New Evidence in "Buffalo
Jim" Death Case
GHB found in blood and urine
samples kept secret
Rizzolo Wants Feds to Run
Judge Pro to hear bizarre
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
June 23, 2008
LAS VEGAS - As if things couldn't get any
stranger, the Clark County Coroner -- after repeated requests -- on June
20 reluctantly sold the late Buffalo Jim Barrier's family a copy
of the toxicology report on the death of their father.
only had the coroner, Dr. Larry Simms, withheld the document from the family
and media until after his contracted testing lab discarded the blood and
urine samples, but his office also had the gall to charge the Barrier's
$15 for something that should have been presented to them on May 9 when
police received their copy of the five page document revealing for
the first time that Barrier had received a dose of GHB prior to his death.
Below is the first page of the toxicology
report with GHB information that no official apparently wanted us to see.
GAMMA-HYDROXYBUTYRIC ACID, also known as
GHB or the "Date Rape Drug," has been linked to many serious illnesses
and even deaths. There are many side effects of GHB. They include: drowsiness,
dizziness, loss of coordination, changes in blood pressure, trouble breathing,
impaired judgment, seizure, coma, and death. These effects usually appear
10 to 20 minutes after a person takes the drug.
Dr. Simms wrote in his final autopsy report
issued on April 27 that Barrier died as a result of "DILATED CARDIOMYOPHTHY
(heart attack). A significant contributing condition is COCAINE INTOXICATION,."
he wrote. Simms made no mention of GHB which is considered far more
dangerous than cocaine!
The public for some unknown reason was
not informed of the presence of GHB until last week. According to
Quest Diagnostics of Las Vegas: "This analysis was performed under chain
of custody. Unless alternate arrangements are made by you (the coroner),
the remainder of the submitted specimens will be discarded six weeks from
the date of this report."
The date of the report was May 9, 2008.
Jennifer Barrier -- after repeated requests -- was finally able to obtain
a copy of the report exactly six weeks later on June 20, and only after
the specimens were allegedly discarded!
According to the coroner, Barrier had remnants
of a "brown liquid" in his stomach. This liquid was not tested, but could
have been the vehicle by which GHB was introduced into Barrier's system.
The drug is usually found in powder form and is often mixed into drinks
and secretly served to victims.
Upon the discovery of GHB by Quest Diagnostics,
the lab stated, "This screening result indicates that further testing is
required," and recommended that the blood and urine samples containing
GHB be sent to National Medical Services in Willow Grove, PA for further
But at 10:38 AM on May 8, Dr. Simms mysteriously
ordered that all tests be canceled. He then had his assistant call reporters
and the Barrier family to state that Barrier's death was an "accident,"
and that "cocaine intoxication" was a contributing factor. Again, no mention
was made of GHB.
According to the DEA, GHB has been used
in the commission of sexual assaults because it renders the victim incapable
of resisting, and may cause memory problems that could complicate case
According to Quest Diagnostics, Barrier
had 20 mcg/mL of GHB in his blood when his body was discovered at 1:30
PM Sunday, April 6, 2008, 17 hours after his estimated time of death.
Based on yellow highlighted lines on all
sentences that referred to GHB, and the annotation "OK" scribbled on page
4 of the toxicology report, someone at either Quest Labs, or the coroner's
office, took great interest in the GHB finding.
According to Quest, any amount of GHB below
52 mcg/mL causes "wakefulness," certainly not a cause of sudden death.
However, according to a pathologist consulted for this column, GHB rapidly
dissipates in the blood stream and often goes undetected unless discovered
soon after ingestion.
Barrier's blood was first drawn after his
body had laid dead for 17 hours and decomposition had begun. Therefore,
it's possible that at the time of his death, the concentration of GHB was
much greater than 20 mcg/mL.
Even when they were informed of this latest
development, police refused to investigate Barrier's death as a homicide,
and the last person to see Barrier alive, a woman later identified as Lisa,
was not arrested or charged with a crime.
