Mark Singer devotes Chapter 35 of Citizen K to the differences between TDPK’s tall tales and reality. He describes how TDPK told of a raid during which the narcs announced themselves by yelling, “Open up! Open up! DEA!” The raid in question occurred before the DEA was formed. Back then, the federal narcs were the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.
Mr. Singer continues:
There were similar stories whose only corroborating witnesses were dead or otherwise unavailable—Kimberlin’s tale, for instance, of being robbed by a junkie in Bloomington when he was sixteen years old. The specifics of that one never struck me as especially plausible—a hundred pound kid wrestling a .38-caliber gun from a junkie—but it was virtually impossible to prove it a fabrication. What mattered about such vignettes was their portrayal of a fearless, at times even heroic, protagonist. The tale-teller was a short fellow who needed to be looked up to, who consistently sought relationships with females much younger than himself, who could boast to an eighteen-year-old woman he’d just met on the bus that he was “one of the strongest men in the world.”
The phrase a legend in his own mind seems appropriate.