The Mob Museum is coming soon!





National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement opens in Las Vegas on February 14, 2012

There are two sides to every story — and then there’s the truth. Uncover the real life battle between organized crime and law enforcement when The Mob Museum opens to the public on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2012.  The Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, is a world-class destination in downtown Las Vegas. It presents an exciting and authentic view of the mob’s impact on Las Vegas history and its unique imprint on the world.

The Museum, which has already acquired one of the most iconic artifacts in mob history – the brick wall from the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, will open on the 83rd anniversary of the infamous Massacre, considered one of the most significant days in Mob history. Admission is $18 plus tax for adults ages 18-plus; $12 plus tax for children ages 5 to 17 and students ages 18 to 23 with ID; $14 plus tax for seniors, military, law enforcement and teachers; and $10 plus tax for Nevada residents of all ages. Museum hours will be Sundays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.

With tales so intriguing they need no embellishment, The Mob Museum reveals an insider’s look at the events and people on both sides of this continuing battle between organized crime and law enforcement. True stories of mob history are brought to life in a bold and contemporary style via engaging exhibits and multi-sensory experiences. The Mob Museum puts the visitor in the middle of the action through high-tech theater presentations, iconic one-of-a-kind artifacts and interactive, themed environments.

The Museum’s board of directors is headed by Ellen Knowlton, former FBI Special Agent in Charge, Las Vegas Division, and a 24-year FBI veteran. The Mob Museum boasts a highly respected board including professionals from local and state government, law enforcement, the judicial system, media and the business community. A key visionary for the project and current board member is former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman, a previous go-to defense attorney who made a name for himself representing such reputed mobsters as Meyer Lansky, Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal and Anthony Spilotro, among others.

Artifacts to be integrated throughout the Museum’s interactive exhibits provide an insider’s look into many of  organized crime’s biggest names, including, Alphonse Capone, Dion O’Bannion, George Moran, Charlie “Lucky” Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Ben Siegel, Sam Giancana, Joe Bonanno, Frank Rosenthal, Mickey Cohen, Tony Cornero and Tony Spilotro to name just a few. The Museum is located in what many consider the ultimate artifact, the former federal courthouse and United States Post Office. Completed in 1933 and listed on the Nevada and National Registers of Historic Places, it housed the very courtroom where, in 1950, one of 14 national Kefauver hearings was held to expose and control organized crime in America.  Meticulously rehabilitated for The Mob Museum, the building is significant not only for its neo-classical architecture reminiscent of the period in which it was built, but also for the historic events that unfolded inside of it.

The Museum is also working with the FBI and many famous undercover agents who made a career of fighting the Mob, including legendary agents Joe Pistone who infiltrated the Mob posing as a small time jewel thief, Donnie Brasco; and Cuban-born Jack Garcia who successfully ingrained himself into the Gambino family.

In addition, many items relating to historic eras and specific industries, such as prohibition, money laundering and gaming, will help to tell the story of the mob’s influence on these areas.  Items and artifacts relating to law enforcement’s role in helping to eradicate and control the Mob, such as weapons, wiretapping tools and tactics  and crime scene photos, will also be part of The Museum experience.

Three major exhibits in The Museum include Mob Mayhem, The Skim and Bringing Down the Mob.  Mob Mayhem furthers the understanding of violence as a way of life within the world of organized crime.  This exhibit is the setting for the Museum’s iconic artifact—the wall from Chicago’s St. Valentine’s Day Massacre – and sets the stage for law enforcement strategies that will combat it.

The Skim, yet another exhibit within The Museum, dissects the illegal skimming of profits off the top of a casino’s earnings, which was commonplace in Las Vegas for decades and supplied money to the hidden ownership of some casinos – ownership that was most often hidden from regulators.

 Bringing Down the Mob is a highly interactive exhibit that focuses on wiretapping – one of the most important tools used to effectively investigate and prosecute organized crime cases beginning in the late 1960s. Visitors will learn about the technology, listen in on the mob, learn to interpret coded conversations, examine photos and surveillance footage, take part in a weapons training exercise and learn about living a new life in witness protections programs.

