 AM
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