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
"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.
"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.
"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
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.
workers spray-painting the ground in…
"China Officials Caught Spray-Painting Grass…
Telegraph, March 4, 2013.
This week's lateral thinking puzzle was contributed by listener
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the music in this episode.
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