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In The Sting, Snyder who knows Hooker by his right name hustles Lonnegan out of the fake race parlor. Important to the entire sting was that Lonnegan never finds out that he has been taken. But suddenly these two are thrust together -- what if they chat and Lonnegan realizes that Hooker has been lying about his name the entire time?

This seems to be a major flaw in the entire plan. Lonnegan has very long tentacles, is certainly not going to forget about losing the half million.

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There were two reasons that the cop (Snyder) was suckered into the con:

  1. As a "loose cannon," he could have blown the con by exposing Hooker or otherwise throwing a monkeywrench into the works. By making him believe that the "Feds" were in control, and by having the (fake) "Feds" intimidate Snyder into co-operating, the con-men were able to neutralize him as a threat to their con.
  2. As long as they already had Snyder under control, they might as well also use him for the "blow-off." By having Lonnegan get escorted out of the premises by Snyder (whom he knows to be a legitimate member of the police), the con-men boost the verisimilitude of their con. Presumably, Snyder takes Lonnegan to a secluded place, convinces him that the "Feds" were in control, and also makes it clear to him that his (Snyder's) "best bet" would be to swallow the loss, lay low for a time, and refrain from asking too many questions (using those "feelers" that you refer to) - unless he wants to face hard time in a federal penitentary. ALSO: Remember that, early in the film, Lonnegan explains to one of his henchmen that even the mere appearance of weakness would ruin his reputation among other gangsters and spell his doom.
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  • I understand why he was brought in but I also am saying that Snyder knowing Hooker by a different name could easily say something to Lonnegan that would make him suspicious. If Lonnegan says "Kelly" was shot and Snyder says, No, his name was Hooker, he is well-known grifter around here, that would be it, the bean would have been spilled. – releseabe Jun 19 '20 at 10:24
  • >>Snyder knowing Hooker by a different name could easily say something to Lonnegan that would make him suspicious. If Lonnegan says "Kelly" was shot and Snyder says, No, his name was Hooker, he is well-known grifter<< We can safely assume that the fellow con-artists and friends of Hooker and Gondorff posing as FBI agents carefully coached Snyder as to what he could and could not say to Lonnegan. – Alex Jun 19 '20 at 12:04
  • good point. I suspect I will never be a successful con artist. Seems like a dangerous and complex business. – releseabe Jun 19 '20 at 12:24
  • On the other hand, coached or not, Snyder now has access as a corrupt cop to a major mobster. In real life, Hooker and Gondorf would be looking over their shoulders for the remainder of their probably short lives. They probably should have shot Lonnegan. I sure would have. – releseabe Jun 19 '20 at 12:32

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