Alejandro Llanos, snake oil salesman

Llanos once convinced a desperate man to pay him $250 for a pair of good eyes to replace his defective ones, and another poor soul gave Llanos $39 for one good eye, with both men ending up wanting their money back.

And, for a fee of $12 paid in advance, Llanos guaranteed “spiritual contact” at praying sessions featuring 17 skulls kept in a closet.

In yet another episode of trickery, Llanos treated Pablo Batac, an alleged tuberculosis sufferer, by prescribing adrenaline chloride, an asthma medicine. 

Llanos’s humbug finally caught up with him after Deputy Sheriff Antone Vidinha received numerous complaints of Llanos’s shady dealings and arrested him.

At Llanos’s trial in Judge Charles Holokahiki’s Lihue District Court in the County Building, it was demonstrated that Llanos had sold Alejandro Mariano a bottle containing a combination of iron, quinine and strychnine to cure his eczema, which Dr. Sam Wallis testified offers no relief for eczema sufferers. 

Mr. Llanos also claimed to have removed Ramon Talon’s appendix without making an incision, and exhibited Talon’s so-called appendix suspended in a bottle of alcohol.  

When Dr. Wallis was called again to provide testimony, he established that the object in Llanos’s bottle was not an appendix, and that it was impossible to remove an appendix without making an incision. 

On Feb. 16, 1940, Llanos pleaded guilty to two charges of practicing medicine without a license and one charge of gross cheat.  Other charges were dismissed.

He received a 13 month suspended sentence under condition that he leave Kaua‘i and surrender his permits to peddle and sell patent medicines. 

Where Llanos went is unknown.  


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.