The Last Man Standing,
OJ, the DA, a Kid Judge, and the Fool
a baseball bat and break his head if he ever comes here." -
LV Mayor Oscar Goodman
steve - we will look like fools to the rest of the country." - Tom
Letizia, Goodman's campaign manager
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
September 24, 2007
Las Vegas gets a couple of well deserved black eyes, and guess
But first, congratulations go to "Las
Vegas Most Colorful Character," Buffalo Jim Barrier.
don't mean to rub it in the mob's face, but I'm the last man standing,"
said Barrier on Thursday as he stood beside the padlocked
front entrance of the Crazy Horse Too.
1999, Barrier, a former pro wrestler, has been fighting to get the
infamous topless bar located next to his auto garage shut down. On Aug.
15, 2007, he got his wish when the
U.S. Government took possession of the building and property leaving
Barrier's Allstate Auto Repair the only business still operating
on the site of past extortion, beatings, and murders.
new landlord is the United States of America," Barrier proudly
is the son of a Cherokee Indian and he's proud of his Indian ancestry.
"This battle was just like the 'Battle of the Little Big
Horn,'" Barrier stated. "I was Chief Sitting Bull, and Rick Rizzolo was
Col. George Armstrong Custer. The odds were all
in his favor. He had the Mayor, a City Councilman, a few crooked cops,
some judges, and the District Attorney in his corner. All I had was
truth and justice in mine. Now look at
the end result! This is a great country
The "No Trespassing" signs couldn't come at a
better time. For the past three weeks, Bart, Annette, and Ralph Rizzolo
were observed on four occasions illegally entering their former strip
to allegedly steal valuables confiscated by the government.
On one occasion, they were accompanied by Las
Vegas Police officers who also had no apparent authority to be inside
According to sources, the Federal Government had
enough, and on Tuesday September 18 finally changed the locks and
posted "No Trespassing" signs. But that may have been too late since
many believe the Rizzolo's had already looted the place of drugs, guns,
and cash reportedly hidden within the building.
"Yes, it sure looks like I'm gloating over being
the last man standing, but I wish I could say the same for Kirk
Henry and Scott
Fau." Barrier lamented.
Fau in August 1995 was beaten to death by Crazy
Horse bouncers. The then-District Attorney refused to prosecute. Fau's
widow and daughters sued, but a judge
who is close to Rizzolo instructed the jury to not consider blunt force
trauma as cause of death. Mrs. Fau could not afford the cost of an
Kirk Henry, on Sept. 21 2001, was beaten by a Crazy Horse Too manager
rendering him a quadriplegic. Henry has since received a judgment for
$10 million dollars against Rick
Rizzolo the bar's purported owner, however according to FBI
documents, Rizzolo has hidden
his assets making collection of the judgment almost impossible.
Rizzolo's ex-wife Lisa was given three houses,
five expensive automobiles, and a $7.2 million dollar annuity in a
hasty divorce three weeks after her husband began plea bargaining. The
FBI reports that the money and cars are missing, and Mrs. Rizzolo has
since taken out mortgages on the three houses and hidden the proceeds.
OJ, the DA, and
a Kid Judge
During his first week in office, newly elected Clark
County District Attorney David Roger (left) discarded
five requests for
prosecution brought by Las Vegas Metro Police against employees of
the Crazy Horse Too. One of the requests was for prosecution of
DiApice, the person who broke Kirk Henry's neck. Another involved
the bouncers who killed Scott Fau. According to
Roger's predecessor Stewart Bell, all five cases had probable cause.
It was later found that Roger
had accepted over $50,000 in campaign
contributions from Crazy Horse owner Rick Rizzolo. When he was
confronted, Roger said he returned the money, but that was never proven.
Coincidentally, Roger's campaign headquarters were
located in a building
owned by Rizzolo's attorneys and Oscar Goodman's protégés
Dean Patti and Tony Sgro who were recently accused of laundering bribe money
to ex-LV Councilman Michael McDonald who is being investigated by a
Federal Grand Jury for doing Rizzolo favors.
Court observers are talking of possible indictments of Patti and Sgro
for their alleged part in laundering bribes to McDonald on behalf of
Rizzolo to let the racketeering activity go on at the Crazy Horse
McDonald's two terms in office..
Roger also refused to prosecute
G-Sting" perpetrators Lance Malone, Erin Kenny, Dario Herrera, and
Mary Kincaid Chauncy, the corrupt Clark County Commissioners now
convicted of felonies, thanks only to the FBI.
Why did it take the Federal
Government to do David Roger's job? Some speculate it's because he's
obliged to the
same people who corrupted the Commissioners, Mayor, at least one
Court Judge, and McDonald.
