THIEF! The Gutsy, True Story of an Ex-Con Artist

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THIEF! character, Vince Eli

Monday, December 22, 2008


Imagine waking up to see yellow police tape surrounding the house directly across the street from where you live? Well, that's exactly what happened to Slick a few days ago. (See photo above.) Slick's neighbor, an older guy maybe in his 80s, was known to take in homeless people on occasion. Perhaps one of them wasn't overly appreciative? The old guy died of knife wounds. After police questioned Slick, he took around 20 photos of the crime scene including the corpse being carried out in a body bag.
Lesson 1: Don't take in strangers or even people you know who carry knives.
Lesson 2: If you think that police tape is likely to block your drive, park around the block.
P.S. Strange that, as of this printing, the murder has yet to appear in the news.

Friday, December 5, 2008

How to Beat a Lousy Economy

Here's a "Slick tip" from Las Vegas. Check out my casting agency page below and see what I'm currently up to while our economy is in the dumpster and the LV Strip looks like "Arrested Development." While I'm sitting around 8 hours for my 30-seconds of on camera fame, I talk up our book Thief to the movers and shakers and anyone on the set. Our business card that looks just like a poker card always draws a lot of interest.

Maybe you too can make money and beat the lousy economy. Here's the talent agency's page:


Monday, November 17, 2008

Is Gambling Recession-Proof?

Gambling, smoking, even premium television could suffer in this downturn

The following excerpt was posted today by MSNBC:
Even — or especially — when times are tough, the common assumption has been that people will continue to gamble for relief and the hope of striking it rich. But Keith Schwer, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, notes that that type of thinking was based on the more shallow recessions such as the ones in 1991 and 2001.

With the economy appearing to be in deeper despair, gaming companies and the Nevada economy as a whole is already grappling with hard times.

MGM Mirage reported an 8 percent dip in casino revenue in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, and the company halted development of a new property in Atlanta City, N.J., citing the weak economy and tight credit conditions. Harrah’s Entertainment swung to a loss in the same period, and also blamed its woes on economic upheaval.

For Las Vegas specifically, Schwer said part of the problem is that gaming is now much more widespread in the United States, meaning that people can gamble locally without the expense of a trip to Vegas. Many gaming companies also were in the midst of expansion when the economy started to turn, meaning stiffer competition.
For the complete story go to

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Slick's Family Album

Slick's daughter, Betty, brought over some old photos the other day.

The top left and bottom left photos show Slick with ex-mobster, Henry Hill, at Borders Books, McCarran Airport in Las Vegas. One of Border's ever helpful employees joins the pair in the lower photo.

Yep...that Henry Hill. Here's what Wikipedia online dictionary has to say about Hill:

Henry Hill (born June 11, 1943) is a former American mobster, Lucchese crime family associate, and FBI informant whose life was immortalized in the book Wiseguy, written by crime reporter Nicholas Pileggi, and the 1990 Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas, in which Hill was played by Ray Liotta. He was the owner of a restaurant called The Suite. Another film — a Steve Martin comedy titled My Blue Heaven — was influenced by Hill's story.

Apparently, Hill took a liking to Slick (what's not to like?) and invited Slick to do a joint book signing event in the future. We'll let you know when and where.

The upper right photo was taken sometime in the 1980s. From left to right: Slick, his girfriend at the time Leslie Chow. (The pair made a great team as blackjack cheaters.) Next is Slick's daughter Betty, then Danny, Betty's crap dealer husband.

The lower right photo shows Sam Raguso who was Slick's shift manager when Slick ran the Landmark Casino poker room. Slick's at right pointing to one of the many poker room promotions that made the room so popular. In fact, the Landmark poker room was the very first to have televised poker tournaments, all due to Slick's amazing marketing skills. No kidding.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

1960 Presidential Election Reeks of Corruption

If you think this year's presidential voting is fixed, corrupt or just plain weird, many of you may remember another election year in 1960 between JFK and Richard Nixon:

Some Republicans and historians have alleged that Kennedy benefited from vote fraud, especially in Texas and Illinois, and that Nixon actually won the national popular vote despite the fact that Republicans tried and failed to overturn the results in both these states at the time--as well as in nine other states. These two states are important because if Nixon had carried both, he would have won the election in the electoral college.

Kennedy won Illinois by less than 9,000 votes out of 4.75 million cast, even though Nixon carried 92 of the state's 101 counties. Kennedy's victory in Illinois came from the city of Chicago, where Mayor Richard J. Daley held back much of Chicago's vote until the late morning hours of November 9. The efforts of Daley and the powerful Chicago Democratic organization gave Kennedy an extraordinary Cook County victory margin of 450,000 votes --- more than 10% of Chicago's 1960 population of 3.55 million -- thus (barely) overcoming the heavy Republican vote in the rest of Illinois. Earl Mazo, a reporter for the pro-Nixon New York Herald Tribune, investigated the voting in Chicago and claimed to have discovered sufficient evidence of vote fraud to prove that the state was stolen for Kennedy.

Slick remembers that election very well. He was working as a bartender at a Chicago Outfit strip club called the Showboat. Giancana warned all of the strip club workers that they had better get down to the polls and vote for JFK or else... If that wasn't enough of a warning, the Chicago Alderman stationed at the polls told all the mob associates they'd break the hands of anyone who didn't vote Democrat. Slick needed no further encouragement.

It's also true that Nixon sent his brother Don to Meyer Lansky to appeal for help in his campaign against JFK. Nixon needed money, the union vote, and the State of Illinois, heavily controlled by the mob. But Meyer refused to support Nixon who he viewed as dishonest and power hungry. Nixon’s loss to JFK prompted Nixon to tell Bebe Rebozo, “I’ll destroy Meyer Lansky some day.” It never happened.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

No More Lefty

At 79, Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal has departed planet earth... cause: apparent heart attack. The famous odds maker and infamous mob associate now calls the shots in that "sportsbook in the sky" we'll all visit sooner or later.

Back when the mob had teeth, Slick was juiced in as a Stardust Casino BJ dealer by Tony Spilotro. Slick remembers Lefty strutting around in his designer suits whose colors would knock your eyeballs out. One day Slick spotted Lefty and told him that pointy-toed shoes were out. Lefty never uttered a word. The next day somebody tapped Slick on the shoulder. It was Lefty silently pointing to his shoes. They had round toes.

But Slick could never figure out why oddball Lefty set off a bomb in one of the Stardust restrooms. One thing was sure: Lefty played by his own set of rules.

John L. Smith says it best in his obit:

Here's another take on Lefty, compliments of
Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal - Las Vegas Casino Czar for the Chicago Outfit - Dies in Miami Beach
Bookmaker and former casino boss Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal died in Florida on Monday at age 79, according to family members and a source at his high-rise condominium complex in Miami Beach, Fla.Rosenthal was a minor celebrity confined to the world of gambling, organized crime and Las Vegas society until the 1995 movie "Casino," which was based on his life story, propelled him to a much higher level of fame — and notoriety.
Rosenthal's passing marks the close of yet another chapter in the transformation of Las Vegas from a gambling destination of ill-repute to a global destination celebrated by everyday tourists, politicians and corporate leaders who invest billions of dollars in resorts.
"He was the innovator and creator of what we know today as the race and sports book in Las Vegas with all the modern accoutrements," said Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, a former attorney who represented Rosenthal in high-profile scrapes with Nevada regulators, including now-Sen. Harry Reid. "He was an uncanny bettor and won a lot more than he lost."
Goodman painted Rosenthal as the type of boss who represented the best of Las Vegas, in terms of how to run a good casino. "He was the kind of guy who, when working in the casino industry, would see a cigarette butt on the floor, pick it up himself and dispose of it," Goodman said. "And then he'd fire the employee whose job was to have picked it up in the first place."
Rosenthal was also a controversial figure whose life story was entwined with the emergence of Las Vegas as a destination for money mobsters sought to launder through legal casinos.
His childhood was spent learning the gambling trade through illegal bookmaking operations run by organized crime figures from the Midwest. He made connections that fueled his rise and instigated his downfall later in Las Vegas.
Rosenthal was born June 12, 1929, in Chicago and spent the 1930s in Chicago. When he arrived in Nevada in 1968, he discovered that gambling could not only be profitable but a ticket to prominence in a place where his occupation was the subject of reverence, not scorn.
"When I was a kid growing up in Chicago, if you walked around with a ... card in your hand, you were subject to be arrested or harassed, at least," Rosenthal said in 1997 during an interview with the PBS program "Nightline." "On the other hand, if you want to go to Las Vegas, Nevada, you can do the same thing and be quite respectable."
The word "respectable" was a loaded phrase when it came to Rosenthal.
When he moved to Las Vegas, he had already gained some level of notoriety for an appearance in 1961 before a Senate hearing on gambling and organized crime during which he invoked Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination 38 times.
An indictment in California in 1971 for conspiracy in interstate transportation in aid of racketeering helped prevent the bookmaker Rosenthal from getting a Nevada gaming license, a situation that angered him for years after he left Las Vegas. A 1963 conviction stemming from an attempt to bribe college basketball players later landed him on a short list of people excluded from Nevada casinos. But lack of a license didn't stop him from holding sway over operations at the Stardust, Hacienda, Fremont and Marina casinos when they were owned or controlled by the Argent Corp., and financier Allen Glick. Glick was the purported front man for Midwestern mob bosses who controlled the casinos through Argent, which was funded in part through loans from the Teamsters union.During an interview with a magazine reporter in 1975, the unlicensed Rosenthal landed himself in hot water with regulators when he said, "Glick is the financial end, but the policy comes from my office."
Rosenthal's problems were exacerbated by personal and business connections to reputed mobster Tony Spilotro.
Spilotro wound up being indicted in a skimming scheme, along with about 14 others, which also sealed Rosenthal's fate with gaming regulators, who ended up putting both men in Nevada's Black Book of persons excluded from casinos.
Spilotro also wound up having an affair with Rosenthal's estranged wife, Geri, a situation law enforcement authorities later claimed as evidence Spilotro tried to kill Rosenthal.
"Obviously there were things going on," Rosenthal told the Fort Lauderdale (Fla) Sun-Sentinel in 1995. "There are more tricks in the trade than I can ever describe to you. But I think some of it (the federal inquiry) was exaggerated."
Later in the Sun-Sentinel story, Rosenthal acknowledged there was little chance he could escape the notorious shadow of Spilotro. "In retrospect, his reputation and the fact that we were boyhood friends — there was no way for me to overcome it," Rosenthal told the newspaper.
Others' suggested that Rosenthal was more than just boyhood friends with rough characters.
The Sun-Sentinel story included claims by Glick that Rosenthal made lethal threats when he didn't get his way.
Glick paraphrased Rosenthal's approach as, "If you interfere with any of the casino operations or try to undermine anything I want to do here ... you will never leave this corporation alive."
But in the end, it was Rosenthal who was on the wrong end of lethal threats.On Oct. 4, 1982, in a parking lot outside a Marie Callendar's restaurant on East Sahara Avenue, Rosenthal turned the key in his Cadillac and ignited a fiery explosion that ruined the car but didn't kill him.
Rosenthal left Las Vegas after the bombing but remained in the headlines throughout the 1980s as the government sorted through the dirty laundry of the Las Vegas gambling industry in myriad court proceedings.
Rosenthal also sought to appeal his spot in the Black Book, an effort that was denied in 1990. At the time then-Gaming Control Board member Gerald Cunningham said allowing Rosenthal back into the business would represent, "a threat to Nevada's gaming industry.
"The 1995 movie, "Casino," directed by Martin Scorcese and starring Robert DeNiro as a Sam "Ace" Rothstein, was essentially an idealized version of Rosenthal and boosted Rosenthal's fame later in life.
He also maintained a Web site that offered gambling "tips and tricks."On Tuesday, Goodman said there was a side to Rosenthal that was largely unknown to moviegoers, gambling regulators and business associates. "What I saw through representing him since 1972 until I was elected a mayor was a different side, a loyal friend and a loving parent who doted over his kids," Goodman said.
Rosenthal himself told the Sun-Sentinel his Las Vegas story was poorly told, especially by those in law enforcement. "Rumors and bull(expletive)," he told the paper. "That's the No. 1 industry in Nevada."

