Las Cruces, NM 2-Nearby Championship Golf Courses
The violent murder of a teenager in Las Cruces, New Mexico, spawned a national corruption scandal that would ripple to Las Vegas — and change the future of gambling These days it seems all roads lead to Las Vegas.
Illegal casinos, many of them mob-influenced, were going concerns from Wheeling to Omaha, Pittsburgh to Palm Springs.
Legalization would eventually become the great Las Vegas trump card, making it a sanctuary city for gamblers from places like Steubenville, Ohio, and Covington, Kentucky, Miami, and Cleveland.
Caravans of professional dealers and dice men were chased out of their hometowns by reform-minded sheriffs and, in the new decade, the famous organized-crime fighter, U.
Estes Kefauver of Tennessee.
It had real competition from an unlikely place — Santa Fe and other New Mexico outposts from Las Vegas to Las Cruces.
The 1949 death of an 18-year-old party girl was the improbable factor that would drive a generation of visionary gangsters out of the Land of Enchantment and into the Silver State.
Her name was Ovida Coogler.
A barfly and escort to powerful men since the age of 14, the pretty brunette high school dropout was a popular figure in the southern New Mexico desert crossroads of Las Cruces.
The town of 13,000 brimmed with saloons and gambling halls, and Democratic Sheriff A.
New Mexico itself was a hotbed of illegal gambling that operated more or less in the open from Raton in the north, through Las cruces nm casinos Fe and Albuquerque, east to Ruidoso and Las Vegas, and south to Hot Las cruces nm casinos, Las Cruces, and Hobbs.
In short order, the news wags would observe, it was business as usual at clubs with names such as the Mint and the Centro.
In Las Cruces, las cruces nm casinos was no secret Happy Apodaca had a piece las cruces nm casinos the action and the muscle it took to keep it.
She also consorted with notorious national hoodlums who had set their sights on Santa Fe as a new gambling mecca and were paying protection money to New Mexico government officials.
Petite and vivacious, Coogler was attractive in the fitted blue plaid suit she wore on the last night of her life.
But when rumors began to spread that Lt.
Sixteen days after her disappearance, when four boys hunting rabbits on Easter morning found her bruised, decomposing, partially clad body in a shallow grave, her pale hand reaching out of the earth, the public was outraged.
Apodaca announced that Cricket had been raped and murdered, and ordered her body sprinkled las cruces nm casinos lime and buried again without an autopsy or funeral.
But the man with whom Cricket was most often linked was not among them.
Instead, Montoya would go on to become a powerful U.
Its judges, politicians, and law enforcement officers were taking bribes from the Mafia, as Hillerman, who would go on to write a string of national best-selling mystery novels, described the milieu.
Sightings of the Vegas gambling kingpins touring in and around Santa Fe in their big black sedans were ubiquitous.
Like Siegel, Dalitz was also an early investor in New Mexico real estate.
The central New Las cruces nm casinos resort town of Hot Springs — which would be renamed Truth or Consequences in 1950 — invested the gambling kickbacks directly into its street improvement fund.
Some casino men were suspected of keeping sheriffs on their payrolls as a way of ensuring their joints would stay open — sometimes at the expense of the competition.
Will Harrison, a longtime political columnist for the Santa Fe New Mexican, spent decades chronicling the close proximity of public officials to the gamblers.
Cricket became national news when FBI head J.
Edgar Hoover took a personal interest in the cover-up of her death by state and federal law enforcement officials — one of many deaths and disappearances related to rampant illegal gambling and organized crime in postwar New Mexico.
It was totally corrupt — the whole state.
The extent to which Hoover kept a close las cruces nm casinos on the activity, and especially on the corruption of the state police, only became public with the release 35 years later of FBI files.
Gambling operations in the central New Mexico communities of Ruidoso and Alamogordo were also profitable, and the Chicago Outfit ran slots in the Rocky Mountain resort town of Red River north of Taos.
While ties to organized crime were rampant in New Mexico during the late 1940s, it was not until the grand jury-ordered raids of Anapra yielded evidence of its statewide depth and breadth, and national impact.
Once the FBI opened its investigation into organized crime and corruption in New Mexico, the mob quickly retreated back to Vegas, as every gambler in the state fled to avoid prosecution.
Following the 1988 passage las cruces nm casinos the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, a click the following article tribal compact signed in 1995 led to rapid expansion of legal casinos on native lands.
Racetracks never missed a stride.
Today, more than two-dozen full-scale tribal casinos and gaming venues compete for customers with five racetracks that also offer slot play.
While some investigative journalists have surmised that Coogler was murdered because of what she knew, it is as likely she was eliminated simply because of the company she kept — powerful men prone to violence.
Others have speculated that her violent death was accidental.
But there is no question the cover-up was systematic and intentional.
The violent death of a teenage girl spawned a national corruption scandal that shook the state for decades to come.
It comes to your house.
Days Inn Las Cruces - Las Cruces Hotels, New Mexico
This is a list of casinos in New Mexico. Contents. 1 List of casinos; 2 Gallery; 3 See also; 4 References; 5 External links. List of casinos. See also: ...
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