Various versions of this scam have circulated around the internet for years, often reworked with the names of political foes. But for members of the Skillman Family Association who have not seen it, here is the reworked story of an imaginary Uncle Remus Doe.
Let’s say that your great-great uncle, Remus Doe, a fellow lacking in character, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Montana in 1889. A cousin has supplied you with the only known photograph of Remus, showing him standing on the gallows. On the back of the picture are the words:
“Remus Doe: Horse thief, sent to Montana Territorial Prison, 1885. Escaped 1887, robbed the Montana Flyer six times. Caught by Pinkerton Detectives, convicted and hanged, 1889.”
Pretty grim situation, right? But let’s revise things a bit. We simply crop the picture by editing it with image processing software so that all that is seen is a head shot.
Next, we rewrite the text:
“Remus Doe was a famous cowboy in the Montana Territory. His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and imitate dealings with the Montana railroad. Beginning in 1885, he devoted several years of his life to service at a government facility, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad. In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Uncle Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honor when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed.”
Now we have given Uncle Remus a distinguished place inside the family tree, not hanging from it! Needless to say, the Association does not recommend this practice to its members!
John E. Skillman III