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fred Pascente

Several years ago, just after the article below hit the news, Slick and I attended the grand opening of Freddy Pascente's nightclub in the famous South Beach district of Miami Beach. Slick knew Fred from years ago when Fred was a regular in Las Vegas.

A few days prior to the opening we kibitzed with Freddy. To say that he was unhappy about his listing in Nevada's Black Book of excluded persons was like saying Joan of Arc was a little upset about being burned at the stake as a heretic.

As you can imagine, the gala was quite and affair complete with hot women, rocking music and flowing booze. Freddy the fine host, allowed us to experience the "inner sanctum" portion of the nightclub where the real deals went down. Therefore it came as no surprise when we were politely asked to leave when major players were ushered in to be wined and dined.

Rumors ran rampant about why the nightclub folded so quickly after its opening. Perhaps it was only intended to enjoy a brief run?

Read below for more about Fred Pascente...

Allegations Against 'Crazy Horse Too' (Part 2)
November 22, 2002
Glen Meek Reporting

It's a topless club with a reputation for hard-nosed bouncers -- but do some of the workers have ties to mob figures? News 3 'Investigator' Glen Meek has been digging deeper into allegations made against the "Crazy Horse Too" topless club by a man injured there.

Crazy Horse President Rick Rizzolo has admitted rubbing-elbows with men in gaming's "black book" -- and others linked to organized crime. But the company he keeps also includes some of Southern Nevada's top politicians.

Literally behind the glitter of the Crazy Horse Too topless club is the grit of an auto repair shop. It's owned by Former Pro Wrestler, Buffalo Jim Barrier. From his neighboring business -- Barrier has seen a lot of strange things at the Crazy Horse. "Yeah, I've seen bouncers out in the parking lot beating people. I've seen people coming into my place all bloody." Barrier took pictures of a Kansas tourist crumpled in the Crazy Horse parking lot in September of 2001. Kirk Henry's neck was broken as he left the club after a dispute over his tab. He's now a quadriplegic. "The management of this club should be severely punished for allowing thugs and criminals to beat up the clients that come into this place, and I think the place should be shut down." Henry is suing the Crazy Horse -- alleging there's an environment of lawlessness in the club.

The man suspected of assaulting Henry -- Shift Manager, Bobby D'Apice. D'Apice has previous arrests for domestic battery, battery on an officer and carrying a concealed weapon. In a videotaped deposition made for Henry's lawsuit, Crazy Horse President Rick Rizzolo was asked about his hiring of men with criminal backgrounds. "Prior to hiring your employees do you inquire of them as to what their criminal history is?" "No." "Why not?" "We believe in giving everybody a shot." "Irrespective of what their criminal histories might be?" "Yeah."

Rizzolo's view on background checks may help explain why there are a number of ex-felons or men with mob ties at the Crazy Horse. Men like Shift Manager, Vinnie Faraci... son of reputed "Bonnano" crime family soldier... "Johnnie Green" Faraci of New York." "Does Mr. Faraci have any criminal history?" "Yes." "What is his criminal history?" "Insurance fraud. I know about that because he was working for me when he was arrested." Crazy Horse bartender Joe Blasko also has a criminal history. He's a former corrupt Metro cop convicted in the 1980's for taking part in a mob-run burglary ring. "You know he has a criminal history but you don't know what it's for?" "I think it had something to do with Bertha's Jewelry store, but I don't remember what -- if you mean the conviction I don't know what that was all about."

Mr. Rizzolo's memory was also fuzzy about his Shift Manager Ray Randazzo. "Are you aware of Mr. Randazzo's criminal history?" "I know he has one, I don't know what it's for." "It's for drug trafficking."

Then there's Fred Pascente -- former Chicago cop and former employee of Chicago's version of the Crazy Horse -- which pays Rizzolo a 20-thousand dollar a month consulting fee. You'll find Pascente in Nevada's Black book --excluded from casinos for alleged links to organized crime. "Are you aware of any arrests of Mr. Pascente in Las Vegas?" "Yes." "How is it that you're aware he was arrested?" "I was standing next to him." Rizzolo says he ended his association with Pascente after his inclusion in the black book.

Then there's Rocco Lombardo, floorman at the Crazy Horse. You may have heard of his brother Joey -- named in published reports as a top advisor to the Chicago mob. "Is that "Joey the Clown"'s Brother?" "I don't know. His brother's named Joey -- I don't know if he's a clown or not." While professing ignorance of "Joey the Clown" -- Rizzolo was certain to recognize this next name -- until his lawyers shut him up. "Do you know Joseph Cusamano?" "He's not answering that based on counsel." "Are you refusing to answer the question?" "Yes."

Joseph Cusamano was placed in Nevada's black book in 1990 -- for criminal convictions and alleged mob connections. You'll note Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman was Cusamano's lawyer at the time. Though Rizzolo has hobnobbed with black book and mob figures -- his social circle also includes prominent Nevada politicians. Rizzolo's friendship with City Councilman Michael McDonald -- but McDonald says he's never taken campaign cash from Rizzolo and doesn't vote on issues involving the Crazy Horse. But Kirk Henry and his wife Amy can't help but wonder if Rizzolo's political connections keep government officials from taking too close a look at the club's liquor license. "And I can't understand what kind of city or state would allow a place like this to remain in business."

"The man suspected of hurting Mr. Henry -- has not been charged with anything at this point." He and his lawyer declined comment. Mr. Rizzolo was advised by his lawyer not to go on camera with us -- but the attorney did fax a statement that reads in part:

"We strongly dispute the idea that Crazy Horse Too has not done enough to maintain order and civility within the club."

"Given that more than a thousand people a day come to visit the Crazy Horse -- it is unavoidable that the occasional incident will occur." In this case -- Rizzolo's lawyers suggest Mr. Henry fell in the parking lot -- and was not attacked.

But our own investigation indicates there are witnesses who saw Henry being assaulted.The FBI and metro would like to hear from anyone who might have seen what happened to Mr. Henry. The two agencies are working together on a probe of incidents at the Crazy Horse Too.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Q & A Answer

Answer to yesterday's question:

Around 1980, the card room managers got together and standardized poker rules and procedures to keep stealing to a minimum. The Nevada Gaming Control Board did the rest.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Q & A Question

Q: Was gambling in Las Vegas poker rooms always on the up and up?

Answer in tomorrow's Mob Speak.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Numbers Way Down in U.S. Casinos

A friend told me about a Website called that lists the current casino headlines from various sources around the country. Here's yesterday's report: Newsletter

September 12, 2008

Presented as a public service by, the leading source of accurate information about casino games and conditions. Our free weekly newsletter archive contains back issues of our weekly newsletters.

Compiled by Al Rogers
Federal jury awards $729,000 to victim of patron abuse by Hollywood Casino in Tunica
A federal jury returned a verdict totaling over $729,000 in a case involving the abuse of a patron by security personnel at Tunica’s Hollywood Casino and a deputy of the Tunica County Sheriff’s office.

The victim, who was suspected of counting cards, a lawful activity, but not suspected of any illegal activity, was wrongfully detained by Hollywood Casino employees, who instructed cashiers to refuse to cash the victim’s chips unless the victim provided them with his identification.

The victim refused to do so and asked to be paid so that he could leave the casino. Instead, casino employees called the Sheriff’s department. Deputy Dornae Mosby responded and demanded identification from the victim, who complied with the deputy’s request but instructed the deputy not to show the identification to casino personnel. The deputy ignored this instruction, and allowed casino personnel to take possession of the victim’s identification and photocopy it, despite there being no legal basis for so doing. The victim was arrested by Mosby for disorderly conduct. The charge was subsequently dismissed.

