June 3, 2017   Saturday

Today, I spoke to local readers at the Clark County library in Las Vegas. My hour-and-a-half talk was about the gangsters who built 80% of the Las Vegas Strip resorts during the two decades from the Flamingo in 1946 to Caesars Palace in 1966. The theme was from my “30 Illegal Years To The Strip”. It covered these gangsters’ criminal careers during Prohibition and then their elegant but illegal casinos across the country, until they and their associates moved to Las Vegas.

In addition to explaining what these Strip pioneers actually did and did not do during their criminal careers and what their values were, I presented the great myths that have developed about their backgrounds. I described the many major, serious inaccuracies in most books about these men’s careers that are well documented by the factual sources in my book.

I offered strong evidence that the gang leaders of this era talked like normal people in private meetings and not like the cartoon-like threatening bullies they are always portrayed as in Hollywood’s gangster movies and TV shows. In this regard, I plugged KC Detective Gary Jenkins’ book “Leaving Vegas” that contains the transcripts of FBI’s bugged conversations of the Mafia leaders involved in the large casino skim, which was fictionalized in the movie “Casino”. While these Midwest Mafia leaders were frustrated with their Las Vegas casino management, these bosses in private talked like normal people with no threats or anger. Earlier this year, Gary played the actual FBI bugged recordings at this library to show how normally all these men talked and what they actually said, when they met with each other in private.

I also discussed the many serious errors in the two AMC series of “The Making of the Mob”, both for New York and for Chicago. I especially pointed out this series’ complete reversal of the actual role of the Chicago Mob in the Las Vegas casino industry from the 1950s to the 1980s, as presented in the final episode 8.

After my presentation, I answered numerous questions about various aspects of the history of the Las Vegas casino industry to this very inquisitive group. Then, I autographed both “30 Illegal Years To The Strip” and “All Against The Law”. I am most thankful to everyone who attended for their welcome applause at the end of my presentation, and their warmth during our conversations, while I signed books.