A tale of Ted B !


The Lost Treasure of Ted Binion

You may not know who Ted Binion is off the get go. Ted was the son of gamed gambler/gangster, Benny Binion of Las Vegas fame and a prior mover and shaker in the Dallas, Texas underworld. Speculation is that Benny killed or had killed between five or seven men, mostly over unpaid gambling debts or attempts on Benny’s life. Let’s just say that Bemmy could be hard to get along with. In 1951, Benny would move to Vegas, start a casino and live a large life. This would include time in jail for tax issues.

Benny, to me, did a lot for Vegas in his lifetime.

After Benny’s death in 1989, Ted would play a role in casino operations after a few legal issues with his sister. His father’s death causes, as some would see, mental health issues as it would another member of that family.

Ted was (as his father was) a Silver Bug, owning a lot of it as did the casino. On or about the time the State of Nevada revoked his gaming licence, Ted owned a lot of silver, a bit of gold and, it is rumored, rare coins with other valuables taken to his ranch outside of Vegas and buried in an underground vault. I have read that this amount of treasure has been valued in the tens of millions (in 1990’s rates, $100+ million now).

Sadly, the loss of his father and his gaming license, along with issues with his girlfriend, led to a heroin and drug addiction, so few were shocked when he was found dead in his home next to empty pill bottles. The police knew that he had bought heroin the day before, so the first thought was OD or possibly suicide.

Kin of Ted’s did not accept the idea, they said that Ted was not as upset as others thought. The wanted his girlfriend looked into and found that he wasn’t the only guy hitting that well. After more investigation, Sandy Murphy (the girlfriend) and Rick Tabish (the other boyfriend) were arrested, tried, found guilty, tried again and found not guilty of murder but a range of other issues saw Sandy walked away with time serve and Rick spend a couple years in prision, though he is out now.

Sandy, I last read, was living with a much older, wealthy man.

My understanding is that the couple above did obtain some of the loot but that the vast majority of the loot has vanished. From time to time, others are caught on the old ranch trying to find it. To date, I think no one has. The county has some as well from the ranch that no one has yet claimed.

So where is it? Silver bars are not light. Nor are silver coins. So nobody just walked away with it. Nobody has come to Vegas and said, “Hey, look at what I found.” The vast amount is still out there, in the desert. I’m thinking that one day we should go looking for this.

Perhaps we will find Rick with a spade, still looking for silver.

Not Dead

Not Dead

Sorry for the last of postings in the last couple weeks, I got caught up in a few small issues that just grew and grew until they were larger than I could have predicted and trying to get three Mr. Big Talks books done and out (as well as the book on the mob in Buffalo) had to slow down as a result.

You’ve already guessed it but I need to do a far better job in managing my time. I’ve done a bad job so far and that isn’t helped by the way the wheels are spinning on Frank Goes to Vegas or this virus that’s going around.
As you know, Mr. Big Talks Craps is done and out and you can find it here. I hope to have Mr. Big Talks Blackjack done in another week. I had originally hoped for this week but we have to learn to go with the flow when obstacles are thrown in our way.
Frank Goes to Vegas needs to be reset. It didn’t get the backing on GoFundMe that was hoped for. This tells me that few, if any, want to see this book or to help out. So the question that I am left with is whether I do it at all. I have a large amount of research that I would rather see get used for something. The GoFundMe will stop soon since nobody seems to be interested.
I need to get Buffalo Mafia finished and out. I have firm deadlines on that one and a great editor and cover designer. These are amazing resources that are just waiting for the signal to get working.
So, again, sorry for the lack of postings but there are exciting things on the horizon.

George Jay Vandermark or Lets not steal from the Mafia)



Born in 1923, George Jay Vandermark had worked in Vegas for some time already when 1976 found him working at the mob owned Stardust Casino. In May of that year, the Nevada Gaming Commission staged a raid and quickly found out that a wide ranging skim was being conducted to the tune of about $7 million. Nice money, that, too bad that George told the mob it was only $4 million (roughly $300,000 a week). That meant that George had put aside $3 million for himself. It is alleged that Vandermark’s job as a slot supervisor was to create opportunities to do this skim, such as rigging the scales that were used to weigh the coins from slots (For example, 1lb of coins would weigh in at 3/4 a pound to be reported to the IRS).

Mr. Vandermark vanished before law enforcement could interview him.

As you might imagine, this upset the mafia who were running the show. Such men as the alleged Godfather of Milwaukee, Frank Balistrieri (a man believe by many to have had others killed for simply insulting him behind his back).

Not a good thing to do, pissing those folks off.

The government reached out to George via his son, Jeff, to warn him that his life was in great danger. They offered to put him into witness protection. My understanding is that Jeff told the FBI that he was able to contact his father, who may have been living in Mexico at the time, and that George was willing to talk with the FBI. This might have been a fatal mistake on his part, since soon after Jeff was found dead with his skull crushed (1).

For a few years following, there were reports of Vandermark sightings both in Baja, Mexico, and Phoenix. These stopped by 1978.

Current rumor has it that the mafia caught up with George in Mexico where they had him killed and buried in the desert (2).

No one has been charged with Vandermark’s disappearance or murder, nor has any trace of the money looted from the Stardust ever been discovered.

Stealing from the mafia is never a good idea.

(1): Was his son, Jeff, killed to find the money that his father stole? Three million is a lot of money, after all.

(2). Another story is that the mob gave him a trip to Mexico, a thanks for all of George’s hard work, and then had him killed in Mexico and used a look alike to cause confusion through the subsequent sightings.

You can find me on Twitter @Themilwaukeemob

You can buy my book on Frank Balistrieri   Here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07S15JL4B