The victim sued Hollywood casino, Tunica County, and Deputy Mosby. The jury awarded him $25,000 from Deputy Mosby individually for the violation of his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures. The jury found the casino liable for false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, abuse of process, conversion, and trespass to chattels. The final two items involve the wrongful taking of plaintiff’s identification by casino personnel. The jury awarded $103,703 in damages to the victim from the casino, plus punitive damages of $600,550.

Case: US District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Delta Division -- Civil Action No. 2:06CV204P-A Grosch v. Tunica County et al.

Tribes refuse to accept state's minimum security guidelines for casinos -- Legal face-off looms as the commission plans to adopt rules
SACRAMENTO – Moving to the brink of a legal showdown, California gaming tribes yesterday overwhelmingly rejected a set of minimum security standards that the state wants to enforce in all Indian casinos.

Visitor numbers see largest fall since 2003
Las Vegas in July experienced its largest monthly decline in visitor traffic since the start of the Iraq war in March 2003, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported today.

... Gaming revenue decline persists
Nevada's gaming win continued to spiral downward in July, with one gaming analyst on Wednesday calling the trend the worst since the early 1980s, when Nevada began tracking casino profits subject to taxes on a monthly basis.

Jersey casinos languishing
ATLANTIC CITY - This seaside gambling resort was counting on a strong August to help it avoid posting a record-breaking second straight year of declining revenues.

Tourism officials roll out new Laughlin ads
LAS VEGAS - In an attempt to ramp up business, southern Nevada tourism officials are rolling out a new ad campaign touting the small gambling hub of Laughlin.

Chairman's bill seeks to clarify Internet gambling ban
WASHINGTON - A new bill by the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee requires federal agencies to define unlawful Internet gambling so banks and other financial institutions can comply with the ban on online wagering.

Ex-slots worker charged with $650K theft
A Tucson man authorities say stole more than $650,000 from Desert Diamond Casino is facing theft and federal tax evasion charges, the U.S. Attorney's Office for Arizona said in a news release.

Measure may be jackpot for Colo. casinos
BLACK HAWK — The passage of a higher-stakes gambling ballot measure could bring millions of dollars in investments and a significant number of new jobs to Colorado, the chairman of one of the state's largest casino operators said Thursday.

Blackjack is whole new deal for Hard Rock
FLORIDA - Blackjack at the Hard Rock is attracting players from all over South Florida, including the casino's poker room.

Debt mounts for mall owner, but analysts optimistic
LAS VEGAS - Not long ago, a report in the Review-Journal's Business section suggested it may take divine intervention to rescue owners of the Fashion Show mall, Shoppes at Palazzo and Grand Canal Shoppes from a pending financial tsunami in the form of nearly $18 billion in debt coming due by 2011.

A tack to lay down tracks -- Monorail operators say route extension would help move tourists, but system seems headed for default
Operators of the Las Vegas Monorail are looking forward to an extension to McCarran International Airport even as the rail system's debt rating points toward default.

Ex-owners want to regain control of Tropicana casino
ATLANTIC CITY - The company that was stripped of its ownership of Tropicana Casino and Resort nine months ago will try to regain control of the troubled property now that it has restructured its management ranks and board of directors.

Casinos push poker tournaments to draw players
ATLANTIC CITY - Just how much the casinos here are wagering on table games for their survival is evident with the start of this month's Borgata Poker Open.

Coroner Names Woman Stabbed At Bally's -- Death Ruled Homicide
LAS VEGAS -- The coroner’s office has released the name of the woman who died from a stab wound to the neck in Bally’s Hotel-Casino lobby.

Casino Ordered To Pay After Machine Malfunction Excuse Loses In Court
Many casinos have been in the situation that Macon County, Alabama Greyhound Park was in back on May 2nd, 2006. A woman hit the jackpot on one of their machines, but was told by employees that the machine malfunctioned and that she would not be getting paid.

Strip Club Sees Delay In Casino Licensing -- Club's Location Not Suitable For Casino, Members Say
More investigations are needed before a Las Vegas topless club will receive a license to add slot machines, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Riviera claws at every expense -- Managers of aging property take drastic steps to cut costs, boost appeal
LAS VEGAS - When times are flush, managers think big: Budgets balloon, plans take shape and perks flow. When times are tough, as they are now for casinos on the Strip, they’re thinking small, combing budgets, reviewing expenses and trimming where they can.

Simpson jurors selected -- Panel consists of nine women, three men
LAS VEGAS - After four long days and a marathon court session into the night Thursday, a jury has been seated in the O.J. Simpson trial on armed robbery and kidnapping charges.

Friday, August 29, 2008

New Frank Nitti book reviewed

Howard Schwartz at The Gambler's Book Shop in Las Vegas reviews a sensational new book about mob kingpin, Frank Nitti.

In part Schwartz says,
"Nitti by Humble is more than just a biography. It's a reference and resource, packed with more than 80 pages of footnotes, indexes, chronology (dates specific events occurred) and notes including hundreds of resources. Many people might remember actor Bruce Gordon playing the Nitti role in the classic 1950's Untouchables television series with Robert Stack as Eliot Ness. The bio shows more of Nitti than the series ever did."

Here's the link:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Answer to yesterday's question

The answer to yesterday's question (see below) is

Peter Laychak.

If you know anything about this man, please advise
me in the comments section below.



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Who said this?

"Poker is not a matter of life or death.
It’s much more important than that.
Anyone can live and anyone can die,
but only the best can win and win
and win at poker."

Look for the answer on Mob Speak tomorrow.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Chicago Mob Map

Here's the link to a very cool interactive Chicago Mob Infamous Locations map featured on Joe Batterz blog:

Click here:


Friday, August 15, 2008

Who said it?

Yesterday I asked who said,

"The next best thing to playing and winning is playing and losing."
The answer is:

Nick “the Greek” Dandalos

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Who said this about poker?

The next best thing to playing and winning is playing and losing?

Check here tomorrow for the answer...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Organized Crime in America

Here's a fascinating, brief account of a lengthy and complicated subject: The history of organized crime in America. Nick Pileggi calls Girard "A mob guy who's obviously been there." Read on...

The Rise & Fall of Organized Crime in America
The rise of traditional organized crime in America was serendipitous;
its demise was inevitable.

Sonny Girard & Theresa Rosa

To understand the Twentieth Century’s rise and fall of what is known as "the mob" in this country, one has to begin in Thirteenth Century Sicily and look back. The location of the island, jutting out into the Mediterranean crossroad, made it a stopping point for armies and merchants moving east to west, like French and Spanish, even Vikings, west to east, like Greeks, and south to north, like Moors from Northern Africa. However, instead of stopping, each conquered the island and remained in control until being displaced by another invader.

Under those conditions, Sicilian people had no way of getting justice from authorities who, for the most part, didn’t even bother to learn the Italian dialect spoken on the island. The conquered natives were treated as conquerors had treated the vanquished since the beginning of time. Subjugated Sicilians were therefore forced to look to an underground government that understood their needs and the nuances of Sicilian life. That shadow government was called Mafia…or La Societa Onorata…The Honored Society. The legend of how that organization supposedly got its name on the first Night of the Sicilian Vespers, in 1283. The story is that one day, while a soon to be bride waited for her groom to fetch the priest from a village church, she was approached by a Bourbon Army Lieutenant, Pierre Drouet. The lieutenant, who was drunk at the time, tried to have his way with the girl, who resisted his advances. During the struggle, the bride-to-be fell, hit her head on a stone, and died. When word of the girl’s murder spread, enraged Sicilians began planning to finally reclaim their independence and rose up at the ringing of the Easter Vesper bells to drive the French from their land. The acronym of their shouts, Morte Alla Francia, Italia Anella…Death to the French is Italy’s cry…supposedly became the name of their sub-rosa government: MAFIA. Of course that is not entirely true, as Sicilians at that time would have never called themselves Italians, but it does point out the centuries-long existence of a criminal class that was accepted, respected, and often revered by the island’s residents. In her history of the Mafia, Octopus, Clair Sterling cites a variety of opinions on how the name began, most probably in the mid-to-late Nineteenth Century. Regardless of how it got its name, the Sicilian Mafia developed with "families" made up primarily by residents of a common area. Corleonese constituted one Family; those from Palermo another; Bagheria formed its own.

The development of other similar Mafia-type organizations in Southern Italy…Camorra in Campagna (includes Naples) and N’drangheta in Calabria…which suffered the same kind of invader governments for centuries, paralleled the Sicilian Mafia’s development, though they received much less international recognition and had different structures. In Calabria, for example, crime families were not built around a region, but a biological family. Sons, nephews, brothers-in-law formed "cosci" or families, that spread through the world like the ripples of a stone in a pond. That structure has lasted till today, and has left N’drangheta as the premier criminal organization in the world; relatives less likely to inform on each other than mere neighbors.

When the great wave of Southern Italian immigrants reached the United States in the early part of the Twentieth Century, they settled into the ghettos abandoned by the Irish who had escaped the Great Potato Famine of the 1850s, and who had now moved up in American society. Criminal gangs were nothing new in this country, even before the Irish immigration. The Irish, for example, had settled into Hell’s Kitchen and Mulberry Bend in New York City which had been inhabited by the lowest classes of British and Dutch settlers. Those gangs, with names like Plug Uglies and Dead Rabbits, became predators upon their own people. They were street thugs, using violence to not only support their criminal activities but to support local politicians whose influence kept them out of prison and provided them with licenses to steal, maim, and murder as long as the thugs used their muscle to guarantee votes for the politicians. The most significant of the Irish gangs was the Five Points Gang, located at the foot of Mulberry Bend, where several blocks came together to form five points. That gang is extremely important historically because it was a transitional organization. By the time of the Southern Italian/Sicilian immigration in the Early 1900s, the gang, having lost many of the young, upwardly mobile Irish to better areas, chose as its leader Paolo Vaccarelli, an Italian immigrant who went under the name Paul Kelly to bridge the group’s old and the new ethnic makeup.

