In Ocean's Eleven there's the following conversation between Linus and Benedict:

Benedict: You new at the commission?

Linus: Been there about two years.

Benedict: I know Hal Lindley over there. You work with him at all?

Linus: Not since he died last year.

How did Linus know about him? He couldn't have guessed. The guy could be fictional, could be someone who never worked there, could be alive. Or even if he died, it could be even last week instead of last year. How did Linus know?

  • 8
    He did his homework ( Learned about the job and the people who work there ) Jan 12, 2016 at 11:44

2 Answers 2


I've got two theories to explain how Linus knew the answer.

  1. He researched the commission thoroughly hence was aware who Hal Lindley was, and that he had died. Considering this was Linus's main role in the heist it would make sense that he spent a lot of time studying his character and learning about other employees at the commission and how it's run.

  2. Linus was not aware who Hal Lindley was and improvised on the spot that he had passed away to avoid anymore questions about Hal that he may not know. If you've seen Catch Me If You Can (2002), there's a scene where Leonardo DiCaprio's character was asked about the teacher's dog's name. Since he hadn't actually been to the school, he lied and said the dog died to avoid any more questions on the matter that he couldn't answer. Linus may have been doing something similar.

If I had to pick, I'd say Linus just already knew who Hal was. Considering Hal was someone that Benedict knew, it's likely he would be aware if Hal had died. He probably just asked to try and catch Linus out in a lie. If Linus didn't know who Hal was, he probably would have just said he hadn't worked with him before, rather then say he passed away. So I think it's safe to assume that Linus had an in-depth understanding of the commission and had researched what had happened in the past two years, that he claimed he'd been there for.

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    I definitely get a "Linus outsmarts Benedict's trick question" vibe from the scene, which comports with your first explanation. It's easy to imagine someone getting caught in the lie, but this exchange indicates that Linus has done his homework.
    – Carl Fink
    Jan 26, 2016 at 16:28

Hal Lindley was the cover/name used by Bobby Caldwell during a con he pulled while at the NGC. 'Hal Lindley' died when the con was over.

I have been holding this in my brain for many years. I never found anywhere to write about it until now.

  • 5
    Can you explain it? Please add details to your answer.
    – A J
    Sep 27, 2016 at 6:57
  • 4
    Even more so than finding a place to write about it, the place you actually took it from might be interesting too. I.e. what actually makes you claim this? Do you have any references to back this up?
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Sep 27, 2016 at 12:39

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