Las Vegas embraces the baser part of human nature. It shouldn’t be a surprise that the city in the desert is home to shocking crimes. The recent mass shooting in the city is just the most recent in a string of crimes which have rocked the desert city.
Arson At The Hilton
Las Vegas Hilton was made for Elvis and Liberace but the hotel is also the site of one of the cities more horrific crimes.
Philip Klein had been working as a busboy for two days when fire broke out in the lobby near him one afternoon. Some guests claimed to have seen Klein near the spot where the flames stated which ended up consuming much of the building and killing eight people and injuring over 200.
The busboy, at first, was applauded for his actions, but investigators got suspicious when Klein made a slip and told the police he grabbed a trash can filled with fire. Detectives questioned the busboy more about the story, and he broke down. Admitting he started the fire Klein claimed he accidentally triggered the blaze when the marijuana joint he was smoking caught nearby curtains on fire.
Eventually, Klein has convicted of murder and a single count of arson and sentenced to life in prison. Later during a jailhouse interview he came clean about what happened. A friend had given him a joint laced with PCP before work and warned him about smoking the entire blunt. The busboy ignored this advice and now will be behind bars for the rest of his life.
Early on June 3, 1999, Zane Floyd, a 23-year-old ex-Marine walked two blocks to a nearby supermarket carrying a 12 gauge shotgun. Floyd shot an employee at the entrance and then started running throughout the store and murdering other workers.
Surveillance footage showed Floyd chasing his last victim before shooting him in the back. As the victim, Leon Brownlee, fell, he felt his best chance was to play dead. It was a decision that saved his life. Floyd roamed the store before returning to find the victim not moving. Kicking him, Klein said, “Oh, you’re dead.”
Once he shot everyone he could find, Floyd tried to run, but the police had the store surrounded. The killer had his gun and threatened suicide. The cops eventually talked him into giving up and Floyd was later convicted of four counts of murder as well as the rape of an exotic dancer the morning before robbing the grocery store. Floyd still sets on Nevada’s death row waiting for execution.
Some of the most heavily surveilled places in the world are along the Las Vegas strip. Because of the cameras, robbers are usually apprehended fast.
On December 14, 2010, a man parked his motorcycle in front of the Bellagio Hotel and walked inside. Still wearing his motorcycle helmet, the man drifted to a craps table and pulled out a weapon. The dealer handed over the chips and the thief ran out of the casino and disappeared in heavy traffic.
The robber made off with over $1 million in chips, but that would be his downfall. The chips would either have to be turned in at the casino are sold to a third party. The first few emerged several weeks later when a Salvation Army bell ringer tried to cash a 25,000 chip given to them by the robber. A person calling himself the Biker Bandit appeared online and offered to sell more chips. Las Vegas police officers, working undercover, made contact with the biker bandit and met with him at the casino to buy the chips. When the cops appeared, they captured 29-year-old Anthony Carollo and charged with robbery