When Italians/Sicilians settled into those ghettos they found the same conditions they had left behind at the beginning of their hard journey. Whether or not those in charge were invaders or legitimate governors, the fact was that they did not speak the same language, looked at them with disdain, and would not or could not dispense justice to them. Immigrants turned to their traditional government: what they believed was the Mafia. Unlike their homeland, there were no organized Mafia families in the U.S. There were gangs and individual criminals using the frightening old symbol of a black hand on paper to extort protection money or kidnapping ransom, and pimping off females they lured from Sicily under the guise of wanting old country brides. The gangs, however, were the only justice Italian-speaking transplants had of any justice. They also preyed exclusively on their paisani, just like the Eastern European Jewish gangs did to their own countrymen, who had reached America’s shores simultaneously to the Italians and had settled into adjacent ghettos.

Italian/Sicilian gangs broke up into the more formal Mafia structure based on ethnic connection. Sicilians not only separated into sub-groups that would only admit Sicilians, but into smaller regional distinctive gangs from Palermo, or Corleone, or Castellamare that had followed them to New York’s Lower East Side, or East Harlem, or South Brooklyn. Each fought the other for area dominance and to continue old country prejudices and grudges. Many Sicilians would not even do business with Neapolitans or Calabrese, let alone Irishmen or Jews. While they were quick to kill non-Italian gangsters whose ambitions were at odds with their own, the greatest number of killings were caused by rivalries between those from different towns in Sicily. They remained local gangsters even as they traveled thousands of miles from Italy to America.

Prohibition changed all that. Suddenly, hoodlums who had earned most of their money from extortion, robbery, kidnappings, and other mayhem to that point were the ones willing to provide a thirsty America with booze, either smuggled into the country or produced in local stills. Gangs of every ethnic group jumped into the new business, and found a new reality. They were no longer bound to their own ethnic areas. Everyone wanted the services of bootleggers, from coast to coast, from the socially prominent to the homeless, from suburbs to exclusive areas and slums. Movie people, merchants, furriers, and police and politicians…especially police and politicians, who took booze and bribes to allow the bootleggers to operate. Gangsters were not an urban phenomenon anymore, they were national…and, thanks to Hollywood films and writers like Damon Runyon, heroes and celebrities.

It wasn’t just the direct profits from alcoholic beverages, which had a selling ration of as much as forty to one on investment (a twenty-five dollar investment at a time when men’s leather shoes sold for three dollars and workers slaved in factories for a weekly salary measured only in single dollars brought back one thousand), but ancillary benefits that would carry their criminal empires for nearly a century. To transport the whiskey and beer from shorelines where smuggled alcohol was unloaded or from speakeasy to speakeasy, gangsters needed trucks. Bootleggers’ ownership of fleets of vehicles to transport illegal alcohol led to ownership of legitimate trucking businesses and trucker union control once Prohibition ended. Warehouses mobsters had been forced to purchase to store their goods made them industrial landlords when their illegal business was Constitutionally eliminated. Owners of speakeasies became restaurant and bar owners. The world famous El Morocco began as a speakeasy. So did the equally well known Stork Club. Those who had arranged to import alcohol from overseas became legal distributors after Prohibition ended. The Kennedy Family still gets royalties on every imported bottle of Scotch brought into the United States because of a deal their bootlegger patriarch, Joseph P. Kennedy arranged well before the end of Prohibition.

None of the financial gain put an end to the bickering and murdering that seemed to be a genetic part of mobsterdom. Key bosses, like Joe "The Boss" Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano still ordered murders of each other’s gang members, and continued to refuse to have dealings with non-Sicilians. Charles Luciano, a lieutenant of Joe Masseria’s was beaten, tortured, and left for dead when he refused to leave Masseria’s gang for Maranzano’s…his survival providing his new nickname: Lucky. Blood flowed in cities like Chicago and New York. Younger mobsters had been changed by America enough to be more driven by profit than ethnic divides. In a stunning revolution, after a meeting in Atlantic City by the young turks, headed by names like Lucky Luciano and Al Capone, had more than sixty prominent "Moustache Petes," or old guard Sicilian mobsters murdered nationwide. That mass murder was accomplished between September 10th and 11th, 1931, and is known as the "Second Night of the Sicilian Vespers," the "First Night of the Sicilian Vespers" dating back to the Thirteenth Century, when Sicilians drove the Bourbon French from their land. Following that coup, a new order was instituted, with a Commission of the most important family leaders from around the country resolving problems before they turned bloody. Profits would be the most important thing. Though the primary structure was based on the old Unione Siciliano, an older fraternal organization, which had been open only to Sicilians, this new order was open almost exclusively to Sicilians, with a few Neapolitans and Calabrese thrown in. Doing business with any ethnic group was accepted and even encouraged. The American Melting Pot was full of money.

Using its new national power, both in reputation and finances, newly organized crime reached new heights. As the Meyer Lansky character portrayed by Lee Strasberg in "Godfather II" told audiences, "We’re bigger than U.S. Steel." It was during that era that Las Vegas was born, with millions of mob dollars invested in the Bugsy Siegel’s Flamingo Hotel, and Havana became the greatest adult playground in the world due to huge amounts of bribes paid to President Batista and his cronies; when the Teamsters Union became king of the road and began using their pension fund millions to finance newer and bigger hotels in Vegas; and when everything from garbage collection, to juke box distribution, to construction projects large and small, to linen supplies for restaurants, to garment unions and the production companies under their thumbs, to illegal gambling…to all the ancillary businesses connected to those already mentioned…became mob cash cows. All those businesses and the earning power they provided kept traditional organized crime going far beyond what, based on observation of earlier mobs like the Irish, might have been its normal demise. In fact, as time went on, despite the money and associated power, non-Italian/Sicilian mobs faded into the sunset. Those other ethnic mobs saw crime as a vehicle to take them from poverty to affluence, and, once they had achieved it, discouraged their offspring from following in their footsteps. Scions of Jewish, Irish, or other mobsters went to college and established legitimate careers. They were often told, "I do this so you don’t have to." For example, Max "The Jew" Schrager, the father of Ian Schrager, current owner of the Mondrian Hotel in Los Angeles and the Delano in Miami, as well as other hotels in between, was a top numbers banker in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The philosophy of Italian mobsters, on the other hand, was that their organization, known, among other things, as Cosa Nostra, was to be handed down to their sons, and, in turn, their sons, due to their criminal tradition going back as far as the 13th Century. That, of course, doesn’t mean every Italian mobster followed that stereotype pattern. Former mob boss, Joe Colombo, encouraged his sons to stick to legitimate businesses, like his real estate company or funeral home, Prospero of Bensonhurst. Even Al Capone realized that mobdom in America was doomed. In the forthcoming biography of New York gangster, James "Jimmy Nap" Napoli, Big Al lectures a young Jimmy Nap before sending him out to assassinate lawman Elliot Ness. "They did it so that we could be anything we wanna be. That’s why mothers and fathers break their backs. So their kids won’t have to. But you gotta seize the opportunity with both hands and make the most of it. Some kids are born into wealth. Their fathers are lawyers, doctors, congressmen. They got those footsteps to follow into. Other kids are born into poverty. Those kids gotta do whatever they gotta do. They gotta fight their way outta the streets."

The thing that traditional organized crime figures failed to take into account was that, unlike Sicily, Calabria, or Campagnia, America was not ruled by invaders, and newer generations were more influenced by American culture than by their family’s history. The next generations of Italians spoke the same language as the system that controlled the country. Instead of being subjugated, they were treated as part of the fabric of America and adapted its values. Once success moved mobsters out of tough ghettos and into upper middle class suburban areas where they were not under the daily scrutiny of their bosses and didn’t need anyone to survive day to day, they struggled with keeping their traditional cultural identity of loyalty to their mob brothers and the American "Me Generation." . They wore sweat suits instead of suits and ties; they listened to rap instead of Jimmy Roselli. They also saw that rats like Henry Hill and "Sammy The Bull" Gravano went on television, sold books, had movies made about them…and, most of all, were NEVER PUNISHED BY THE MOB. The word "wiseguy" was never meant to be "dumbguys." Why should they go to prison when one or more of their co-defendants would walk? The Age of the Rat began, which began the process of the mob’s disintegration that would have started decades before if events had progressed on a normal track. It has gone beyond what might have happened in the 1930s, 1940s, or certainly 1950s, when the mob might have normally have dissolved, reaching the highest levels of mobdom. While there would have been a generational desertion of mob membership, it is unlikely that bosses like Lucky Luciano, Albert Anastasia, or Carlo Gambino would ever have become government witnesses like current former mob executives Ralph Natale (Philadelphia), Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso (New York/ Lucchese), or Joe Massino (New York/Bonnano).

Laws also changed. No longer could they count of fear keeping victims quiet or bribes getting them out of trouble. The R.I.C.O. Act (Racketeering and Influence of Corrupt Organizations) took crimes that carried maximum sentences of five years per count and upped that figure to twenty. The "spoke theory," of every spoke in the wheel, or minor member of a mob family, being as important as every other subjected gamblers to the same sentences as drug dealers or murderers. In his book, former mob boss Joe Bonanno outlined a Commission of organized crime leaders around the country who settled arguments and set policy for all its underlings. That confession led United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Rudy Giuliani, to initiate a criminal case, under the R.I.C.O. Act, charging the alleged bosses (it was later proven that Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno was NOT the head of the Genovese Family, as he was convicted of being) of New York’s five traditional organized crime families as Commission members of a criminal organization, commonly known as LCN, or La Cosa Nostra. Each was convicted and sentenced to more than one hundred years in federal prison. Bouncing off Giuliani’s success in the Commission Case, federal authorities brought more charges and convicted more top mobsters in Philadelphia, Boston, New York, and Chicago. More recently, in early 2008, sixty-two alleged members of the Gambino Crime Family were arrested both in the United States and Italy.

There is no more national strength.

