For most people, the gambling industry is something mysterious. Their ideas about casinos are full of myths, legends, and misconceptions. Even regular customers of gambling establishments share erroneous assumptions about many gambling issues.
But there were cases in the history of the casino that make even the experts shrug their shoulders in bewilderment. They are associated with huge winnings under strange circumstances, the activities of cheaters, mystical disappearances and other events. As a rule, there are criminal elements behind them though it is not always possible to prove it.
The most resonant secrets in which the criminal world penetrates into the gambling sphere will be discussed in the article.
The robbery of the Horizon casino
On November 9, 2003, at four o'clock in the morning, a crime was committed in Vicksburg, Mississippi, which stymied the local police. An employee of the Horizon casino slot machine hall went out for a smoke break and collided with an armed man.
A man in a mask and cowboy jacket forced the receptionist to go back inside and open the cash register, where there were other workers. He warned that there were two bombs in the building and demanded to give him all the cash. Terrified of a gun pointed at them and a possible explosion, the employees gave the robber sixty thousand dollars. Then the perpetrator fled.
All employees and visitors of the casino were evacuated. In the service room, the bomb squad found a shoebox tightly wrapped in duct tape. It turned out to be a dummy bomb.
It also emerged that an hour before the robbery, the police received an anonymous call. The man, who could not be identified, said he had mined the Rainbow casino. At the same time, an unknown person set fire to a local elementary school.
Investigators believe that these incidents are related. This is probably how the crime mastermind wreaked havoc in the city to distract the police from Horizon Casino.
The case remains unsolved. The cops couldn't trace the robber or find the money.
The Murder Of Gail Ann Thompson
On may 3, 1996, 56-year-old Gail Anne Thompson from Middleton, Idaho, went with her husband Bobby to Cactus Pete's casino in Jackpot, Nevada. They were accompanied by another couple.
The next night, Bobby and the family went to the hotel while Gail stayed at the casino. In the morning the man realized that his wife in the room did not appear all night. He woke up his friends, and the trio went to look for a woman in all local institutions. But she was nowhere to be found.
Worried husband wrote a statement to the police. Cops found Gail's body two days later. It lay in a vacant lot. The woman's head was smashed with a blunt object and her throat was cut with a sharp knife. The perp didn't take the money or jewelry. There were no signs of sexual assault.
During the investigation, the police suspected Bobby of killing his wife. It was his fifth marriage. It turned out that the couple often quarreled because Gail wanted to move to Kansas. Besides, her husband's testimony seemed strange to the cops.
The investigation lasted several years and finally stalled in 2000, when Bobby died.
The Disappearance Of George J. Vandermark
George Jay Vandermark worked as slots hall inspector at the Stardust casino, in Las Vegas.
On may 18, 1976, representatives of the Nevada gaming control department unexpectedly descended on the establishment. The inspection revealed that the slot hall has a complex system of fraud organized by the local mafia. Criminals managed to gain with its help seven million dollars.
George snuck out of the casino during the inspection. A little later, the reason for his stampede became clear. Investigators learned that Vandermark gave the crime bosses only four million, and kept three for himself. Of course, he had to hide from both cops and bandits.
The police contacted George through his son, Jeff Vandermark, and promised the crook protection from the mafia. He agreed to cooperate, and the next day his son was found dead. The killer crushed Jeff's skull. The murder was unsolved.
George chose not to return to Las Vegas and disappeared without a trace. Some journalists claimed that he was killed and buried in the desert, but there was no official confirmation of this version.
The Murder Of Jody Bordeaux
Jodie Bordeaux lived with her husband on a farm on the Kickapoo reservation in Kansas. The couple worked at the Indian casino Golden Eagle.
The twenty-first of November 1997, unknown persons opened fire from a gun at the windows of their home. One of the bullets hit Jody, who was seven months pregnant, in the head. She died instantly. The child could not be saved.
The police considered several versions, but the husband is sure that his wife was killed because of the conflict at work. Jody was appointed an inspector of the arcade hall, which displeased her colleagues. They resented the fact that such a lucrative position was given to a woman who did not belong to their people. Moreover, she was not an Indian at all.
The husband said that because of this, she soured relations with many employees, and she even received anonymous phone calls with threats. The case was not solved. As they say, the reason for this was the reluctance of Kickapoo Indians to cooperate with the investigation and give the cops brothers.
Bill Brennan Robbery
How many people do you think it takes to Rob a big casino in Las Vegas for half a million dollars? It turns out, you can do without a group of accomplices, weapons and expensive equipment. It is enough to get a job in an institution, get access to cash, and then secretly carry out a huge amount.
So did Bill Brennan. He worked as a cashier in a bookmaker's office at Stardust Casino. According to the recollections of the staff, he was a calm, neat guy who did not cause the slightest suspicion. Bill had no friends, no girlfriend, and his roommate was only cat.
