Ajay Patel, Sarah Kane, and the Mob

Last week I enjoyed a three-day vacation from my day job, so I had the opportunity to join SMA’s weekly Town Hall. (I am still officially an SMA Associate, on inactive status.)

SMA Town Halls usually begin with an “Art Talk,” and last week’s Art Talk focused on art in Las Vegas.

Coincidentally, I was leaving for Las Vegas later that day.

Sarah Kane’s presentation last week covered the Mob Museum.

Coincidentally, I had reservations to visit that museum on Saturday.

When I shared this in the Town Hall chat, Ajay Patel requested that I share pictures of my visit. Here they are.

This parking lot wall depicts the history of Las Vegas. Kane had nicer pictures in her Art Talk; cars obscured much of the wall when I visited.

The museum is located in a historic Post Office building that also hosted a courtroom. More on that later.

Mugshots, early 20th century.

This wall was the backdrop from Chicago’s St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929. The bricks were subsequently relocated to Las Vegas.

If you don’t know why this ticket from the 1919 World Series is in the National Mob Museum, look it up.

Lest you think that all mob activity was centered in Chicago, there may have been a little mob activity in Las Vegas also. Some of the casinos from the 1940s and later had questionable financing (and questionable accounting), and the aforementioned courtroom was the site of hearings chaired by Senator Estes Kefauver.

If you’ve worked for a couple of facial recognition/video surveillance companies (the I and N companies come to mind), you’ve probably compared a picture from an early Whitey Bulger arrest to a later picture of Bulger. He ended up in prison in his later years, and did not survive the experience.

El Chapo was in a Mexican prison but escaped. He’s in SuperMax now.

I finished my visit to the Mob Museum in a speakeasy. Special medicines may or may not have been consumed. Sorry, no pictures of any alleged consumption.

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