Traditional organized crime families are well on the way toward total dissolution, as they probably would have six or seven decades ago. Gangsters’ demise was only interrupted by passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, or, as it is more commonly known, "Prohibition." That Amendment changed America for a time, but changed generations of traditional organized crime for more than half a century. It is only now that those affects are disappearing and the mob as we knew it is becoming extinct. There is a 1908 photograph of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show performing in a parking lot of an industrial park in Brooklyn, New York. That photograph marked the end of the historical period known as the Wild West. Today’s technologically advanced media’s presentation of films like "Goodfellas" and television shows like "Sopranos" parallel Buffalo Bill’s show as traditional organized crime in America is relegated to be judged exclusively as history.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Tampa: Long History of Mob Connections

Tampa again finds itself in the center of the latest chapter of mob intrigue.

Reported organized crime boss John Gotti Jr. was arrested in New York on Tuesday, and will be arraigned in Tampa on murder conspiracy charges stemming from an investigation that began in the Bay area.

As mob towns go, Tampa is no New York, Chicago or even Philadelphia. But over the years Tampa has found itself with at least a tenuous connection to the latest news from the organized crime world.


In the 1940s, Sicilian immigrant Santo Trafficante Sr., a known member of the Mafia, took over organized crime in Tampa. The Tampa mob ran gambling, loansharking operations, drug trafficking, stolen property rings, strip clubs, fraud and political corruption, according to Scott Deitche, author of the book, "Cigar City Mafia."

When Trafficante Jr. took over, the man authorities called Florida's "boss of bosses" testified in front of a 1978 U.S. House panel that he was involved in a plot to kill Cuban leader Fidel Castro. He denied knowledge of any mob plot to kill President Kennedy.

In 2006, four alleged members of the Gambino crime family went to trial in U.S. District Court in Tampa on charges of racketeering and extortion. Authorities said the group, led by Ronald "Ronnie One Arm" Trucchio, committed robbery, extortion and murder from New York to Miami. They reportedly ran valet parking businesses at restaurants, hospitals and strip clubs.

In 2007, Trucchio was sentenced to spend life behind bars.

The city's sometimes unseemly criminal landscape has wooed Hollywood filmmakers as well.

The 1990 crime classic "Goodfellas" featured a scene at Lowry Park Zoo in which Henry Hill, played by Ray Liotta, and James Burke, played by Robert De Niro, terrorized a local bar owner who refused to pay a gambling debt by dangling him over the lion cage. The "Goodfellas" depiction is pretty close to the real thing, according to Deitche.

Apparently, the owner of Char-Pal Lounge at 3711 E. Busch Blvd. asked Hill and Burke to come to Tampa to persuade Gaspar Ciaccio to pay his $13,000 debt, Deitche said. They dined at the Columbia Restaurant before tracking down Ciaccio.

Hill and Burke apparently beat up Ciaccio in the back room of the Char-Pal and then threatened him at the lion cage at Busch Gardens, said Nicholas Pileggi, who adapted his book "Wise Guys" into the screenplay for "Goodfellas."

"It all really happened," said Pileggi, who came to Tampa to take pictures of the area and interview people for his book.

The reason organized crime appeared to flourish in Tampa seems as varied as the experts who have studied it.

Pileggi said Tampa's organized crime spun off from Prohibition days in the 1920s and '30s.

Many of Florida's elected leaders and law enforcement officers either didn't enforce the laws or were in cahoots with bootleggers, Pileggi said. "There was an infrastructure of corruption," he said.

Deitche focuses on the large influx of Spanish-speaking immigrants.

Mob bosses in New York and Chicago generally didn't speak Spanish, so the Trafficantes leveraged their links with Cuba and Latin America to dominate organized crime in Florida for more than three decades, he said.

Authorities credit the Trafficante family with creating a mob language known as "Tampan," a hybrid of Italian and Spanish created to confuse police.

Howard Abadinsky, an organized crime expert and professor of criminal justice and legal studies at St. John's University, said the reason the mob moved into Tampa and South Florida had more to do with the shifting economy. The mob bosses followed the money, he said.

They saw thousands of retirees from the East Coast and rustbelt states flee to sunny Florida for the winter, bringing their money and spare time.

Tampa's growing population would have been irresistible for organized crime families with ties to garbage hauling unions, shipping interests, gambling, bars, strip clubs and other ventures. "They are always on the prowl for opportunity," he said.

Deitche, Abadinsky and others agree on thing: High-profile, organized criminal activity has been on the decline for decades. Criminal investigations are credited with part of the decline. But mostly, the old-time mob bosses have died off.Trafficante Jr. died March 17, 1987, after heart surgery in Houston."

Since then, it's sort of subsided," said Bill Iler, who worked for the Tampa Police Department from 1966 to 1986, much of it investigating organized crime. "All the old guys hooked up with the Mafia are about dead now."

Thanks to Baird Helgeson

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


You may ask yourself what a topic like this has to do with a blog named Mob Speak? Well, when you're computer is down (like mine was), it affects way too many things in a person's life, like posting blog updates.

Hey, in Slick's early days computers were off the radar screen, non-existent. The only "tech" things in Slick's life were cash registers. No, he didn't steal the cash in them. Back in the 1950s, Slick and 2 other characters (Joe Levy, alias Jacob Ship and Little Jack Little) stole the registers out of retail stores on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood so they could fence them and make a few bucks. They split the take for each register, $75, three ways. Wow!

There were no portable phones, folks. And when you dialed a number, you were 100% sure of getting a real person talking on the other end, not even answering machines in the good old days.

Maybe you kids out there don't remember that wonderful time...when this country actually had some breathing space, both literally and figuratively. The air was purer and there weren't so many people clogging the roads so it was a lot easier to get around the scam people, or just see the sites.

I'm sure you get the picture. Of couse, it wasn't all a bed of roses. But remembering back, it seems like folks had a lot more fun at whatever they did. Things were a lot less stressful. You worked hard (some of us did) and played hard. Now it's just work hard.

And now even Slick owns a computer. His emails have gotten pretty good, too. And even though he dumps his computer when it becomes too cluttered with glitches (think he's on his 10th or so), he can do a bit of research like checking out the hot babes on some Web site. He has a cell phone, that if he's not around, will answer in his gravelly voice, " You have the right to remain silent. But if you do, I won't get this message."

Ah, times are a changin', like it or not. Would love to hear your stories on this topic.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Netherlands Loves Slick and the Outfit

The following news story appeared in the Netherlands newspaper, De Pers (The Press) on July 18, 2008. The original page without translation appears below. This just goes to show how big the Mafia is overseas.

Slick Misses the Ways of the Mafia
By Sanne Rooseboom

Old Criminal in Las Vegas
Slick misses the ways of the Mafia every now and then. He was a thief, a fighter and a crook. He knew Mafiosi from Chicago and Las Vegas, starting from absolutely nothing to what it is now. From the Stratosphere—an enormous casino—Slick looks out over Las Vegas. “I never thought I’d get old,” which he said with a smile. “Everything happens day to day. There was so much unrest in me…I was hungry. Life was like a big roller coaster ride. And then again, here I am, 76 years old and I have plenty to do with my kids, the dog and, on some days, poker. Who would have thought?”

Bugsy Siegel
When Slick was a 17-year-old soldier and he came out on the old railroad to Las Vegas, nobody had ever heard of the place. He talks with a brusque voice and lot of hand gestures. “In the middle of the Nevada desert, Bugsy Siegel, the Mafia boss from Chicago [sic], had built a gambling palace in the dry and incredible heat.”

Slick enjoyed his first time in Las Vegas in 1949—the gambling, the women—but did not think the Mafia plan would work out. “Who is coming all the way to the desert to play poker?” Slick just shrugs his shoulders and smiles. “No wonder I never got rich because I obviously did not know what the future would bring.”

He got kicked out of school when he was 9 years old and grew up in Chicago during the crisis of the Second World War. A poor family, bad neighborhood, the young father of 5 kids. Slick’s criminal career began early. “I started young and was moving around with the big guys. The man in the suit had money and always needed help. Slick was a valued outsider of the Chicago Outfit, the powerful Mafia syndicate that a few years earlier was started by Al Capone. “I’ve never been a member…I didn’t kill people. With that frame of mind, you didn’t get very far with the Outfit.”

Never Squealed
“I never squealed about anybody. When the whole Chicago Mafia was a few years ago in court during a mega process, Slick was a witness. “I still didn’t tell tales about anybody. They wanted information about Tony Spilotro, the boss in Las Vegas during the ‘70s and ‘80s, and he was just an acquaintance.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars went through Slick’s hands. He let a businessman believe he was going to invest the money for him. Instead Slick spent it on women and poker. In a poker tournament he worked out a way to steal several thousand dollars worth of chips which he made disappear between his fingers. Later he ran gambling places and was a poker teacher. One of his pupils decided to write a book about him: THIEF, now a small-scale success.

During the 1970s, the Mafia’s power in Las Vegas disappeared, more or less. Slick has his own theory. “After the murder of John Kennedy, the politics became clear that the Mafia had too much power. Because, believe me, the man who took out Lee Harvey Oswald…I knew him. He was a Mafia guy. After that all happened, the Mafia didn’t know what to do…these guys who could even get rid of a president. Then they were prosecuted heavily.

According to the Rules
Now Las Vegas is in the hands of legitimate people. Slick says he’s missing the norms and the values of the Mafia, every now and then. “Vegas has changed since the Outfit couldn’t keep everything under control while in power. Las Vegas has lost its personality. Now everything there is according to the rules. Sometimes that’s a pity. On the other hand, fewer people disappear to be later found dead buried somewhere in the desert."

[This is a disclaimer. Slick was misquoted as saying he was a “witness” at the Chicago Outfit trial dubbed Family Secrets when he actually said he was interviewed by Las Vegas TV journalist George Knapp regarding the trial.]

Translation thanks to Donald Rooyakkers of Palm Coast, Florida.

It's impossible to read the original page (below) so here's the link: Scroll to page 11.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Long Good Friday

Anyone remember the sensational 1979 British mob movie called The Long Good Friday? It starred a cruel and frightening Bob Hoskins as a British mob boss sweating a big deal that's gonna make him rich and legit. His acting is dynamite.