On May 31, when I was present at the police
homicide division with the Barrier daughters to view the video of their
dad taken around 8:20 PM when he checked in to the motel where he died
minutes later, Jennifer Barrier inquired if GHB had been found in the toxicology
report? Two LV police detectives present at our meeting denied that GHB
was involved. The tape showed a very tired looking Barrier signing a credit
card receipt, then going to his car and returning with a female -- reportedly
Lisa -- who followed him to room 105.
Lisa left Barrier to die in the room without
notifying police or hotel employees. Her identify was discovered by police
because her phone number appeared on Barrier's cell and home phones after
she called him three times between 9 and 10 PM the night of his death
saying, "Buffalo, are you all right? Give me a call."
Police called Lisa in for an interview,
but she was not charged with a crime. The transcript of that interview
is on request by Barrier family attorneys.
When Barrier's body was discovered, there
reportedly were remnants of cocaine scattered on his beard, mustache, and
shirt. There was cocaine also found on the motel room key and on the passenger
seat of Barrier's Rolls Royce.
Dr. Simms did not swab Barrier's nasal
cavities to determine whether he ingested the cocaine voluntarily. Skeptics
believe that the powder may have been scattered on Barrier and in his car
by Lisa to make it look like he was snorting coke. Cocaine, like GHB, can
also be ingested by mixing it with liquids.
There was also an empty soda pop can found
in the motel room, but police did not test its contents.
Based on so many unanswered questions,
this case is far from over -- even if several authorities made every effort
to close it weeks ago.
Even a country
song was produced that questions the popular ex-wrestler's mysterious
The death of Buffalo Jim Barrier clearly
shows that Las Vegas has a dangerous double standard of justice.
Just imagine how the police and coroner
would have reacted had it been a "pillar
of the community" like Fred
Doumani, Lorenzo Fertitta,
Wynn found dead in that motel on April 5. They would have pulled out
all the stops. Instead, a coroner apparently was too cheap to spend taxpayer
dollars having GHB-laden blood and urine specimens tested out of state.
This, while GHB was long suspected of
being involved in the dozens of credit card extortions of patrons of the
Crazy Horse Too topless bar.
Several witnesses told a Federal Grand
Jury that while in the Crazy Horse, they consumed one or two beverages,
and later woke up to find they had been robbed or that their credit cards
were charged thousands of dollars.
The witnesses told the grand jury that
they were approached by two women in the bar, one a Russian, the other
an Asian who would ask to be bought drinks. After consuming a drink, the
men said they felt sleepy, and several said they passed out.
Several men testified that they woke up
in the parking lot, and found that their cash was missing, or several days
later found bogus charges on their credit cards.
When credit card companies were asked
about the charges, the men were reportedly told that their thumb print
was placed on the charge slip next to their signature. Even though the
charges were challenged by the men, the thumb print caused the charges
to go through.
After interviewing several persons who
told exactly the same story, I wrote about it for AmericanMafia.com.
Now it's discovered that the Crazy Horse
Too's biggest enemy, Buffalo Jim Barrier, died with GHB in his system.
Barrier died on a Saturday. His body was
discovered on Sunday. Blood and urine samples were taken by Dr. Simms on
Simms held on to the samples for two weeks
until April 24 when he sent them to Quest Diagnostics.
Several days after receiving the samples,
Quest discovered the GHB, and stopped the test. They informed Simms that
the samples should be sent to another lab for further testing.
Dr. Simms refused! He then canceled all
tests, and released a statement that Barrier had died only of "cocaine
In the meantime, Metro received a copy
of the Quest report on May 9, indicating that GHB was found in Barrier's
system along with cocaine.
GHB is readily available and is much more
powerful and lethal than street cocaine if given in quantity. It's a much
more common killer than cocaine, and is famous for incapacitating women
who are about to be raped.
