104-The Harvey's Casino Bombing

Released Monday, 2nd May 2016
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In August 1980, an extortionist planted a thousand-pound bomb in
Harvey’s Wagon Wheel Casino in western Nevada. Unless the owners
paid him $3 million within 24 hours, he said, the bomb would go off
and destroy the casino. In this week's episode of the Futility
Closet podcast we'll describe the tense drama that followed and the
FBI's efforts to catch the criminal behind it.

We'll also consider some dubious lawn care shortcuts and puzzle
over why a man would tear up a winning ticket.

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Sources for our feature on the Harvey's bombing:

Jim Sloan, Render Safe: The Untold Story of the Harvey's
Bombing, 2011.

Adam Higginbotham,
"1,000 Pounds of Dynamite,"
The Atavist 39.

"5 Charged in Harveys Bombing,"
Associated Press, Aug. 17,

"Five Suspects Arrested in Harvey's Extortio…

Associated Press, Aug. 17, 1981.

"Son Pitted Against Father in Harvey's Bombi…

Associated Press, Oct. 17, 1982.

Robert Macy,
"Ex-Freedom Fighter Found Guilty of Bombing …

Telegraph, Oct. 23, 1982.

Melinda Beck, "A Real Harvey's Wallbanger," Newsweek,
Sept. 8, 1980.

Phillip L. Sublett, "30
Years Later: Trail of Clues Led Authoriti…
Tahoe Daily Tribune, Aug. 28, 2010.

Guy Clifton,
"35 Years Ago Today: The Bomb That Shook Lak…
Gazette-Journal, Aug. 26, 2015.

A brief FBI article about the case.

Full text of the extortion note.

Video discussion of the case by retired FBI special agent Chris
Ronay (transcript):

Listener mail:

The imgur gallery with the German saboteur cache is here -- click the link "Load
remaining 44 images" just above the comments to see the photo we

The book quoted by Stephanie Guertin is Weapons of the Navy
SEALs, by Kevin Dockery, 2004.

Video of
workers spray-painting the ground in…

Malcolm Moore,
"China Officials Caught Spray-Painting Grass…

Telegraph, March 4, 2013.

This week's lateral thinking puzzle was contributed by listener
Matt Sargent.

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Many thanks to Doug Ross for
the music in this episode.

If you have any questions or comments you can reach us at
podcast@futilitycloset.com. Thanks
for listening!

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32m 34s

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