Alexander (magician) - Controversy


The biographer David Charvet, who interviewed surviving members of Alexander's family, wrote that Alexander had "seven marriages (sometimes to more than one woman at once)." The biographer Darryl Beckmann wrote that Alexander was "married eleven times." No evidence of bigamy has surfaced to back up either of these conflicting claims.

Charvet claimed in his biography that Alexander spent time in local jails and federal prison, went on trial for attempting to extort an oilman millionaire, made a failed attempt to outrun the authorities in a high-powered speedboat loaded with bootlegged liquor, and admitted killing four men. According to Beckmann, Alexander was a "con-man" as well as a stage performer. A newspaper account in which it was stated that Alexander shot and killed a street mugger who attacked him, and was let off on the grounds of self-defense, was cited by Charvet; the other claims remain unsourced.

Charvet also claims that Alexander killed the infamous confidence man Soapy Smith. In the footnotes of his book Charvet uses words out of context from a letter written by Jeff Smith, Soapy Smith's great grandson, that makes it appear that Mr. Smith agrees with Charvets theory that Alexander killed Soapy, when in fact Mr. Smith does not believe any part of the theory at all.

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