Barrier was very familiar with the effects
of GHB after photographing the drug's purported victims when he discovered
them laying in his parking lot next to the Crazy Horse. Often when he'd
call paramedics, he'd be told the incapacitated person was drugged. Police
did not investigate these incidents that went on for over a decade. When
called, officers would often be observed giving "high fives" to club bouncers,
or would arrest the drugged victims when they came to.
Quest wrote in their report that -- unless
told to do otherwise -- all specimens are discarded six weeks after they
Dr. Simms did not instruct Quest to preserve
Barrier's blood or urine specimens, so it's presumed Quest discarded the
specimens around June 20, the day Jennifer Barrier was allowed to purchase
the toxicology report.
Dr. Simms on May 9 was asked by Barrier
family members if GHB was discovered? He told them GHB was not present
in his system.
But most intriguing is that the former
operators of the Crazy Horse Too were suspected of being experts in the
use of GHB.
Why did Dr. Simms cancel the toxicology
Why did Dr. Simms tell the Barriers that
no GHB was discovered?
Why didn't Dr. Simms swab Barrier's nasal
passages to determine whether he willingly ingested cocaine?
Why didn't police or the coroner test
the contents of the empty soda can found in the motel room?
Why did the coroner withhold the toxicology
report from the family and media until blood and urine specimens were no
Metro received the Quest report on May
9. On May 31, officers let us view the video of Barrier checking in to
the motel. They knew of the GHB at that time. Why didn't they tell us?
Rizzolo Wants Feds to Run
I'm not making this up!
Attorneys for Rick and Bart Rizzolo last
week filed repeated threats in U.S. Federal Court saying they intend to
sue the citizens of Las Vegas if the about-to-expire adult use zoning of
a bar that was taken away from them is not STAYED.
In the meantime, Bart Rizzolo was heard
telling a friend how his family is being gouged by their attorneys at Patti
& Sgro, and at Lionel Sawyer and Collins. Law firms that seem to have
an insatiable appetite for billing the Rizzolos for ridiculous MOTIONS
filed in local and federal courts.
The following expensive court documents
speak for themselves.
It's more than clear that the federal and
local governments have absolutely no interest in going into the topless
bar racket. The feds learned their lesson years ago when they tried to
run the Mustang Ranch brothel. It was a public relations disaster!
Press wrote on August 5, 2007: "By 1990, the IRS was fed up with
his tax shenanigans and seized the ranch, putting the federal government
in the unique position of running a brothel. It failed and the ranch was
padlocked for the first time."
Just imagine how ridiculous Judge Pro would
look if on Monday, June 23, he heeded Rizzolo's plea and ordered the United
States of America to go into the breast bar business! And how our town's
ex-mob lawyer-turned-mayor would get hammered when he tries to run for
Governor if he called a special meeting to help his friend and former client
keep his ill-gotten hidden assets?
And, on Wednesday, June 25, Las Vegas Mayor
Oscar Goodman said much the same as the feds when he told an under-financed
applicant for a temporary liquor license that he would not call a
special meeting of the city council to consider an application by the US
Marshal to open the Crazy Horse Too for an 8 hour period to re-set the
zoning clock for another year. He then ordered City Attorney Brad Jerbic
to file a strongly worded MOTION opposing any efforts to override the city's
If Judge Pro or the city council falls
prey to Rizzolo's demands, then beating victim Kirk Henry and other court
ordered creditors will find themselves continued victims of the Rizzolos
-- this time with the help of the United States of America -- and will
again have to wait to receive remuneration or payment for far past due
debts Rick and Lisa Rizzolo have shown no interest in paying.
If the zoning reverts to warehouse use
only on Monday, June 30, and the Crazy Horse is permanently sent to the
glue factory, then let the lawsuits against Rick and Lisa Rizzolo begin!
