What we’d like to see in the mob museum

Mayor Oscar Goodman hopes to bring bodies — the living kind — into his mob museum, set to open in early 2011 in the old downtown courthouse and U.S. post office building. (Its official name is the Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, but no one will call it that.)

Yet the only artifact he has announced is the brick wall from the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, the famous 1929 showdown between the crews of Al Capone and George “Bugs” Moran.

That’s great, but it happened in Chicago. There are so many Vegas-centric things we’d like to see instead. What follows is our wish list. (Attention any real-life Sopranos out there: This is a joke. We mean no disrespect. Seriously.)


We suspect a hat like this may have been presented to Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel by his associates in 1947, in recognition of the fine job the Flamingo Hotel overseer did coming in under construction budget.


Historically, enemies of the Mafia in Las Vegas had a curious habit of disappearing without a trace. This exhibit would solve most of those mysteries. Of course, after you view it, you’ll have to disappear yourself.


This was one list no one wanted to top. Anthony “Tony the Ant” Spilotro — the Chicago mob’s enforcer in Las Vegas — had a notorious reputation for exacting revenge on all double-crossers. (He was the inspiration for Joe Pesci’s character in the 1995 movie “Casino.”) In 1986, Spilotro and his younger brother were beaten to death and buried in an Indiana cornfield.


In 1982, bookmaker and Spilotro associate Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal had a blast at his favorite rib joint. Carrying a bag of takeout for his kids, Rosenthal walked to his ’81 Cadillac Eldorado in the parking lot at 620 E. Sahara Ave., got in and turned the ignition. Miraculously, he escaped the bomb explosion with minor injuries, thanks to a steel plate under the driver’s seat (standard on that model). Rosenthal didn’t die until last year, of a heart attack at age 79 in Florida. It’s safe to assume that Tony Roma’s stopped being his favorite restaurant long before that.


Come on, Mayor Goodman, we know you know where he is!

Contact reporter Corey Levitan at clevitan@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0456.

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