The gambling center of the universe is Las Vegas. That wasn’t always true. “Sin City” used to live up to its name because of criminal activity. Here are some of the more famous mob-related murders over the years.
Former FBI Agent Bill Coulthard had a feud with Benny Binion an infamous Vegas gangster. Trouble started with Coulthard refused to extend the gambling license of Binion.
On July 25, 1972, Coulthard was dispatched when his vehicle exploded. Observers said the explosion was so potent it tore a hole in the deck of the parking garage. While no one was indicted for the murder, Metro PD always claimed Binion remained the prime suspect.
The name echoes across Las Vegas and chills the air. Shumate was an everyday Vegas taxi driver who wanted to get rich quick. Shumate’s plan included kidnapping the son of mob boss Benny Binion. Instead of keeping the scheme quiet, Shumate brought in another small-time crook. His partner-in-crime ratted him out.
Before Shumate could take step one his body was found in Nevada’s desert. Shot in the chest with a shotgun the coup de grace was a single bullet to the head.
Al Bramlet’s murder by the Las Vegas mob may have set the standard for brutal killings. The labor leader was killed in 1977 after being kidnapped and robbed of $10,000. The killers were captured and sent to live in prison.
How did Bramlet cross the mob? He had established a reputation for bombing establishments which refused to work with his Union Local 226. He forgot that one of his targets was mob owned and mob controlled.
Benny Binion’s son, Ted, was at the center of Marvin Shumate’s kidnapping scheme. Nothing ended “happily ever after” for Ted.
In September, 1998, Ted was found dead of a deadly cocktail of Xanax, heroin, and Valium. It wasn’t suicide. Ted’s girlfriend and her boy-toy Rick Tabish were found guilty of murder. Their motivation? Get their greedy hands on Ted’s hidden stash of $14 million.
Tony “The Ant” Spilotro’s gang killed casino pit boss Joseph “The Red” Klimm. Although investigated Spilotro was never charged with Klimm’s killing. Spilotro’s trail of death caused more people to die within Las Vegas between 1971 and 1974 than had been killed in the previous quarter-century.
Klimm’s killing was the result of unwanted police pressure on the mob and Spilotro admitted to responsibility in 1986.