But at the last minute on Saturday, June
21, the US Attorney for Nevada tried to throw a monkey wrench into the
works by filing an extraordinary MOTION at taxpayer expense that states:
"This Court should exercise the broad powers of § 1963(e) to protect
the United Statesís interest in the forfeited property by recognizing the
United States has not abandoned the Crazy Horse Tooís non-conforming uses
within the intent and meaning of the City's ordinances and staying the
expiration of the exotic dance use permit and the tavern license on the
forfeited property until the United States Marshals Service can sell the
forfeited property so as to protect the value of the property. If the Court
fails to exercise its discretion to use these broad powers under §
1963(e), the forfeited property will lose approximately 70 percent of its
value, $22 million, and the Court's order of restitution for the Henrys
and approved order of distribution as to all the parties in this matter
will not be achieved. If the United Statesís motion is not granted,
the Henrys, Security Pacific Bank, the City, the United States, and the
other petitioners will be irreparably harmed because the value of the forfeited
property will be dramatically less without the exotic dance and liquor
sales nonconforming uses."
The MOTION also stated: "The United States
under current policy limitations as a sovereign cannot open the Crazy Horse
Too for topless dancing, even for eight hours."
Like in the coroner's statement about the
cause of Buffalo Jim Barrier's death, something is glaringly missing from
the above MOTION.
No where does it mention that the Rizzolos
their personal assets, guaranteed payment of all creditor's debts,
and are prohibited from declaring bankruptcy.
The MOTION also does not offer legal evidence
that the value of the property will lessen by a change of zoning. In fact,
experts have said it may be worth more as vacant land for future high rise
condominium development, and the adult use may actually de-value the land's
worth for many years to come! Intelligent people would not want to buy
expensive condos next to a topless bar with a decades long reputation for
violence and mayhem.
Now it's up to Judge Pro. If he does not
let the Crazy Horse die a natural death at midnight on June 30, anything
else he rules will make him look like Rizzolo's personal lackey.
Judge Pro over ride the city's zoning laws and prolong the agony for Rizzolo's
creditors based on the "Pie in the sky" wishes of Nevada's two US Attorneys
who have failed time and again to find anyone stupid or crooked enough
to pay five times what a shuttered, graffiti strewn topless bar is worth?
Or will he say "Enough is enough," and
let all the high priced attorneys go after the Rizzolo's hidden assets?
If Judge Pro lets the blood soaked Crazy
Horse live on, he'll expose the United States District Court, District
of Nevada into becoming the laughing stock of the American judiciary.
Judge Pro may see through all the bullshit,
including that being thrown at him by the two US Attorneys for Nevada who
have in the filed damaging MOTIONS such as a pending one to give priority
to a California bank that foolishly
loaned Rizzolo $5 million dollars that he immediately stole, and filing
a denied MOTION asking that the
names of potential buyers be sealed because "The general public should
not be allowed to know the proposed offers, the proprietary information,
etc., since Rizzolo will select one to see if it will complete the sale.
If it fails, Rizzolo will select the next one."
With a reputation for filing such bogus
MOTIONS, and for doing Rizzolo's personal bidding, Judge Pro should treat
the US Attorneys for Nevada like adverse parties, not friends of the court!
Between Lisa Rizzolo's illegally
transferred houses in Las Vegas, Newport Beach, and Chicago; her $7.2
million dollar annuity; the money Rick received from the sale of the Philadelphia
Crazy Horse Too; Rick's gambling cash he has secreted in safety deposit
boxes up and down the Strip; along with jewelry, cars, and other hidden
valuables, there is plenty of money available to pay Mr. Henry, the bank,
the city, the state, and the IRS. And it will be far easier to acheive
than waiting endlessly for the US Marshals and C.B. Richard Ellis Realty
to find a qualified person to buy the Crazy Horse property for enough to
pay off the Rizzolo's personal debts.
The ball is now in US Judge Phillip Pro's
court. I will let you know how he rules in next week's INSIDE VEGAS.
Copyright © Steve Miller