During Roger's first term
as D.A., the Nevada Supreme Court reversed
his conviction of Sandra Murphy in the Ted Binion death case, and a
subsequent jury exonerated her at retrial, Roger was humiliated
and needed to do some major image repair.
Roger immediately showed
his mettle by threatening to put former Clark County Commissioner Lynette
Boggs-McDonald (left) in prison for "18 years" for paying her
baby sitter $1,200 from her campaign fund, and for living 50 feet
outside her district.
He evidently thinks putting
away a Notre Dame graduate, former Miss
Oregon, and mother of two small children will make him look
tough on crime. This after he refused to prosecute the murderous Crazy
Horse goons or the corrupted County Commissioners.
But then a dream came true for
David Roger when O.J. Simpson stupidly decided to rob a room at the
Palace Station. Now, instead of having to concentrate on putting
away, Roger is throwing the kitchen sink at Simpson for
a simple robbery, and to get himself some national TV tube time.
minutes of his arrest, Roger
took to the airways to proclaim he was going to prosecute Simpson for
two counts of
robbery with a deadly weapon, two counts of assault with a deadly
weapon, coercion with a deadly weapon, two counts of first-degree
kidnapping with a deadly weapon, burglary and several counts of
His tough sounding words inspired this insightful response from an
INSIDE VEGAS reader that
says it all:
It's Las Vegas.
There's a bunch of thieves in a hotel room. They're yelling and
threatening each other like a gaggle of pre-teen boys at a Jr. High bus
stop. Someone has a gun or maybe two or maybe none. One guy admits on
tape that the stuff they're yelling about is stolen, but
the other guy did it. Some of the doofuses take some of the
stolen stuff out of the room. Everybody is recording everybody
else for sale to the tabloids. Then one of the jerks calls the
cops. When it's over, one guy says he doesn't want to press
charges, goes home and has a heart attack. The guy who
called the cops wants to press charges, but he gets picked up on his
parole violation. The cops are running all over town looking for
the guys who re-stole the stolen stuff, and tabloid television (cable)
is having a field day just because one of the jerks is a former famous
football player. The D.A. calls it kidnapping. Huh???
Think he's trying to be the hero who puts the football player in the
clink? And weeks later tabloid television is still having a field
day. Ya gotta love Vegas.
Roger is his former
assistant in the D.A.'s office, Justice of the Peace Joe Bonaventure.
"Little Joe" is the 31 year old son of former District Court Judge Joe
Bonaventure who became a celebrity after presiding over the nationally
televised so-called Ted Binion "murder" trial. (No one ever proved
Binion was murdered as explained in "Death in the Desert,"
a best seller by true crime writer Cathy Scott.)
In this latest O.J. Simpson case, the junior Judge
Bonaventure was mysteriously able to usurp the
originally assigned judge, Ann Zimmerman, and thus become a familiar
and pony tail on world wide TV. His sudden appearance on the bench
after Judge Zimmerman was originally assigned the case inspired many to
wonder what strings his dad
must have pulled at the Regional Justice Center to make his son a
With Roger and "Little Joe" in
charge of seeking justice, O.J. Simpson
couldn't have wished for a better "Dream Team!" With
so much grandstanding going on, Simpson has a good
chance of getting his case thrown out or overturned.
Las Vegas has a
reputation for ignoring certain type crimes including so called
robbery/kidnappings that occur in hotels, crimes that
happened at the Crazy Horse Too, and the illegal
prostitution taking place in massage parlors and escort services. These
crimes reflect our
"What Happens Here, Stays Here" image and seldom result in police
reports because, if reported, would discourage tourism -- that's until
O.J. Simpson entered the scene.
With the world
watching the latest O.J. case, our reputation as "Sin City"
will probably end up being reinforced along with the laughing stock our town has
become based on recent remarks made by our mayor.
I really managed
to piss off members of the Vegas elite during the past several weeks.
had the honor of hosting veteran New
York Times columnist Bob Herbert
and prostitution researcher and author Melissa Farley, Ph.D. in my home. I took them on a tour
of shopping centers near Mayor Goodman's Scotch 80's estate to show how
"Massage" brothels have infested the once pristine area. While we were
mobile billboard advertising "Hot Babes Direct to Your Room" passed by. I did my best to answer their questions truthfully and
of AmericanMafia.com INSIDE VEGAS columns for backup, but I never
imagined the backlash our efforts would soon unleash.
Typical newspaper boxes commonly
filled with free flyers
'escorts' on Las Vegas Blvd., although
prostitution itself is
illegal in Las Vegas and Clark county.
