leads to alleged death threat
"He'll be dead in seven days"
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
February 23, 2004
Voodoo doll shrine in Crazy Horse office
Buffalo Jim Barrier (LV Review Journal photo)
LAS VEGAS -- At first it was considered a joke. Then on Friday, February
20, a Polaroid photo was hand delivered along with the message, "He'll
be dead in seven days." The recipient was Vegas garage owner Buffalo Jim
Widespread rumors were that Crazy Horse Too topless bar owners Rick
and Bart Rizzolo had hired a Caribbean woman described as a "Voodoo person"
to allegedly cast evil spells on Barrier. A witness described what he said
were bizarre ceremonies attended by the Rizzolos where the woman, while
chanting, would place pins in various parts of an action doll figure barrier
gives away at wrestling matches.
No one took the rumors seriously -- until now.
Barrier, a former pro-wrestler and current sporting event promoter,
has single-handedly stood up to the Rizzolos who have amassed a long record
of alleged beatings and the possible murders of hapless bar patrons, some
who allegedly refused to sign fraudulent credit card slips.
It was Barrier who on Sept. 20, 2001, photographed Kirk
Henry lying paralyzed in front of the bar. Henry was injured after
a dispute over an $80 tab by an employee who attacked him just outside
the front doors breaking his neck. Barrier called 911 and proceeded to
take photos. The next day, his photos appeared on the front page of a local
newspaper and later on national TV.
Kirk Henry being transported (photo
by Jim Barrier)
Because of Barrier's photos, the time and place of Henry's beating was
highly publicized thereby eliminating the possibility of claiming Henry
arrived at the Crazy Horse with prior injuries. Barrier's eyewitness statements
and photos are also instrumental in an ongoing attempted murder lawsuit
Rizzolo, and an organized crime investigation of his business by the
Hence, the obvious burgeoning animosity toward Barrier.
After failing to stop the auto mechanic's criticism of his business
practices, Rick Rizzolo sued Barrier for defamation of character. However,
discovery in the case has been stalled pending results of the federal investigation.
To the obvious dismay of the Rizzolos and their attorneys *,
Barrier continues to photographically document beatings at his neighbor's
place of business.
According to Barrier, the messenger said, "Bart wants to give this to
you. He said you've got seven days. The FBI is talking about the Chinese
mob and they've got a Chinese hit man coming to take you out. Its real
eerie to go in there. The chanting of them sticking pins in your feet.
Its getting weirder and weirder. Bart had this giant guy with him and asked
me to feel his muscles. He said he was sending the 6' 8", 350 pound bouncer
to get you, " stated the messenger upon presenting the photo.
The messenger requested his name be withheld for safety reasons. The
blurred Polaroid lends credence to rumors that someone erected a Voodoo
type shrine in the Crazy Horse office where the doll figure of their next
door nemesis reportedly stands beneath an Oriental calendar supposedly
used to count the days remaining in their foe's life.
Buffalo Jim doll
The day following receipt of the photo, Barrier filed a report of a
death threat with the FBI who have had the Rizzolo's under investigation
since February 20, 2003. He also filed a report with the LV Metro Police.
He believes that fingerprints on the photo should be of interest to law
Barrier commissioned the manufacture of hundreds of dolls in his likeness
to be handed out at wrestling matches he promotes and other special events.
"How did they get a hold of one of my dolls?" he asked. "I only give them
to children and personal friends. I never thought one would get used in
such a silly way."
If the death threat is verified, this would be the second time in recent
years that Bart Rizzolo allegedly threatened someone's life.
In August 2000, Robert Westfall, the former owner of a nearby business
stated in an affidavit that patrons of Crazy Horse "scatter trash and garbage
consisting of greeting cards of the dancers, used condoms, drug paraphernalia
consisting of used needles and empty 'baggies,' discarded beer bottles,
liquor glasses and pornography of various types. Recently, I arrived at
my business to find my parking lot again, particularly soiled with the
above items. I went to the Crazy Horse Too and spoke with Bart Rizzolo.
I asked if he would send someone to my property to clean my parking lot.
Mr. Rizzolo refused to do so. I told him I would sweep it up and bring
it down to Crazy Horse Too and dump it out. He replied that, if I did,
he would 'blow my f---ing head off.'"
The Rizzolos are no strangers to the occult. The Reverend, Dr. Annette
Rizzolo-Patterson is the minister of the "Universal
Church for Life Enhancement" and the daughter of Bart Rizzolo. Patterson
in 2000 was accused of opening the church to block issuance of a tavern
license for a competitive topless club. When the ploy was revealed in the
newspapers, she suddenly closed her church.
Luckily, Buffalo Jim Barrier is not a superstitious man. If he were,
he would have voluntarily broken his long-term lease and moved to friendlier
pastures based on the animus of his neighbors, men with known ties to organized
In their effort to remove him to make way for the expansion of their
nightclub, the Rizzolos purchased the shopping center in 2002 and immediately
issued Barrier an eviction notice. After two court hearings, Barrier prevailed.
The courts ruled he can remain in his 10,000 square foot garage that he
rents for forty-three cents per foot until the lease expires in 2009. Subsequently,
the expansion was halted while two new, much larger topless bars opened
in close proximity.
"They practically give me the space for free. Why should I move out?"
asked Barrier. "Anyway, these guys are making me famous as a wrestling
promoter, and my garage business has never been better."
More to come.
* Steve Miller is a consultant in a civil lawsuit against Rick Rizzolo.
Copyright © Steve Miller
email Steve Miller at: Stevemiller4lv@aol.com