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.