Starring with Hoskins is my favorite actress Helen Mirren as Hoskins upper-class girlfriend in a great, layered performance. Check out recent unretouched photo of bikini-clad Mirren below taken mid July 2008. She's 63 years old, folks!

Rent The Long Good Friday (a movie that holds up great after almost 30 years) for a glimpse into raw fear.

While you're at it, check out the movie Sexy Beast with Ben Kingsley. He made my skin crawl with his portrayal of an evil British mobster.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Slick, Forty-year Las Vegas Resident, Answers Questions

Here are some answers to questions people ask Slick, a 40-year resident of Las Vegas:

Q. Knowing what you know, if you visited Las Vegas for the first time, where would you stay?
A. If you paid: The Venetian (pictured at right.) If I paid: The Stratosphere.

Q. If I needed a good Las Vegas lawyer, who do you recommend?
A. Thomas F. Pitaro (Tommy) who represented some the toughest cases...and won.

Q. Best time of year to visit Las Vegas?
A. October or November. (NEVER July or August.)

Q. Loosest poker games?
A. In my opinion, the Stratosphere.

Q. Best all around show?
A. Danny Ganes

Q. Best buffet for the price?
A. Palace Station

Q. Where do you get the most jackpots?
A. Any of the Station casinos

Friday, July 11, 2008

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

This from Slick:

After hearing from a Dutch newspaper, I agreed to be interviewed by a woman reporter named Sanne Rooseboom (I think the name means flowering tree.) She read about Thief on the internet and that got her interested. When she got here, I met her at the Las Vegas airport.

"Where are you staying?" I asked.

She gave me a name I never heard of.

"OK...what's the address?"

"1400 Fremont St."

"Why there?" I asked.

"I didn't want to charge my newspaper too much."

When we got there, I looked at the place and said no way. Then I took her to the Union Plaza. She thanked me and thought I was a nice guy. My reasoning was that if they found her dead in that motel, the police would want to know who was the last person with her. As a convicted felon, I wouldn't stand a chance.


P.S. If you're not sure whether a motel or hotel is in a safe location, e-mail me, a 40-year Las Vegas resident, and I'll tell you. It's

Monday, June 30, 2008


The following was posted June 24 on Despite the negatives, it's still a worthwhile purchase for Bugsy fans. It's available on new for $12.99.

Don't Call Me Bugsy
A curious phenomenon occurs all too often with documentary films about organized crime. Even the most rational and high-minded documentarian tends to fall prey to the notion that they must adhere to the tropes of a gangster B-movie. Don't Call Me Bugsy, which details the rise and fall of Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, is no exception. From its self-consciously hardboiled voiceover narration to its formulaic presentation, the 70-minute doc is a passable, if unexceptional, examination of the underworld figure who helped create modern-day Las Vegas.

Don't Call Me Bugsy touches on the essentials about Siegel, whose crazy temper earned him the sobriquet "Bugsy," a nickname he despised (hence the title of the flick). Born in Brooklyn, he aligned himself at an early age with fellow gangsters Meyer Lansky and Charles "Lucky" Luciano. Lansky was the brains of the outfit and Luciano the connection to the Sicilian Mafia, but Siegel possessed the murderous instinct that made him the favored triggerman. True-crime author Tim Power notes that the trio was undeniably vicious, but "it's impossible not to admire their energy, their drive."

As Prohibition ensured there was a fortune to be made trafficking in illegal booze, the Luciano-Lansky-Siegel alliance maneuvered to head criminal activities in New York and along the East Coast. In 1931, Siegel and three others killed old-school Mob boss Joe Masseria, setting the stage for the new generation of young Turks to transform organized crime into more of a streamlined business operation. But Siegel was restless for more adventure and, in 1935, relocated to Los Angeles. Enlisting the help of childhood-friend-turned-actor George Raft, Siegel dived into Beverly Hills society. His movie-star looks and roguish charm made him a favorite among polite society, particularly with rich women.

His most significant achievement, however, came when Lansky directed Siegel to spearhead the construction of the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gambling had been legal in the dusty desert town since the mid-1930s, but Lansky envisioned a gaming Mecca along the lines of what organized crime had built in pre-Castro Cuba.Siegel took to the assignment with a vengeance, sparing no expense in his desire to make the Flamingo a world-class destination. Nevertheless, costly delays and a ballooning budget assured his own demise. In 1947, Siegel was gunned down in his Beverly Hills home, a crime that remains unsolved.

The documentary intersperses black-and-white still photographs and archival footage with a handful of interviews from true-crime experts and various folks who knew Siegel, including his lawyer, barber and next-door neighbor. While the interviewees offer some juicy tidbits, they must compete with a hackneyed voiceover narration read by Larry Moran. When relating Siegel's 1926 arrest for rape, the narrator's sonorous voice tells us, "When it came to sex, he didn't discriminate. He didn't always ask, either." Siegel's longtime girlfriend, Virginia Hill, is described as "a feisty redhead from the foothills of North Carolina." Cue the eye-rolling. It's enough to make Mickey Spillane shudder.

It isn't a bad documentary, but it is uninspired and surprisingly lifeless. Too much of the film is a recitation of facts that don't shed much light on the subject. Only when we get to the saga of the Flamingo does Don't Call Me Bugsy really grab you, and most of that is due to rarely seen footage of Las Vegas in its early days.

The Video: The full-frame picture is solid but unremarkable. A few of the modern-day interviews suffer from softness, but much of the black-and-white archival footage is in very good condition.

The Audio: The 2.0 Stereo audio track gets the job done without any fanfare. The sound is somewhat flat, but you clearly hear the interviews and voiceover narrator, which is all that an audience would need.

English subtitles are available, but it should be noted that whoever is responsible for them evidently has little understanding of when a comma is necessary.

Extras: None.

Final Thoughts: Made in 1992, Don't Call Me Bugsy is a run-of-the-mill true-crime documentary that packs more information than it does illumination. The film chronicles Siegel's extravagant tastes for the Flamingo, but there is no speculation about what prompted it. What was his vision for Las Vegas? Did he even have a vision for it? People fascinated by organized crime (a group that includes your reviewer) would be better-served elsewhere, while viewers with only a casual interest are not likely to find much here worth their time.

Thanks to Phil Bacharach

Friday, June 27, 2008

Can't Find a Book About The Mob or Las Vegas?

Below is one of the most complete lists of mob, gambling & Las Vegas related books I've ever seen! It comes straight from the Gambler's Book Shop catalog ( Here's their contact info:

Gambler`s Book Shop
630 South 11th Street
Las Vegas, NV 89101
TOLL FREE ORDER LINES: 1-800-522-1777 & 1-800-634-6243

Click on an item to view its description:

