ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

A Mexican Carbolic Smoke Ball

A poor 61-year-old Mexican grandmother who turned her grandson into police to get a $100,000 reward may not get the money, since she failed to follow the offeror's specifications.

It's a classic unilateral offer scenario.  The Crime Stoppers organization had offered the reward for the capture of Raul Gomez-Garcia, accused of killing one Denver police officer and wounding another.  Gomez-Garcia escaped a four-week manhunt and went to Mexico.  His grandmother, Florencia Castañeda Rodriguez, who "makes a living scooping up ears of corn left by harvesters and embroidering handkerchiefs," cooperated with police and led Gomez-Garcia to a small convenience store in Culiacán, Mexico, where police were waiting for him.

Trouble is, the Crime Stoppers group requires that anyone who wants to claim the reward must call the organization with the tip, not merely contact local law enforcement authorities.  Spokesmen for Crime Stoppers says that whether Castañeda Rodriguez will get the reward is a "gray area" and that it will review the matter when and if Gomez-Garcia is extradited.

[Frank Snyder -- hat tip, Rachel Arnow-Richman]

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