When Sen. Kefauver came to town


photo courtesy of Life Magazine


Sixty years ago today (Monday, Nov. 15th) , Senator Estes Kefauver and his committee came to Las Vegas to further their investigation into organized crime.

Kefauver was a Senator from Tennessee.  In 1950, he began an investigation into organized crime.  The committee was officially known as the Senate Special Committee to Investigate Crime in Interstate Commerce but quickly became known as the Kefauver hearings.

Kefauver and his committee (and the press) traveled around the country from Kentucky to the Mid-West to Nevada in their quest for more information on the mob.  They traveled to 14 cities and interviewed over 600 people including Frank Costello.  Costello made himself famous by refusing to allow his face to be filmed during his questioning and then staged a much-publicized walkout.

By televising the hearings at a time when Americans were just beginning to buy televisions and were entranced by the box, Kefauver brought the idea of organized crime and the mob into the homes and appliance stores of Americans around the country.  Kefauver rode that wave of popularity and ran for president twice.


By the time Kefauver and his committee rolled into Las Vegas via train, they had a list of interviewees that included Wilbur Clark and Moe Dalitz among others.  They convened in the Federal courthouse and post office.  Dalitz was quoted as telling Kefauver and his committee who criticized him for being a bootlegger, "If you hadn't have drunk it, I wouldn't have bootlegged it."

After two hours, the committee adjourned and went on a field trip to Hoover Dam. which had little or nothing to do with organized crime but is one of the great architecural marvels of the 20th Century.

The aftermath of the Kefauver hearings did have an upside for Las Vegas and Nevada.  The other cities that were involved in gambling, it was illegal there.  Here in Las Vegas (and throughout Nevada) gambling was legal.

Organized crime began to seriously look at Las Vegas as their headquarters for gambling and over the next few years that relationship grew and took on more importance than Estes Kefauver and his committee ever intended or ever realized.  It would be another 30 years before Las Vegas was able to break the mob's hold on Las Vegas.

To honor this event, the people behind the Organized Crime and Law Enforcement Museum ( better known as the Mob Museum where the hearings were held) are having a media event.  Mayor Oscar Goodman (for those who love irony, Goodman as a mob attorney defended his clients in the courthouse) and others will be in attendance.



More on the Liberace Museum Protest

From Jeffery White event organizer...

Dear Friends of the Liberace Foundation and Museum:


I am writing this to you, asking for your time and support for a worthy cause. We will be staging a Protest demonstration on Wednesday September 22nd from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM.  This demonstration will be a peaceful protest to keep the Liberace Museum Open.  We will be marching on the sidewalks surrounding the Liberace Museum.  This will also help to shine a spotlight on those responsible for its demise.


It is believed that the Liberace Museum has been grossly mismanaged by the past two Museum Presidents under the current watch of the Liberace Foundation Board President Dean, Jeffrey Koep of UNLV. 


This Non-Profit organization like any other should be held accountable for any and all mismanagement.  Non-Profit Boards have a fiduciary responsibility to the Public, especially when a large monetary trust is concerned. 


Las Vegas has been a city that all too often bulldozes its history.  Then we complain that our culture is non-existent.  We have said good-bye to the Las Vegas Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum.  The Liberace Museum is a Part of the Las Vegas Culture, as well as Liberace himself being a part of the Las Vegas Cultural fabric.  Entertainment has been synonymous with our colorful past.  Can we afford to let go of yet another iconic part of Las Vegas history? 


Now is the time to show your support and save a legacy that was given to the people of Las Vegas. Given the right leadership, this can be saved. 


Please do your part and join us in attending this peaceful demonstration to help prevent yet another Museum loss.  Let’s focus on the FUTURE so that the generations to come can also enjoy Mr. Showmanship’s legacy.


In closing….I would like to leave you with the closing remarks from Liberace’s book. “The Wonderful Private World of Liberace”


“What lies ahead should be determined by what we’ve missed in the past.  The present should be spent realizing all of our unfulfilled dreams and ambitions…My attitude is that nothing is impossible – it just takes a little longer.  Making up for lost time is the best motivation of all in planning for the future”



I’ll Be Seeing You!  (On Wednesday)


Jeffrey White

Protest Organizer