Among all the glitz and glamor of the world’s biggest casinos and showbiz performances, most people who visit Las Vegas never pay much attention to the local happenings. But like any thriving city where gambling, sex, and and drugs are a prevalent thing, crime is an everyday problem too.
While the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police and Nevada’s own forces have always done well to put most of the individuals behind these crimes behind bars, there are quite a few cases that remain unresolved to this day — and others which continue to leave a scar on the memories of the Vegas community.
Here’s 10 crimes that truly live up to the Sin City name…
The Father-Son Revenge Killing of Al Bramlet – 1977
Al Bramlet was the head of Las Vegas’s most respected labor union in the 1970s. When he attempted to plant explosives outside two restaurants in 1977, the bombs were thankfully discovered and disarmed by police. However, Bramlet refused to pay the fee of the men hired to plant the bombs once he heard the plans had failed.
The bombers just so happened to be a father and son, who later took revenge on the union leader by shooting him six times (including in the ear), then dumping his body in the desert near Nevada’s Potosi Mountain. He was discovered by hikers three weeks later.
Kidnapping of Kevyn Wynn – 1993
The Wynn family has had their fair share of drama and chaos for decades, but one of the most memorable stories that shocked the nation was when two armed men kidnapped Steve Wynn’s daughter in 1993. They entered the family home and demanded an exchange for ransom payment of $2.5 million. Her father offered the abductors a $1.45 million settlement in the end, after telling them that’s all he had in the vault at the time.
By the time they had picked up the payment from the negotiated spot, Kevyn Wynn was found in a parked car by the airport, tied up and hysterical but safe. Two days later the two men were caught and arrested when one of them attempted to purchase an expensive new car, alerting law enforcement agencies to their whereabouts.
2Pac Shooting – 1996
Hip-hop luminary Tupac Shakur is another star who lost his life in Vegas. He died following a drive-by shooting on the Las Vegas Boulevard at 11:00pm on September 7th, 1996. After suffering gunshot wounds to the arms and torso, he passed away in a hospital from cardiac arrest six days later. Tupac’s killers were never found, but police and investigators believe that there are multiple sources who know who is responsible.
In a 2018 documentary called Unsolved, one man claimed to be in the car with the murderer when they shot Shakur that night, but wouldn’t disclose any names because it would be a violation of ‘street code’. The famous rapper, Notorious B.I.G was also interrogated during Tupac’s investigation, but denied any involvement in his murder. He was also killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles the following year.
Melissa James Murder – 2005
Melissa James was 28 years old at the time she moved to Vegas in 2005. After being persuaded to move there by her bodybuilding friend Craig Titus and his wife Kelly Ryan, she got a job assisting the couple in their fitness programs. Six months later, however, her corpse was found in the trunk of an abandoned Jaguar in the middle of the Las Vegas desert.
An autopsy showed that she had been injected with a lethal dose of morphine, in addition to being tased and strangled to death. Despite denying all claims against them, Titus and Ryan were sentenced to jail time, after conceding evidence proved they were at the scene of the crime. The pair remains in Nevada State Prison to this day.
Pipe Bombing at Luxor – 2007
A pipe bomb exploded on the roof of the Luxor Casino car park on May 7th, 2007. The bomb was planted on the hood of a young man’s car called Willebaldo Dorantes Antonio, and it was disguised as a Styrofoam coffee cup. It detonated through a motion sensor. According to reports, a suspect called Porfiio Duarte-Harrera was behind building and planting the bomb on behalf of his friend, Rueda-Denvers.
The act was determined as a revenge act against Antonio after he was said to be dating one of the men’s former ex-girlfriends. Luckily, no one else was harmed or killed during the attack, and the two men are now serving life in prison without parole.
Festival Massacre Shooting – 2017
On October 1st, 2017 at the Harvest Music Festival on the Las Vegas Strip, a 64-year-old man named Stephen Paddock let rip 1,100 rounds of ammunition on a crowd. After killing 59 innocent victims and wounding hundreds more, the total injury count for that day was 869 people. Paddock carried out the attack from his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, and then shot himself immediately afterwards.
Nobody knows the reason behind his sadistic motive, but the incident is considered one of the most deadly mass shootings to ever occur at the hand of an individual in U.S. history.
Las Vegas is no stranger to crime and homicide. And there are much more brutal cases and reports of murder, rape, pillage and fraud that occur there even now. Even with law enforcement working hard to keep things safe, Las Vegas is likely to remain a hotspot for crime into the long foreseeable future.
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