20 YEARS A FAKIR by Weldon, S. James ...Order 494804...$1.00
24/7 LIVING IT UP & DOUBLING DOWN IN THE NEW LAS VEGAS by Martinez, Andres ...Order 612908...$15.00
ACCARDO: THE GENUINE GODFATHER by Roemer, William F. ...Order 552704...$6.99
AIDING AND ABETTING by Spark, Muriel ...Order 620109...$21.00
ALWAYS BET ON THE BUTCHER by UNR Oral History ...Order 558204...$21.95
AMERICAN MAFIA by Reppetto, Thomas ...Order 400404...$26.00
AN OFFER WE CAN'T REFUSE - THE MAFIA IN THE MIND OF AMERICA by De Stefano; George ...Order 526504...$26.00
ANOINTED ONE: NEVADA POLITICS by Ralston, Jon ...Order 537504...$17.95
ART OF GAMBLING & THE AGES by Flowers, Arthur/ Curtis, Tony ...Order 533404...$40.00
BARBARY COAST: HISTORY OF SAN FRANCISCO UNDERWORLD by Asbury, Herbert ...Order 455904...$14.95
BARNEY ROSS by Century, Douglas ...Order 655204...$19.95
BATTLE FOR LAS VEGAS:THE LAW VS. THE MOB by Griffin, Dennis N. ...Order 669104...$14.95
BENNY BINION by Gatewood, Jim ...Order 500004...$41.50
BEYOND THE GLIMMERING LIGHTS by Geran, Trish ...Order 486204...$19.95
BEYOND THE MAFIA by Balboni, Dr. Alan ...Order 529604...$27.95
BEYOND THE MAFIA (PAPERBACK) by Balboni, Alan ...Order 544604...$19.95
BIG BANKROLL-LIFE AND TIMES OF ARNOLD ROTHSTEIN by Katcher, leo ...Order 534904...$18.00
BIG JULIE OF VEGAS by Linn, Edward ...Order 462404...$5.00
BLACK BOOK AND THE MOB by Farrell, Ronald & Carole Case ...Order 550104...$18.95
BLACK GANGSTERS OF CHICAGO by Chepesiuk, Ron ...Order 401104...$22.00
BLACK STEPS IN DESERT SANDS by Overstreet, Everett Louis ...Order 537404...$10.00
BLOOD AND HONOR by Anastasia, George ...Order 556404...$17.95
BLOOD AND VOLUME: INSIDE NEW YORK'S ISRAELI MAFIA by Copeland, Dave ...Order 684204...$22.00
BLOOD COVENANT by Franzese, Michael ...Order 654304...$19.95
BLUEGRASS CONSPIRACY by Denton, Sally ...Order 528304...$14.95
BLUEGRASS DAYS NEON NIGHTS by Smith, John L. ...Order 621404...$24.95
BOSS OF BOSSES by O'Brien, Joseph & A. Kurins ...Order 531204...$7.50
BOULDER CITY NEVADA by Rodden, Mimi ...Order 549704...$18.99
BOUND BY HONOR by Bonanno, Bill ...Order 556904...$7.99
BRINGING DOWN THE MOB by Reppetto, Thomas ...Order 458504...$26.00
BROTHERHOODS: TRUE STORY OF TWO COPS WHO MURDERED ... by Lawson, Guy & Wm. Oldham ...Order 496904...$7.99
BROTHERS BULGER, THE by Carr, Howie ...Order 425094...$25.95
BROWNSVILLE by Kleid, Neil & Allen, Jake ...Order 425404...$18.95
BUILDING HOOVER DAM by Dunbar, Andrew & Dennisa McBri ...Order 557104...$24.95
BUILDINGS OF NEVADA by Nicoletta, Julie ...Order 619408...$45.00
BULLETS OVER HOLLYWOOD by McCarty, John ...Order 456504...$25.00
CAPONE by Kobler, John ...Order 481004...$19.95
CAPTAIN WILL FRITZ AND THE DALLAS MAFIA by Gatewood, Jim ...Order 480904...$32.50
CARD SHARPS, DREAMBOOKS AND BUCKETS by Fabian, Ann ...Order 531104...$29.95
CARNY KID, THE: SURVIVAL OF A YOUNG THIEF by Kahn, Kenneth ...Order 463504...$19.95
CASINO'S MOST VALUABLE CHIP by Scheri III, Saverio R ...Order 444004...$29.95
CIGAR CITY MAFIA (PAPERBACK) by Deitche, Scott M. ...Order 400904...$14.95
COLORADO GAMBLING (EARLY DAYS) by Wommack, Linda ...Order 532204...$4.95
CON MAN: A MASTER SWINDLER'S OWN STORY by Weil, J R ...Order 614604...$14.00
COVERT, MY YEARS INFILTRATING THE MOB by Delaney, Bob ...Order 555504...$19.95
CRIME INCORPORATED by Balsamo, Wm. & George Carr ...Order 529804...$15.95
CROOKS CON MEN AND CHEATS by Villiod, Eugene ...Order 466804...$4.95
CROSSROADER by Moore, N.M. and Walt Darring ...Order 532604...$14.95
CULLOTTA by Griffin, Dennis ...Order 603204...$19.95
CULT VEGAS by Weatherford, Mike ...Order 534204...$19.95
CUTTING THE WIRE by Schwartz, David G ...Order 442404...$24.95
DEVILS BARGAINS by Rothman, Hal K. ...Order 462302...$34.95
DIRTY DEALING by Cartwright, Gary ...Order 532704...$18.95
DOUBLE DEAL by Giancana, Sam and M Corbitt ...Order 500104...$7.99
DOUBLE DOWN by Barthelme, Frederick & Steven ...Order 554004...$13.00
DOUBLE OR NOTHING: HOW TWO FRIENDS RISKED IT ALL by Breitling, Tom ...Order 401404...$24.95
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF UNSOLVED CRIMES by Newton, Michael ...Order 528004...$21.95
ETHNIC OASIS: THE CHINESE IN THE BLACK HILLS by Zhu, Liping ...Order 527804...$15.95
EVERY MAN A SPECULATOR by Fraser, Steve ...Order 441204...$29.95
EYEING THE FLASH by Fenton, Peter ...Order 527904...$23.00
FAKERS, FORGERS & PHONEYS: FAMOUS SCAMS AND SCAMPS by Magnusson, Mangus ...Order 444404...$16.95
FAMILY AFFAIR by UNR Oral History Prgm ...Order 453804...$24.95
FAST COMPANY by Bradshaw, Jon ...Order 544304...$16.00
FIGHTING BACK by McMillan, James ...Order 527304...$21.95
FIRE IN THE DESERT by Puit, Glenn ...Order 485804...$16.95
FIRST 100 by Hopkins, A.D. & K.J. Evans ...Order 538604...$19.95
FIVE FAMILIES by Raab, Selwyn ...Order 442304...$29.95
FUN AND GAMES IN TWENTIETH-CENTURY AMERICA by Giordano, Ralph ...Order 471304...$49.95
G-MEN AND GANGSTERS by Spinale, Dominic ...Order 534604...$17.95
GALVESTON: ISLAND OF CHANCE by Chalfant, Frank E. ...Order 534404...$27.95
GAMBLERS OF YESTERYEAR by Barnhart, Russell ...Order 470804...$3.00
GAMBLERS OF THE OLD WEST by Kelly, Bill ...Order 551504...$24.95
GAMBLING & SPECULATION by Brenner, Rueven and Gabrielle ...Order 540604...$67.16
GAMBLING AND GAMBLING DEVICES by Quinn, John Phillip ...Order 471204...$8.95
GAMBLING WIZARDS by Munchkin, Richard ...Order 557804...$14.95
GAMBLING'S STRANGEST MOMENTS by Sharpe, Graham ...Order 543604...$13.00
GANGSTER CAPITALISM by Woodiwiss, Michael ...Order 426504...$14.95
GANGSTER CITY by Downey, Patrick ...Order 400004...$23.95
GANGSTERS, SWINDLERS, KILLERS, AND THIEVES by Block, Lawrence ...Order 402004...$26.00
GENIUS by Gleick, James ...Order 556704...$16.00
GLOBAL UNDERWORLD by Liddick, Donald R ...Order 467104...$39.95
GOLD, GALS, GUNS, GUTS by Lee, Bob ...Order 442004...$24.95
GOOD RAT: A TRUE STORY (HB) by Breslin, Jimmy ...Order 565704...$24.95
GREAT GAMBLES OF THE CIVIL WAR by Katcher, Phillip ...Order 441504...$9.99
GREEN FELT JUNGLE by Demaris, Ovid and Ed Reid ...Order 498904...$35.95
HANG TOUGH: GRANT SAWYER by UNR Oral History Program ...Order 536604...$12.95
HAVANA NOCTURNE: HOW THE MOB OWNED CUBA by English, T.J. ...Order 426704...$27.95
HENDERSON IMAGES OF AMERICA by Armstrong, R Jackson ...Order 558304...$19.99
HISTORIC PHOTOS OF CHICAGO CRIME: CAPONE ERA by Russick, John ...Order 401504...$39.95
HISTORIC PHOTOS OF LAS VEGAS by Burbank, Jeff ...Order 600504...$39.95
HISTORY OF DOWNTOWN LAS VEGAS by Las Vegas Facts ...Order 501004...$19.95
HISTORY OF HISPANICS IN SOUTHERN NEVADA by Miranda, M. L. ...Order 441004...$31.95
HISTORY OF L.V. NEIGHBORHOOD HOTEL/CASINOS by Las Vegas Facts ...Order 501104...$19.95
HISTORY OF L.V. OFF STRIP HOTEL/CASINOS by Las Vegas Facts ...Order 501304...$19.95
HITTING THE JACKPOT by Fromson, Brett Duval ...Order 441304...$15.00
HOLD THE ROSES by Rose Marie ...Order 400304...$25.00
HOLLYWOOD CELEBRITY PLAYGROUND by Johns, Howard ...Order 595804...$35.00
HOLLYWOOD'S CELEBRITY GANGSTER by Lewis, Brad ...Order 402304...$22.00
HOUSE OF HILTON: FROM CONRAD TO PARIS by Oppenheimer, Jerry ...Order 686804...$24.95
HOWARD HUGHES: POWER, PARANOIA & PALACE INTRIGUE by Schumacher, Geoff ...Order 520304...$25.95
HOWARD HUGHES: THE UNTOLD STORY by Brown, Peter Harry ...Order 533304...$17.95
I'LL DO MY OWN DAMN KILLIN' by Sleeper, Gary ...Order 565604...$22.00
IF I DIE by Fleeman, Michael ...Order 530604...$6.99
IN NEVADA by Thomson, David ...Order 537904...$14.00
IN NEVADA THE LAND PEOPLE & CHANGE by Thomson, David ...Order 530104...$27.50
IT WAS NEVER A GAMBLE: THE LIFE & TIMES OF A 1900'S HUSTLER by James, C W, Jr. ...Order 450204...$29.95
IT'S UNLUCKY TO BE SUPERSTITIOUS by Rowan, D. Arthur ...Order 414104...$14.95
J. FRANK NORRIS TOP O' HILL CASINO by Gatewood, Jim ...Order 442104...$42.50
JFK AND SAM by Giancana, Antoinette ...Order 452004...$22.95
JOHN DILLINGER SLEPT HERE by MacCabee, Phil ...Order 551404...$24.95
KING CON: THE STORY OF SOAPY SMITH by Haigh, Jane G. ...Order 401604...$9.95
KING OF THE GODFATHERS: BIG JOEY MASSINO by DeStefano, Anthony ...Order 401204...$6.99
KING OF THE JEWS (PAPERBACK) by Tosches, Nick ...Order 422804...$14.95
LAS VEGAS AS IT BEGAN AS IT GREW by Paher, Stanley ...Order 466904...$29.95
