On the Boulevard
On the Boulevard brings together the best writing of Las Vegas’ most popular columnist, the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s John L. Smith. Smith provides singular insights into the fast, fluid, and often funny town he’s chronicled for nearly 20 years. Subjects include: Las Vegas mayor and Mob mouthpiece Oscar Goodman, legendary slot cheat Bill Land, and seldom-chronicled gambling icons such as Mel Exber (Las Vegas Club), Si Redd (IGT), and Big Julie Weintraub (’60s junket operator).
Street Life—Herb Blitzstein liked to talk about leaving Las Vegas, about building a bankroll and escaping the heat on the street. He would move somewhere his face and reputation weren’t so notorious, somewhere the mention of his name didn’t make the cops’ mouths foam.
But Blitzstein know he would never leave Las Vegas, just as he know he would never really quit the street life. The town was in his blood, and the memories of his heyday as the right-hand man of Chicago mob tough Anthony Spilotro were in his head.
More than a decade after Spilotro’s grisly demise, Blitzstein died violently, shot in the head. The town that was in his blood finally had seen it spilled.
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