Vegas legends we can’t shatter in 2023


Published on: January 1, 2024 at 08:01 pm.

Last updated on: January 1, 2024 at 11:45 pm.

We will start 2024 with acceptance.. No matter how much we try and try again, we don’t always succeed. Although we’re pretty sure the recurring Las Vegas stories below are all nonsense, we haven’t yet come up with the goods to prove it.

Maybe, with your help, we can bust these myths this year.

Million Manson

This is clearly a Photoshop job, not an actual photo of mass murderer Charles Manson in color standing in front of Binion’s Million Dollar Horseshoe in black and white. Believe it or not, it has fooled many bloggers. (Photo: Vintage Las Vegas)

Charles Manson and his followers stole the camera in front of the Million Dollar Parade, a famous photo op at Binion’s Horseshoe (now known as Binion’s Gambling Hall) from 1954. That’s at least according to a January 20, 2000 story published in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Las Vegas Sun. This idea has been repeated in dozens of publications and websites since then.

The story, which only quoted Binion’s then-owner, Becky Behnen, noted that the photo no longer existed because the FBI came up with a search warrant and seized it.

“To this day, the FBI still possesses the only copy of Manson’s $1 million Binion photo,” the former wrote. sun Reporter David Straw.

“This claim assumes too much,” the Twitter/X Vintage Las Vegas account noted. “The casino kept an organized archive of a million tourist photos. The FBI knew Manson had visited and taken a photo op, and (knew) of the photo archive. They wanted them (why??) and the casino knew exactly where to find them.”

however, Casino.orgprivate Vital Vegas Blogger Scott Rubin spent months contacting the FBI, trying to track down the allegedly seized photo. Thanking him was a big fat goose egg.

The FBI responded to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by Rubin on November 30, 2022: “Potentially responsive records were identified during the search.” He added: “However, we were informed that they were not in their expected locations. Further searches for missing records were also met with unsuccessful results. Since we were unable to review the records, we were unable to determine whether they were responsive to your request.”

In a since-deleted response, Straw himself tweeted: “My source on this (in 2000) was Becky Behnen, but I haven’t actually checked her out. I would consider her one of the Las Vegas legends that adds to our mystique, even if it’s hard to prove.” Today.I think it was as simple as Becky Behnen telling me a second-hand story that she (foolishly) reported verbatim as fact.

Jay McAfee broke ground on his 91st Club in 1939. Dirt, by the way, wasn’t the only thing he was good at shoveling. (picture: Los Angeles Daily News)

“Beginner mistakes are much less interesting than dark secrets.”

However, there is no evidence of this Proof That one of the most famous mass murderers of the twentieth century did not smile and say million-dollar cheese at the casino.

Unsurprisingly, Behneen did not respond to many of the messages we left for her.

How did the Las Vegas Strip get its name?

Former Los Angeles cop Jay McAfee is widely credited with naming the Las Vegas Strip. The story — repeated by dozens of books, articles and websites devoted to Las Vegas history — is that when McAfee bought the Pair-O-Dice Casino in 1939, he referred to the road on which it stood as “The Strip.”

It was meant to be an ironic comparison to the bustling Sunset Strip he left behind. McAfee’s casino, which he expanded and renamed Club 91, was located near where the north end of the Fashion Show Mall stands today. But at the time, Interstate 91 seemed like a road leading nowhere.

This story is highly suspicious. For one thing, it was not publicly recorded until McAfee’s widow confirmed it during an interview after her husband’s death in January 1960. More importantly, McAfee was not known for his honesty. As a captain in the Los Angeles Police Department’s vice squad during Prohibition, for example, his job was to target illegal bars, gambling saloons, and brothels.

McAfee ended up co-founding several of these companies, along with members of organized crime, who paid him to share in their spoils.

Bugsy Siegel named the flamingo

Billy Wilkerson, magazine publisher Hollywood Reporter And the sole pioneer behind the Flamingo presented Marilyn Monroe with an award in an undated photo. (Photo: Wilkerson Collection)

We have already debunked the myth that Bugsy Siegel is the father of Las Vegas. This dangerous thug wasn’t even the father of the flamingo. The resort was a vision Hollywood Reporter Founder and Publisher Billy Wilkerson. In 1945, a friend of his suggested that instead of just losing money in casinos, he should build his own, so he could always win.

All Siegel did was take over the Flamingo in 1946 — by some accounts, using the threat of violence — when Wilkerson’s dream collapsed before he could complete its construction because he gambled away his money.

But the question is who named the joint. According to the “official” story, Siegel named her after his friend Virginia Hill, who was nicknamed “Flamingo” because of her long, skinny legs.

The film was most likely first spun by Hank Greenspoon – who worked as a press agent for Flamingo in 1947, before founding the company. Las Vegas Sun This story appears in Andy Edmonds’ 1993 autobiography, baby boogie, And 100 other places.

More likely, Wilkerson, who envisioned it as a Miami Beach resort in the desert, named it after the adorable pink bird he fell in love with during a trip to Florida.

William R. said: Wilkerson III, Wilkerson’s son: “He had a special penchant for exotic birds and named many of his projects after them.” in 2023. One of them was his Beverly Hills restaurant, L’Aiglon (The Young Eagle).

“After considering many ideas, and all the variations on exotic birds, he finally settled on the Flamingo Club,” Wilkerson said. “That was the main working title until Siegel entered the picture.”

Wilkerson added that his father’s attorney, Greg Bautzer, told him confidentially.

But what about a smoking gun? Something that would prove that the project had the Flamingo moniker before Siegel, Mo Sidaway, and Gus Greenbaum got involved via an unfortunately accepted check for $1 million in February 1946? Maybe there’s a dated drawing by graphic artist Bert Worth of his original flamingo logo?

“There were documents attesting to that,” Wilkerson said. “But it was destroyed in my father’s office fire in 1951.”

Unfortunately, one man’s word does not shatter a myth, no matter how doubtful that myth may be.

If you can help us bust any of these myths, please email Look for “Vegas Legends Busted” every Monday a happy new year!

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