LAS VEGAS MEMORIES by Las Vegas Facts ...Order 501114...$24.95
LAS VEGAS THE GREAT AMERICAN PLAYGROUND by McCracken, Robert ...Order 551604...$16.95
LAS VEGAS THE FABULOUS FIRST CENTURY by Ainlay, Thomas and J. Gabaldon ...Order 566804...$24.99
LAS VEGAS: A CENTENNIAL HISTORY by Moehring, Eugene ...Order 441104...$21.95
LAS VEGAS: AN UNCONVENTIONAL HISTORY by Ferrari, Michelle ...Order 466704...$40.00
LAST GANGSTER by Anastasia, George ...Order 500204...$25.95
LAST HONEST PLACE IN AMERICA (PAPERBACK) by Cooper, Marc ...Order 401209...$14.95
LAST MOUTHPIECE by Simone, Robert F. ...Order 557304...$24.95
LAST RESORT by Dombrink, John & Wm Thompson ...Order 610808...$29.95
LAUGHLIN NEVADA HISTORY - #3 by Taylor, Richard ...Order 539904...$12.00
LAUGHLIN NEVADA HISTORY - #4 by Taylor, Richard ...Order 548104...$12.00
LEARNING FROM LAS VEGAS by Venturi, and Brown and Izenour ...Order 536904...$17.95
LEGALIZED GAMBLING by Thompson, William ...Order 541304...$45.00
LESTER BEN "BENNY" BINION by UNR Oral History Program ...Order 535304...$26.00
LIBERAL CONSCIENCE, A by Denton, Ralph ...Order 483204...$25.95
LICENSE TO STEAL (PAPERBACK) by Burbank, Jeff ...Order 520204...$18.95
LICENSE TO STEAL by Burbank, Jeff ...Order 540204...$29.95
LIFE AND TIMES OF LEPKE BUCHALTER by Kavieff, Paul R. ...Order 442604...$22.00
LITERARY COMPANION TO GAMBLING by Davis-Goff, Annabel ...Order 535604...$5.00
LUCKY LUCIANO by Powell, Hickman ...Order 553204...$23.95
MADE MEN by Smith, Greg B. ...Order 536204...$6.99
MAFIA AND ORGANIZED CRIME: A BEGINNER'S GUIDE by Finckenauer, James ...Order 401304...$14.95
MAFIA AND THE ALLIES, THE by Costanzo, Ezio ...Order 442704...$17.00
MAFIA BUSINESS by Aarlacchi, Pino ...Order 616508...$13.95
MAFIA DYNASTY by Davis, John H. ...Order 548904...$7.99
MAFIA ENCYCLOPEDIA by Sifakis, Carl ...Order 541604...$19.95
MAFIA IN HAVANA by Cirules, Enrique ...Order 542404...$17.95
MAFIA WIFE by Milito, Lynda and R Potterton ...Order 600004...$7.99
MANHATTANIZING LAS VEGAS by Murad, Paul ...Order 451111...$19.95
MAVERICK SPIRIT THE by Davis, Richard ...Order 524204...$17.95
MEMORIES OF THE LAS VEGAS STRIP by Las Vegas Facts ...Order 501204...$14.95
MEMORIES OF DOWNTOWN LAS VEGAS by Las Vegas Facts ...Order 501604...$9.95
MOB NEMESIS by DeNevi, Don and Joe Griffin ...Order 535404...$26.00
MOBSTERS, UNIONS & FEDS: MAFIA & AMERICAN LABOR MOVEMENT by Jacobs, James B. ...Order 524504...$32.95
MONEY AND THE POWER by Denton, Sally ...Order 536304...$15.95
MOTOR CITY MAFIA: A CENTURY OF ORGANIZED CRIME IN DETROIT by Burnstein, Scott ...Order 562604...$19.99
MOULIN ROUGE HISTORY by Taylor, Richard ...Order 548004...$24.00
MT CHARLESTON HISTORY: VOL. 3 by Taylor, Richard ...Order 536104...$15.00
MURDER OF A MAFIA DAUGHTER by Scott, Cathy ...Order 558004...$23.95
MY FATHER'S SON by Cladianos, Pete ...Order 526904...$21.95
MY YEARS WITH CAPONE by Elliott, Neil ...Order 529904...$10.95
McMAFIA: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld by Glenny, Misha ...Order 402402...$27.95
McMAFIA: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld by Glenny, Misha ...Order 402404...$27.95
NEON METROPOLIS by Rothman, Hal ...Order 534304...$27.50
NEON METROPOLIS PAPERBOUND by Rothman, Hal ...Order 534704...$20.95
NEVADA TOWNS & TALES -VOL I NORTH by Paher, Stanley ...Order 532004...$19.95
NEVADA TOWNS & TALES -VOL II SOUTH by Paher, Stanley ...Order 532104...$22.50
NEVADA YESTERDAYS by Wright, Frank ...Order 442504...$24.95
NEVADA'S GOLDEN AGE GAMBLING by Woods, Albert ...Order 538904...$19.95
NO LIMIT--RISE AND FALL OF BOB STUPAK by Smith, John L. ...Order 534804...$21.95
NOTHING PERSONAL JUST BUSINESS... by Dickson, Kenneth ...Order 464604...$20.00
OF RATS AND MEN: OSCAR GOODMAN by Smith, John L. ...Order 549104...$25.95
ON THE BOULEVARD by Smith, John L. ...Order 530804...$12.95
ORGANIZED CRIME by Lunde, Paul ...Order 475204...$30.00
OUTFIT, THE by Russo, Gus ...Order 540104...$35.00
PADDY WHACKED by English, T J ...Order 533904...$27.95
PAPER FAN: THE HUNT FOR TRIAD GANGSTER STEVEN WONG by Gould, Terry ...Order 540804...$16.95
PARABLES FROM (a not quite) PARADISE NEVADA by Thompson, William ...Order 553604...$11.45
PASCAL'S WAGER: THE MAN WHO PLAYED DICE WITH GOD by Connor, James A. ...Order 482802...$24.95
PASSING THROUGH by Menzies, Richard ...Order 561204...$21.95
PEOPLES OF LAS VEGAS by Simich, Jerry ...Order 626409...$24.95
PHILADELPHIA'S BLACK MAFIA by Griffin, Sean Patrick ...Order 441404...$42.00
PK MAN: TRUE STORY OF MIND-OVER-MATTER by Mishlove, Jeffrey ...Order 547004...$9.00
PLAYERS: CON MEN, HUSTLERS, GAMBLERS, AND SCAM ARTISTS by Hyde, Stephen ...Order 540004...$16.95
PLAYERS: THE MEN WHO MADE LAS VEGAS by Sheehan, Jack ...Order 539804...$18.95
PLAYING THE CARDS THAT ARE DEALT by Dixon, Mead w/& Ken Adams ...Order 676725...$21.95
POLICING LAS VEGAS by Griffin, Dennis ...Order 535004...$17.95
PONZI by Dunn, Donald ...Order 666604...$14.00
PONZI'S SCHEME: PAPERBACK by Zuckoff, Mitchell ...Order 666804...$14.95
PURPLE GANG by Kavieff, Paul R. ...Order 535104...$22.00
QUICKSILVER by Smith, John L. ...Order 540504...$13.95
RAT BASTARDS by Shea, John ...Order 402104...$24.95
RAT PACK CONFIDENTIAL by Levy, Shawn ...Order 534504...$14.95
READER OF GENTLEMEN'S MAIL by Kahn, David ...Order 522704...$32.50
RESORT CITY IN SUNBELT by Moehring, Eugene ...Order 545204...$19.95
REVENGE OF THE PEQUOTS by Eisler, Kim ...Order 542304...$13.95
RICHES AND REGRETS by Stowkowski, Patricia ...Order 530504...$39.95
RISE & FALL OF THE CLEVELAND MAFIA by Porrello, Rick ...Order 550904...$22.00
ROLL THE BONES (Paperbound) by Schwartz, David ...Order 646604...$18.00
ROTHSTEIN by Pietrusza, David ...Order 462604...$16.00
RUNNING SCARED: STEVE WYNN by Smith, John L ...Order 539704...$15.95
SECRET LIFE OF SIEGFRIED AND ROY by Mydlach, Jim ...Order 499704...$25.95
SHARKS IN THE DESERT by Smith, John L ...Order 441604...$24.95
SHORT HISTORY OF LAS VEGAS by Land, Barbara & Myrick ...Order 535504...$17.95
SHORT HISTORY OF RENO by Land, Barbara & Myrick ...Order 549604...$14.95
STARDUST OF YESTERDAY by Rinella, Heidi Knapp ...Order 672704...$39.95
STEALING MACHINE (SOFTBOUND) by Villiod, Eugene ...Order 454904...$7.95
STEALING MACHINE (HARDBOUND) by Villiod, Eugene ...Order 456204...$11.95
STORMING LAS VEGAS by Huddy, John ...Order 555604...$25.95
STREET SOLDIER by Mackenzie, Edward ...Order 400604...$14.00
SUBURBAN XANADU by Schwartz, David ...Order 454804...$40.95
SUCKER'S PROGRESS by Asbury, Herbert ...Order 455004...$7.00
SUN, SIN AND SUBURBIA by Schumacher, Geoff ...Order 551104...$23.95
SUPER CASINO - INSIDE NEW LAS VEGAS by Earley, Pete ...Order 652511...$7.99
SUPERMOB by Russo, Gus ...Order 541104...$34.95
TAKEDOWN by Cowan, Rick and D Century ...Order 400504...$7.99
THIEF! THE GUTSY, TRUE STORY OF AN EX-CON ARTIST by Hanner, William and C Rohn ...Order 429204...$22.00
THIS BO PEEP AIN'T NO FAIRY TALE by Silver, Murray ...Order 558104...$13.95
TOUGH JEWS by Cohen, Rich ...Order 531904...$13.00
TRUE BLUE by Sutton, Randy ...Order 541008...$23.95
UNDERBOSS by Mass, Peter ...Order 546504...$7.99
UNSINKABLE TITANIC THOMPSON by Stowers, Carlton ...Order 529404...$19.95
VATICAN TO VEGAS by Klein, Norman ...Order 540704...$27.95
VEGAS...THE MOB AND THE DEAD PIG ON THE DANCE FLOOR by Broderick, Michael ...Order 441704...$16.00
VIOLENT YEARS by Kavieff, Paul R. ...Order 534004...$22.00
VIRGIN KISS by Scoblete, Frank ...Order 602404...$17.95
WE ALL LIVE IN VEGAS by Paolini, Francois ...Order 670004...$34.95
WEIRD LAS VEGAS AND NEVADA: YOUR ALTERNATIVE TRAVEL GUIDE by Oesterle, Joe et. al. ...Order 418204...$19.95
WHALE HUNT IN THE DESERT by Castleman, Deke ...Order 586002...$24.95
WHEN CAPONE'S MOB MURDERED by Tuohy, John W. ...Order 551704...$24.95
WHEN THE MOB RAN LAS VEGAS by Fischer, Steve ...Order 442204...$19.95
WICKED WEST, THE by Monahan, Sherry ...Order 526004...$15.95
WINNER TAKES ALL by Binkley, Christina ...Order 426604...$25.95
WISE GUY by Pileggi, Nicholas ...Order 535804...$7.99
WITHOUT RESERVATION by Benedict, Jeff ...Order 618208...$14.00
YAKUZA by Kaplan, David E & Alec Dubro ...Order 600204...$19.95
YOUNG LAS VEGAS by Whitely, Joan Burhart ...Order 443004...$29.95