1921, Post Falls, Idaho: Dr. Otis Sherman Arrested for False Claims


1921, Post Falls, Idaho: Dr. Otis Sherman Arrested for False Claims

Dr. Otis Sherman was a traveling confidence man of some infamy.  Throughout 1919 Sherman traveled up and down the East Coast,  in a horse drawn carnival car selling an elixir he purported would increase intelligence, virility, and cure rickets.  When several lawsuits were filed against him, it was nearly impossible for him to pull into a town without the local authorities taking notice.

Sherman moved West. Slowly making his way across the county, Sherman perfected his new scheme of selling Wild Sasquatch Milk. Basically, Sherman sold water mixed with a bit of chalk and onion stirred in. Claiming that he kept a female Bigfoot chained up in the woods just outside of town. A thing that would be cruel if the female Bigfoot were not so dreadfully terrified by human contact and would stop her from producing the magical potion. This Bigfoot Milk would shrink enlarged kidneys, clarify blurry eyesight, and quiet all chest complaints.

His final mistake occurred in Post Falls, Idaho.  After a lively afternoon of hacking his quackery, Sherman decided to stay the night in town since they had a first class hotel and it had been weeks since he slept on a real mattress.  Some of the young men from the town mustered up enough bravery to head out into the woods to see this Bigfoot for themselves. After several hours of searching and finding nothing, the young men returned.

The group stomped into Sherman’s room and demanded proof of the Bigfoot. Sherman hemmed and hawed and grew somewhat agitated – a ploy that usually allowed him a speedy escape. But this time, one of the young men happened to be the sheriff’s boy. So when the sheriff arrived at the disturbance, he gave Sherman a choice, either produce the Bigfoot or stay in jail until he would.

After spending three days in jail, Sherman admitted that there was no Bigfoot. At which point he was arrested on making false claims and confidence schemes.  A month later, at his trial, Sherman claimed that angels had told him divine secrets and if he did not turn his life around he would burn in hell. The jury believed him and did not convict him. Though he did have to repay any money to people who wanted a refund.

Unsurprisingly, few people who purchased the Bigfoot Milk came forth to demand a refund from the now Holy Seer, Dr. Otis Sherman.