Murder is a horrible thing, and Nevada is no stranger to high profile, eternally famous homicides. Here are eight famous homicides in the Silver State that will never be forgotten.
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1. Tupac Shakur
On 7 September 1996, after attending the Seldon/Tyson fight in Las Vegas, rapper Tupac Shakur (born Lesane Parish Crooks) was gunned down in a drive-by shooting at the corner of Koval Lane and Flamingo Road. At the time of his death, Shakur was standing up with his upper body through the sunroof of friend Suge Knight's car. A white Cadillac pulled up next to the vehicle and occupants opened fire with a semi-automatic pistol. Shakur was shot twice in the chest, once in the arm, and once in the thigh. He died on September 13th from internal bleeding as a result of the gunshot wounds. Twenty years later, Shakur's killers were identified as part of a rival gang in retaliation for an earlier assault. Shakur was only 25.
2. Sherrice Iverson
On May 25, 1997, 18-year-old Jeremy Strohmeyer followed 7-year-old Sherrice Iverson into a women's bathroom at the Primadonna Resort and Casino (now Primm Valley Resort) in Primm at the California-Nevada border. Iverson was unsupervised at the time. Strohmeyer took the little girl into a stall, sexually assaulted her, and then strangled her to death. Strohmeyer is serving life without parole at the Lovelock Correctional Facility. Strohmeyer's friend, 17-year-old David Cash allegedly entered the restroom and saw Strohmeyer with his hand over Iverson's mouth but left. In 2000, the Sherrice Iverson bill (Nevada State Assembly Bill 267) was passed requiring people who believe a minor is being sexually molested to report it to authorities. California also passed the Sherrice Iverson Child Protection Act.
3. Ted Binion
On September 17, 1998, millionaire Ted Binion (the son of Las Vegas casino magnate Benny Binion) was found dead on a mattress inside his home at 2408 Palomino Road. Evidence at the scene and a toxicology report suggested Binion (pictured in his 1997 mugshot) died of a lethal dosage of Xanax, Valium, and heroin. His death was initially ruled a suicide; however, six months later, the medical examiner changed the cause of death to a homicide as detectives believed the crime scene was staged. Binion's live-in girlfriend Sandy Murphy and Rick Tabish (her alleged lover) were arrested, tried, and convicted of his murder, along with conspiracy, burglary, grand larceny, and robbery. After a reversal and remand by the Nevada Supreme Court on the grounds that the judge gave improper jury instructions, the pair faced trial again in 2004 and were ultimately acquitted of murder. Murphy was sentenced to time served and Tabish was paroled in 2010.
4. Charla Mack
On 12 June 2006, Darren Mack (pictured) stabbed his estranged wife, 39-year-old Charla Mack, in the garage of their Reno home. Later that day, Mack shot Judge Chuck Weller who was handling the couple's difficult divorce. Following a nationwide manhunt, Mack surrendered to Mexican authorities in Puerto Vallarta and was extradited to the U.S. In 2007, Mack pled guilty to first-degree murder and received a 36-years-to-life prison sentence for his wife's murder and the attempted murder of Judge Weller who survived. Mack continues to appeal his case.
5. Sonja McCaskie
The murder of 24-year-old British alpine skier Sonja McCaskie continues to be called the worst murder in Reno's history. On 5 April 1963, 18-year-old Thomas Lee Bean strangled, raped, decapitated, and savagely mutilated McCaskie in her Reno apartment. He was sentenced to death but was taken off Death Row in 1972 when the US Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional and has been in a Carson City prison since.
6. Julia Bulette
Virginia City prostitute and madam Julia Bulette was murdered by French drifter and jewel thief John Millain. On the morning of 20 January 1867, the maid found Bulette's partially nude body in her bedroom, strangled and bludgeoned to death. Bulette was widely heralded in Virginia City and she has a long legacy of being immortalized in books and on film. Millain was caught in 1868 and hanged for her murder. Mark Twain witnessed Millain's death. Bulette has a saloon named for her in Virginia City.
7. William "Bill" Coulthard
Here's another murder tied to gangster Benny Binion. Coulthard, a former FBI agent and Las Vegas businessman, refused to extend a license to Binion for property the latter owned. On 25 July 1972, a car bomb killed Coulthard while parked in front of his downtown Las Vegas office. Even though Binion remained the number-one suspect in Coulthard's death, he was never charged. Coulthard's murder inspired a scene from the 1995 movie Casino.
8. Al Bramlet
Notorious labor leader Al Bramlet was murdered on 22 February 1977 in the Nevada desert by father and son Gramby and Thomas Hardy after he was kidnapped and robbed of $10,000. Bramlet allegedly owed the Hardys money for a failed restaurant bombing. The Hardys carried out several of these bombings for Bramlet. Needless to say, Bramlet was not a nice guy.
There you have it: eight of Nevada’s most famous homicides. Do you know of any other famous homicides in Nevada I may have left off this list? Please comment below.