Remove the pocket secretary and take out the packet of bills. Fan the bills and display them for the audience to see. (Naturally new bills do not fan very easily. I break them in by crumpling them ever so slightly, then straightening them out by pulling them over the edge of a desk. After a few times, the bills separate a little more easily. You should of course, spread them into a fan using the thumbs on one side and the fingers of both hands on the other.)
"Forty or fifty bills which I'll use to demonstrate one of the most incredible demonstrations of psychic ability you'll ever witness. (pause) If it works? But first, I'll need the assistance of three volunteers from the audience."
Approach a spectator to your left, holding the bills lighter sides up. Run through the bills, spreading them from hand to hand, until you see the direction of the numeral "1" in the upper corner (which is facing right) change direction. Separate the bills at that point and hand the top twelve bills to the first spectator, instructing him to hold the bills with Washington's portrait, face down and to thoroughly mix the bills to his heart's content.
Move to your right and approach a spectator in the center of the first row. Once again, run through the bills, spreading them from hand to hand, until you see the numeral "1" in the corner which is facing left, suddenly point to the right. Separate the bills at that point and hand the top twelve bills to the second spectator instructing him to also hold the bills, lighter sides up and to mix them.
Finally, move to your right and hand the remaining twelve bills to a third spectator for mixing, with the lighter sides up and George, face down.
When the spectators have completed mixing their bills, approach spectator number one and ask him to freely select any one of the bills he's holding and to return the balance of the bills to you. Replace the bills in your pocket secretary. Repeat this procedure with spectators two and three. Place the secretary back in your pocket.
Now, pick up the piece of posterboard and marking pen. State that the three volunteers are about to create an object which until this very moment never existed before—a phantom one dollar bill. Holding the piece of posterboard so that everyone can see what you're writing, ask the first spectator, on your left to call out the letter and first three digits in the serial number on his freely selected bill. Boldly record the letter and number as called by the spectator on the piece of posterboard so that everyone can see it.
Ask spectator number two to call out the fourth and fifth digits, the middle two, in the serial number on his bill. Boldly record the two digits adjacent to the ones called out by the first spectator.
Finally, ask spectator number three to call out the last three digits and letter in the serial number on his bill. These are recorded as called to complete the 8-digit, 2-letter serial number.
The performer notes that, "Just as with fingerprints, there are no two serial numbers alike on U.S. paper currency. In fact, had any of the three volunteers selected any other bill in their possession, the serial number they created would have positively been different."
The performer asks spectator number three to collect the bills from spectators one and two. "Examine the bills carefully", the performer states. "Are the serial numbers on each of those bills totally different from one another?" When the spectator responds that they are, the performer continues, "Will you also confirm that the serial numbers on those bills consist of 8 digits and 2 letters each?" When the spectator states that they do, the performer replies, "Will you further confirm to this audience that the serial numbers on those three bills have not been tampered with or altered in any way?" Naturally, the spectator confirms all of the above to be true. Ask for the three bills and return them to your pocket.
At this point, assuming the prediction was mailed, the person who received the package is invited to bring it on stage. After giving his word of honor that the package has not left his possession since he received it, the spectator is given a key to open the sealed box. Removing a letter, the spectator is asked to read it aloud and show it to the audience. It contains the exact serial number randomly created by the three spectators.
(Note: An alternative to the mail ahead prediction is to simply suspend a prediction envelope from the ceiling or display it in full view of the audience in a manner that will elicit no suspicion.)
In my humble opinion, "Serial Killer" is one of the cleanest and most powerful mental effects you can perform. What's more, the simple methodology enables you to concentrate on the presentation. Naturally there are other routines possible using the special mix of bills, but I have found none stronger than the one I have detailed above.
I sincerely hope that you will be as thrilled with this powerhouse, killer effect as I am.
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