“Who Scammed Rajah Rabbit?,” a 30-minute film that documents one of the oddest events in Wichita history, will be screened at the Tallgrass Film Festival at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 24 at the Orpheum Theatre. Virtual screenings at the festival will be announced at a later date. Sara Harmon, adjunct professor at Shocker Studios, co-produced the film.
The film documents a rabbit-related con that affected Wichita and other cities in the United States. After a salesman named Porter arrived in Wichita in 1929, he convinced everyone that his breed of rajah rabbits would produce luxury furs and premium meats. Farmers, business executives and children, invested in Porter’s scheme.
By May 1930, Porter and the city’s investments disappeared, but 55,000 rabbits were left to fend for themselves. Wichita fell prey to one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in the Midwest.