Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Ted Binion

Wife and Daughter Leave

A few days after Ted had shown Sandy the Horseshoe, his wife, Doris, overheard her husband making a date with Sandy on the telephone and promptly packed her bags and moved herself and their fifteen-year-old daughter, Bonnie, out of the house and left for Texas.  She had already filed for a divorce over Teds continuous use of heroin and his occasionally abusive ways, but this latest incident left no room for reconciliation.  She had finally had enough.  Ted, by now consuming nearly a bottle of either Southern Comfort or Absolut vodka, depending upon his mood, each day and being the up-and-down impulsive doper that he was, didnt seem particularly bothered by his wifes sudden departure.  It was almost as if he had been expecting it.

One evening after his wife and daughter had left him, Ted went out looking for Sandy, but he couldnt find her despite searching all night long.  It turned out that she had decided to spend the evening with friends, but when Ted finally caught up with her he was clearly angry and agitated.

I dont ever not want to know where you are, Binion purportedly told Sandy.

Ted Binion's house
Ted Binion's house (Gary C. King)

The next day, on March 7, 1995, almost immediately after Doris and Bonnie had moved out, Ted instructed two of his friends to pack up Sandys scant belongings and move them, as well as Sandy, into his home at 2408 Palomino Lane.  The move had been easy.  Sandy only had three outfits to her name when she moved in with him, and few other personal belongings.  In the nearly two weeks that she had worked at Cheetahs, Sandy had made back all of the money she had lost playing blackjack at Caesars, and then some.  No longer having a reason to continue working as The Irish Venus, Sandy quit her job at Cheetahs.

Within two weeks Sandys life had undergone an unimaginable metamorphosis.  She had recovered her money, met and moved in with a multi-millionaire, no longer had to work, began enjoying comps at a number of casinos, was allowed to use the Horseshoe limousines, and began racking up huge credit card bills on shopping sprees at Versace and Neiman Marcus.  She also soon had a nose job and breast augmentation at Binions expense.  There was no way that she would even consider returning to the life she left behind in California.  Las Vegas had panned out for her after all.

It wasnt long before Binion began using Murphy to schmooze high rollers.  In November 1995 he sent Murphy and two Horseshoe employees to Taiwan to attend the opening of a Taiwanese businessmans shopping plazaa high roller who was in a gambling debt dispute with the Horseshoe.  The Gaming Control Board soon came to suspect that she was trying to collect debts for Binion, which only served to add to Binions gaming woes.

Binion, however, clearly liked Murphys mouthy disposition, showgirl appearance, and the fact that she hung out with big-busted dancers, girls who didnt mind showing it to strangers.  The two were soon being seen together everywhere in Las Vegas, and everything between Sandy and Ted seemed finefor a while.

Suddenly she had it all, and she wasnt about to let any of it go under any circumstances.  Sandy Murphy had finally gotten what she wanted out of lifeand a whole lot more.  But somehow she soon found that it wasnt enough particularly after Rick Tabish entered her life.

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