We photographed West
Sahara Avenue and Paradise Road massage parlors and escort
services, and visited the shut down Crazy Horse to talk to
Jim Barrier. We
watched as illegal aliens shoved sex fliers into the hands of tourists
walking on the Strip. We discussed the political corruption
that protects such
We also discussed the
"What happens here, stays here" mentality that encourages city
officials to turn their backs on the different forms of illegal
prostitution that have flourished within the city limits
during the immensely popular Goodman administration. We discussed the
spread of HIV and SIDs caused by unprotected sex with prostitutes.
Bob Herbert went
inside several "Massage" parlors looking for Certificates from the
of Massage Therapy. None could
be found for the workers, many who live in the back rooms of the
After the NY Times column hit, It didn't take
long for Goodman to find out I had helped in its research. Goodman went
Then Herbert published "City
in the New York Times, and
all hell broke loose at LV City Hall!
September 4, 2007
By BOB HERBERT
There is probably no city in America where women are treated worse than
in Las Vegas.
The tone of systematic, institutionalized degradation is set by the
mayor, Oscar Goodman, who told me in an interview that the city would
reap “tremendous” benefits if a series of “magnificent brothels” could
be established to cater to johns from across the country and around the
“I've said there should be the beginning of a discussion of that,” said
Mr. Goodman, a former defense lawyer for mobsters who unabashedly
describes his city as an adult playground where “anything goes — as
long as you don’t go over the line.”
Most of the lines in Vegas have long since been erased. It is without a
doubt, as the psychologist and researcher Melissa Farley, says, “the
epicenter of North American prostitution and sex trafficking.”
Vegas is a place where women and girls by the tens of thousands are
chewed up by the vast and astonishingly open sex trade. You can be
sitting at a traffic light and a huge mobile billboard will drive past,
promising, “Hot Babes — Direct to Your Room.”
I was drawn to this story by an advance copy of Ms. Farley’s
book-length report, “Prostitution and Trafficking in Nevada: Making the
Connections.” It’s being published online today.
The report explores what Oscar Goodman doesn't appear to understand:
the horrendous toll that prostitution, legal or illegal, takes on the
women and girls involved. If you peel back the thin, supposedly sexy
veneer of the commercial sex trade, you'll quickly see the rotten
inside, where females are bought, sold, raped, beaten, shamed and in
many, many cases, physically and emotionally wrecked.
Start with the fact that so many of those who are pulled into the trade
are so young — early-20s, late-teens and younger. Child prostitutes by
the hundreds pass through the Family Division courtroom of Judge
William Voy, who views the hapless, vulnerable girls as victims and
tries to help them. The girls he sees are as young as 12, with the
average age being 14.
He told me about a 14-year-old who was seven months pregnant by her
pimp. She was suffering from a sexually transmitted disease, had a drug
problem, was undernourished and still craved a relationship with the
pimp. “These cases will tear your heart out,” the judge said.
Ms. Farley was asked to study the Nevada sex trade and its consequences
2 ½ years ago by John Miller, who at the time headed the U.S.
Department's effort to fight human trafficking around the world.
Prostitution is legal in some parts of Nevada but not in Vegas, where
90 percent of the state's prostitution occurs. Vegas is a world-class
embarrassment to any U.S. official attempting to reduce prostitution
and trafficking in foreign countries.
“We did surveys of people on the street,” said Ms. Farley, “and nearly
half thought prostitution was legal in Las Vegas. Guess why that is?
There are more than 150 pages of ads in the Las Vegas yellow pages for
“college teens,” “mature women,” “mothers and daughters,” “petite
Japanese women,” “Chinese teens in short skirts” and every other
variation imaginable. I asked Mayor Goodman about that, and he said:
“We've changed that a little bit. They used to have pictures.”
Sex clubs with teenage girls dancing nude and offering lap dances to
johns are legal, ubiquitous and widely advertised. Many of those girls
are either prostitutes or one short step away.
What is not widely understood is how coercive all aspects of the sex
trade are. The average age of entry into prostitution is extremely
young. The prostitutes are ruthlessly controlled by pimps, club owners
and traffickers. In the case of legal prostitution, they are controlled
by their own pimps and the brothel owners — pimps who have been
legalized by the state.
The women are exploited in every way. Most of the money they receive
from johns goes to the pimps, the brothel owners, the escort service
managers and so forth. Strippers and lap dancers have to pay for the
right to dance in the clubs, and the money they get in tips has to be
shared with the club owners, bartenders, bouncers, etc.
Huge numbers of foreign women are trafficked into Vegas. The legions of
Asian women in the massage parlors and escort services did not come
flocking to Vegas from suburban U.S.A.
