Crime does pay, especially in Las Vegas where one of the star attractions is the The Mob Museum.
Officially known as the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, it was opened on Valentine’s Day in 2012.
It’s located in what was the Post Office and Courthouse, built in 1933 and now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The building was sold to the city for one dollar, on the proviso that it was used for cultural purposes.
Centerpiece of the museum is the second floor courtroom where one of 14 national hearings to expose organised crime was held back in the 1950s.
Another attraction is the real blood-stained wall where Chicago’s Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre took place in 1929.
Seven members of Bugs Moran’s gang were lined up against the wall and shot to death by men dressed in police uniform, believed to have been in the employ of Al Capone.
John Gotti’s 1972 V12 Jaguar XKE is also owned by the museum.
The infamous gangster’s convertible was donated by Gotti’s wife, Victoria.
Gotti originally acquired the car from his right-hand man and veteran gangster Greg DePalma, presumably to gain favor with the New York boss.
He later gave it to Victoria as a 25th anniversary gift.
You won’t always find the car on display due to limited space, but it can often be found sitting outside or making special appearances as a traveling exhibit.
Other exhibits focus on Mob violence, casino money skimming operations, and wiretapping by law enforcement.
Visitors can sit in a replica electric chair, listen to actual wiretaps and view some unique, disturbing and otherwise inaccessible material, including photos of victims of the most famous murders credited to the Mafia.
Appropriately named “Mob’s Greatest Hits” these are quite graphic in nature, because they show the corpses of deceased, as well as pictures and short biographies of the most popular and notorious gangster personalities.
The museum has just added some interactive exhibits too, which put visitors in the role of law enforcement in role-playing scenarios and as forensic science experts.
Organised Crime Today focuses on the modernisation and evolution of organised crime and features two new experiential spaces — Use of Force Training Experience and Crime Lab.
Featuring artifacts, graphics and a large, interactive, five-metre touchscreen, this exhibition space brings the story of organised crime into the present day, as well as modernises the way the museum tells that story.
In addition to covering present-day rackets, Organised Crime Today explores active crime groups — such as outlaw motorcycle gangs, Yakuza, Mexican cartels, Eastern European mafias and MS-13 — and the international array of law enforcement agencies that seek to eradicate them.
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