That's what Bakardy stole from Teller: not the secret, but the magic. In his hands and in the hands of his desperate customers, Shadows risked becoming another Origami or the Zig-Zag Girl. It risked becoming ordinary, remembered for what it was only in eulogies.
A great article by Chris Jones in Esquire about Teller's quest to protect one of his most awe-inspiring tricks. See also this 2008 Las Vegas Weekly article about the briefly-mentioned "The Red Ball" trick that teller spent eighteen months working on before he performed it. Actually, I consider the 2008 article required-reading before moving on to the Esquire article.
For what it's worth, they're great Instapaper fodder.