Mayor Goodman said that he is no fan of illegal prostitution, but is
convinced the legal variety could be a boon. He is proud of his city's
tourist slogan: “What happens here, stays here.”
Back in the ’90s, Las Vegas tried hard to promote a family-friendly
“That ended when I became mayor,” said Mr. Goodman.
Goodman told Jim Barrier to tell me, "If I see him in City
Hall, I'll throw him out a tenth floor window."
Then he said this about Bob Herbert; "I'll take
a baseball bat and break his head if he ever comes here," as reported
by the LV Review-Journal.
editorial cartoon by
Jim Day, published in 2003
Never once in his insane diatribe did the mayor acknowledge that escort
service and massage parlor
prostitution thrive on sex slave trafficking. He just reaffirmed his years of support for the establishment of
"magnificent brothels" in the city. He even went so far as to say he
would like to see one of our new high rise condominiums
in downtown turned into a "beautiful" brothel!
To the mayor's dismay, our city's prostitution
and sex slave
problems were accurately described by Herbert in his Times column. And Farley, in her
book "Prostitution and
Trafficking in Nevada:
Making the Connections" describes in detail what most Nevadans
don't care to know about their state.
This is not the kind of publicity a city of two million needs,
especially one that would like to attract new high tech industry to
diversify its single industry economy. But for that to happen, our
current story must be told, and those who perpetuate it removed from
power. Otherwise, Las Vegas will no longer be a suitable place to raise
children, and that can go on for a long time because Goodman is so
popular that he could get elected again and again.
bat threat was taken off a
page from his former law client Rick Rizzolo's book. In 1989, it was
criminal defense lawyer who got Rizzolo off with a slap on the wrist
after Rizzolo bashed in Rick Sandlin's head with, yes, a baseball
bat. Sandlin died three years later of his injuries, but Goodman
got him off with the help of the then-overly cooperative D.A., Rex Bell.
In today's Oscar Goodman City Hall, baseball bats are the cure for bad
During the week Herbert
and Farley were here,
Nevada State Assemblyman Bob Beers scheduled a Press Conference for
Farley at the State Office Building so that she could present several
prostitutes to tell their sordid stories.
This also infuriated Goodman and those on the Strip who would
rather see our high rollers stay put on casino properties, or at least
not have to travel too far to get a "Full Body Massage" as advertised
in over 150
Yellow Pages in our local phone book. The 60 mile drive to
Pahrump's legal brothels can
keep a gambler away from the tables for hours, so "Lite" sex at massage
parlors, or a "Hot Babe Direct to Your Room" gets the gambler back to
the casino floor in minimum
time. For this convenience, hotel security are reportedly told to look
the other way when prostitutes want access to tower elevators..
As was exemplified in
Operations "G-Sting" and "Crazy Horse," callous local officials must be embarrassed by outside media coverage before
they begin to pay attention, and even then it takes intervention
by Federal authorities to get the job done -- a job
that should be the responsibility of the District Attorney,
City Council, and County Commission.
Remember, even if the police do their jobs it still takes the District
Attorney to prosecute criminals. David Roger's selective lack of
response to LVMPD requests for prosecution has been a discouragement to
many dedicated street cops, especially when they see his over reaction
in the Simpson case.
But, after the NY Times column, the national press
with Las Vegas and our degenerate mayor. Based on his stupid baseball
bat remark, the Arizona Republic
in our neighboring city of Phoenix let loose with this completely
deserved Editorial "Grow
up, Las Vegas:"
Grow up, Las Vegas
Sept. 20, 2007
O.J. Simpson found out what happens in Vegas doesn't stay there.
The rest of the country might ponder that lesson in a much larger
When New York Times columnist Bob Herbert wrote about the exploitive
underside of prostitution in Las Vegas, Sin City Mayor Oscar Goodman
responded by saying he'd like to take a baseball bat to Herbert.
That response should put to rest any remaining arguments about the
prevalence of violence in a culture built on a deep disrespect for
The issue here is not whether Vegas should keep lowering the bar on
decency just so the rest of the nation can stop in for an occasional
naughty, anonymous weekend.
Nor is this about whether the so-called "sex industry" is really just
another career opportunity for today's modern woman. (It's not.)
This is about who we are.
Researcher Melissa Farley spent 2 1/2 years studying the Nevada sex
trade and wrote a report that inspired the Herbert columns, which ran
in The Republic Sept. 7 and 12. Her report, "Prostitution and
Trafficking in Nevada, Making the Connections," found that
"prostitution is sexual predation, plain and simple."
How could it be otherwise when one person is "sold" for temporary use
by another? How can the fact that some women are saleable commodities
not impact the way all women are viewed?