The twenty-second of September, 1992 during the lunch break, this demure left the workplace and more it never returned. He left the casino without even being seen by the security cameras. With Brennan gone $507 361 in cash and chips.
When the police began their investigation, they found no clues in his file or in his rented apartment. The guy had no relatives. Colleagues started to think about some dubious relations of Bill, but the direction of the investigation also gave nothing.
He may be long dead. It's possible he was killed by an accomplice. A lot of people think he didn't Rob the casino at all. Bill is currently on the list of the most wanted Americans, but his case is now no one is engaged.
About scam by bill Brennan detailed in a separate article Casinoz.
The Disappearance Of Jean Moore
On April 6, 1992, 59-year-old Jean Moore and her fiance, Al Henderson went to Laughlin, Nevada, to spend time playing in local casinos. On April third they were going to check out of the hotel, but Jean wanted to play video slots in the morning. Al claimed she stayed at the casino, promising to return to her room later. Without waiting for Jean, he went in search of the bride, but she was nowhere to be found.
Al went to the local police for help. The cops searched the city, but they didn't find Jean. They watched the casino videos. Henderson was clearly visible on the tapes, but not his companion. It was suspected that she had not been in the establishment at all.
Later emerged strange new circumstances. Turned out, the night he disappeared, Al called his accountant in Laughlin. He claimed to have heard Moore's voice on the phone. Another witness said he saw the couple at a nearby gas station.
But all that evidence wasn't enough to charge al Henderson. He died in 2001. Jean Moore was never found, and the case was closed.
The Murder Of Terry McClure
On January 14, 1983 Terry McClure came from Reno in lake Tahoe to take part in the wedding of his son Tim. After the ceremony, they all went to the casino, where they spent some time gambling. Terri left the party before the others and, after saying good-bye, drove home.
The next day Tim decided to visit his mother, but her house was empty. A little later, he filed a report on the disappearance of the woman to the police. Terry was found in a car in a casino Parking lot in Carson city. She was shot twice in the head.
The police learned that her life was insured for ten thousand dollars. Tim was to receive this sum. That seemed like a good enough motive for the cops to declare the guy the prime suspect in his mother's murder.
Then new evidence surfaced. Tim and his wife were confused in their testimony. Their alibis could not be confirmed. They failed the lie detector tests. The transaction data from their bank cards contradicted their claims of whereabouts. In short, everything pointed to the guilt of the spouses, but the case did not reach the court.
Almost ten years later, Tim himself turned to the TV show "Unsolved Mysteries", asking them to solve the murder. As a result, investigators charged him with murder. But the Nevada district attorney again decided there wasn't enough evidence and finally closed the case.
Under state law, Tim can no longer be brought to trial, even if irrefutable evidence of his guilt emerges.
The Disappearance Of George Tsolakis
On February 23, 1992, George Tsolakis called his wife from a sports club in Marlborough, Connecticut, and said he would be home soon. But he did not return to his wife and three children. The family has not heard from him since.
The police assumed that George had disappeared on his own initiative. The total amount of his debts exceeded two hundred thousand dollars. He faced prison on several charges, including tax evasion. In addition, information surfaced that he owed an underground gambling operator.
On March 20, his car was found in the Parking lot of the Foxwoods casino in Ledyard. Judging by the fact that the car was covered with snow, it stood there for a long time.
The staff said George had been to the casino. One witness even recalled that a week before the disappearance Tsolakis won a large sum. Others claimed that he appeared in the company of unknown men.
Foxwoods Casino was under constant surveillance, but records were kept for only a few days. They couldn't find George on the tapes. The police never found Tsolakis. According to relatives, he did not contact them.
How not to become a victim of a crime playing at the casino?
Finally, a few tips for readers of Casinoz, how not to get in a similar situation and not to become a victim of criminals.
- Play only in legal and reliable casinos.
Do not encourage the dealer to break the rules, even in small things.
Don't try to cheat.
Do not borrow from questionable individuals (it is better to never borrow money at the casino).
Be constantly in sight.
Watch out for chips, money and personal belongings.
Ask security to escort you to your car or hotel room (especially if you have a large sum).
Do not drink alcohol while playing or at least be restrained.
It can be difficult to investigate cases in which casinos are directly or indirectly involved due to the reluctance of gambling operators to share information about the nuances of gambling establishments with the police. Often they have something to hide, so they are in no hurry to show the cops CCTV footage, do not want to provide them with data on financial transactions of clients and generally avoid contact with authorities.
Often the owners or employees of gambling establishments are involved in crimes and therefore try to hide all the evidence. In doing so, they use loopholes in the law to keep cops from sticking their noses "where they shouldn't." This is especially true of Indian casinos on native American reservations.
As a result, many such cases remain unsolved, even if investigators have leads and clues.