Las Vegas mob affiliations discussed as more human remains discovered at Lake Mead

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LAS VEGAS – Organized crime has long been associated with Las Vegas, originating with Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel developing the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in the 40s. Siegel was part of the mob’s group of killers-for-hire that became known as “Murder, Inc.” He was closely tied to gangster Meyer Lansky and crime boss Charles “Lucky” Luciano.

Now Sin City is being flooded with lore about mobsters after two sets of human remains emerged within a week from the depths of Lake Mead, which is just a short 30-minute drive from the notoriously mob-founded Strip.

Boaters on the widely popular lake in Nevada — home of the renowned Hoover Dam — discovered the first set of human remains in a barrel on Sunday, May 1, in Hemenway Harbor. Investigators with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department believe the container had been submerged for decades based upon items discovered inside, Law Officer reported.

Lake Mead
Boaters discovered the barrel containing human remains May 1, 2022, near Hemenway Harbor at Lake Mead. (Screenshot FOX 8)

After the remains were discovered, LVMPD Homicide Bureau Lt. Ray Spencer said, “It’s a unique homicide investigation.”

The lieutenant said they’ve recovered remains in the lake before, but never like this.

“Even identifying the person is going to be an extensive challenge at this point,” he said.

Last week, two retired Las Vegas police officers offered a reward for divers who find additional bodies in the recreational lake.

David Kohlmeier and Daniel Minor host “The Problem Solver Show” on local cable. The two retired lawmen said they would offer $5,000 for any additional remains that are found, FOX 8 reported.

“The Problem Solver is offering this challenge in an effort to bring a sense of closure to the families and friends of the victims, and to assist local law enforcement in their efforts,” the men said in a statement Thursday.

On Saturday about 1:45 p.m., two sisters from nearby Henderson were paddle boarding in Callville Bay when they discovered the second set of remains, FOX 5 of Las Vegas reported.

Decorative map image showing Southern portion of Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Lake Mead is America’s largest reservoir with 750 miles of shoreline. It was created by the construction of the Hoover Dam. (

Although identifying the bodies will be a challenge, LVMPD said the first set of remains found inside the barrel at Hemenway Harbor was a man who was shot most likely in the mid 70′s or early 80′s.

Investigators are still working to find out more about the second set of human remains.

“There’s no telling what we’ll find in Lake Mead,” former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman said Monday. “It’s not a bad place to dump a body.”

Goodman, as a lawyer, represented mob figures including the ill-fated Anthony “Tony the Ant” Spilotro before serving three terms as a martini-toting mayor making public appearances with a showgirl on each arm, the New York Post reported.

He declined to name names about who might turn up in the vast reservoir formed by Hoover Dam between Nevada and Arizona.

“I’m relatively sure it was not Jimmy Hoffa,” he laughed. But he added that a lot of his former clients seemed interested in “climate control” — mob speak for keeping the lake level up and bodies down in their watery graves.

Lake Mead’s National Park and Recreation division chief David Alberg also mentioned that he is not surprised more human remains have been discovered, according to Fox 5.

“I think people need to understand that this is a big place,” said Alberg. “Lake Mead covers one and a half million acres of land between Nevada and Arizona, and we have been here as a recreation area in one form or another since 1936 when the Hoover Dam was established and this has also been a land that people have been seen moving through it for thousands of years between native Americans and early settlers and explorers. So to be surprised that another set of human remains has been found is not unusual.”

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