And how can such an industry exist without coercion?
Las Vegas Family Court Judge William Voy told the Las Vegas Sun that 70
percent of the juvenile prostitution cases he deals with involve
children who came from out of state. What's more, most of them worked
as prostitutes in their home states.
Teen girls do not "choose" a whore's lifestyle because it is so
glamorous. They are coerced, raped, beaten and controlled by pimps who
take advantage of their youth and play off a popular culture that
glorifies sex as something women are supposed to deliver on cue.
Illegal trafficking of foreign women who are tricked into the trade is
This is not about empowered women.
This is not dark corners where evil breeds in secret.
Farley says, "It takes a village to build a prostitute."
The village is not just Las Vegas.
The village is where we all live. It consists of what we all -
collectively - are willing to accept.
We can tell Las Vegas Mayor Goodman to put down the bat. We can hope
his views will be completely rejected by his city.
But we - collectively - have made his view of the world pay off the way
a Vegas slot machine never will.
What happens in Las Vegas doesn't stay there. It contaminates us all.
As if these two scathing
editorials weren't enough to
shake Las Vegas into its senses, last week I received a call from the New York Daily News. Writers Adam
Nichols and Jeff Burbank had discovered a long forgotten complaint
in 2004 with the Nevada Attorney General on the campaign practices of
"Little Joe" Bonaventure. This inspired the story; "Vegas
handles O.J. Simpson case with kid judge."
Vegas handles O.J. Simpson
case with kid judge
BY ADAM NICHOLS in New York
and JEFF BURBANK in Las Vegas
DAILY NEWS WRITERS
Thursday, September 20th 2007
The ponytailed judge whom O.J. Simpson faced yesterday was only a teen
when the Juice was last in custody.
Joe Bonaventure Jr., 31, is Las Vegas' youngest judge.
He graduated from law school six years ago and had only two years of
legal experience before being elected a justice of the peace in 2004.
He was accused of deliberately deceiving voters about his inexperience
by masquerading as his father - a high-profile district judge with the
"His campaign literature didn't differentiate between himself or his
father in any way," said Steve Miller, a former Vegas councilman. "He
wasn't qualified for the position. He won because voters thought they
were electing his father. I have no doubt about it."
Miller's complaint to the state attorney general was dismissed.
Bonaventure's dad called the allegations nonsense.
"He's his own man," said Joseph Bonaventure Sr., 64.
He told the Daily News he's awfully proud of how he handled Simpson:
"I've seen judges who want their 15 minutes of fame but he wasn't
playing for the cameras. He got his business done quick."
Still, the uproar over Bonaventure Jr.'s election prompted a new law -
dubbed the Joe Bonaventure bill - that would have disqualified him from
the race. Las Vegas judges must now have at least five years' legal
Bonaventure Jr. is expected to continue presiding over the Simpson case
until it reaches trial and assigned to another judge.
and Tom Letizia
Needless to say, my
participation in the above exposés of our town's darkest secrets
and most embarrassing moments
did not endear me with the
of the community" who hang out at Piero's
in Vegas, or the Ritz
in Newport Beach.
To let me know their feelings, advertising executive Tom Letizia who is
the son in law of Piero's/Ritz owner Freddy Glusman sent an email.
doubles as Mayor Oscar
manager and was once Rick Rizzolo's P.R.
man, so I always enjoy hearing from him.
|Subject: Re: New York
Daily News on Judge Bonaventure, Jr.
9/20/2007 2:53:07 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time
Great steve - we will look like fools to the rest of the country... Tom
The accurate Editorials in
Times and Arizona Republic
may shock local and state
officials into enforcing existing laws and putting an end to illegal
prostitution and sex trafficking in massage parlors and escort services
the mayor and D.A. as part of our stupid "Sin City" image.
|Subject: Re: New York
Daily News on Judge Bonaventure, Jr.
9/20/2007 4:17:12 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time
Tom: We already do, thanks to Oscar... Regards, Steve
And the story in the NY Daily News about
how easy it was to fool our voters may encourage honesty in local
It's true Tom. Our
looking "like fools to the rest of the country..." But our town's latest bad
publicity may be the wake up call we need to convince naive star struck
that they have a pimp acting as their mayor instead of the psudo rock
many blindly idolize for having played his current self, a mob lawyer,
I sure hope this publicity makes us do some introspection about our
pubescent city's problems. Maybe then we'll finally "Grow up" and begin
cleaning our own back yard without having to be made to look like fools
by visiting journalists.
Copyright © Steve Miller
Editor's note: The author is
currently writing a book about the mob's influence in present day Las