Like all the best con artists, Randy Constant was a charmer, hard not to like.
Big hearted. Good listener. You’d never have guessed that the father of three, grandfather of five was a liar, cheat and serial philanderer who masterminded one of the biggest and longest-running frauds in the history of American agriculture.
“He was a wonderful person,” an old friend said. “He just had that other side to him.”
And then some.
“What he done shocked me to death,” said Stoutsville, Missouri, farmer John Heinecke, who did business with Constant for years. “I didn’t know he was that kind of corrupt.”
Church-going family man. School board president. Agribusiness entrepreneur. That’s the caring, accomplished Randy Constant people knew in Chillicothe, Missouri, which advertises itself on road signs as the “Home of Sliced Bread.”
Until the full story started to emerge last summer, Constant seemed like one of the best things to come out of Chillicothe since those first pre-cut loaves appeared on store shelves 90 years ago.