In June of this year, the Voice unfolded the curious tale of Ken Tarr, a 32-year-old serially unemployed Los Angeles man who found his true calling as a reality TV scam artist. Tarr managed to talk himself onto eight different reality shows, playing a variety of outsized characters: an inebriated "Gypsy" birthday party clown, an amorous trucker whose love for prostitutes was only matched by his love for the lotto, an jetsetting "security expert" two-timing his girlfriend, who was -- twist! -- also two-timing him, a steaming mad plumber, furious over being locked in a mortuary overnight. None of the show's producers ever made a serious effort to verify his ridiculous backstories, which were all flimsy as a cardboard backdrop in a '60s Western.
Photo by C.S. Muncy Ken Tarr, photographed for our June cover story.
At the time, reporter Graham Rayman called him "one of the most prolific television hoaxers in U.S. history." Not just TV, as it turns out; Tarr was also apparently expanding his areas of interest, diving past reality shows and into actual reality. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced yesterday that Tarr is being charged with felony eavesdropping for a series of prank calls he made to athletic coaches, offering them nonexistent jobs. He was also eager to brag about what he was doing, which in retrospect was probably a bad plan.More »