What happens in Vegas doesn't necessarily stay in Vegas and the proof is in this lively and entertaining compilation of stories chronicling decades of decadence, celebrity shenanigans and political corruption, as well as the glitz and glamour of the casinos that pass for everyday life in Las Vegas.
Underneath the city's present success lies many infamous tales of excess and debauchery. Using new information from recently released FBI documents, Jeff Burbank brings to life the Vegas mob in its heyday, recounting never before heard tales of the mobsters who made Vegas what is today. But mobsters aren't the only ones with skeletons in Las Vegas's closet. Over the years, Hollywood stars have had their share of the limelight. Burbank has uncovered the many fateful, and often amusing, incidents that have befallen the glamourous and here he recalls the details of the darkest moments in the lives of the famous and the foolish: such as Marilyn Monroe's quickie divorce; boxer Sonny Liston's secret heroin deal just before his death; The Doors singer Jim Morrison's arrest for fighting on the Strip; comic Lenny Bruce's hilarious onstage run-in with singer Pearl Bailey; the Vegas drug store that sent drugs and syringes to Elvis Presley almost anywhere he wanted; and the hookers who tricked-rolled comedian Tommy Smothers in his Strip hotel room.
Also featured are the stories of everyday people -casino workers, small business people and random travellers - who found their lives turned upsude down by Las Vegas temptations. With fast-paced and entertaining prose, Burbank captures the true stories from Las Vegas' seedy underbelly that have led to America's 100 year fascination with the aptly-named Sin City.
Jeff Burbank grew up in Los Gatos, Calif. He holds a B.A. degree in political science from University of California, Berkeley, and a M.A. in Communications/Print Journalism at American University in Washington, D.C. He was a Fulbright Scholar who taught news media and non-fiction writing at Khazar University in the former Soviet Union nation, Azerbaijan, in 2011. He taught business writing and news reporting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, academic English at San Jose State University, and composition, professional writing and contemporary history at DeVry University. He has more than 15 years experience as a news reporter and editor, and is the author of four books. He currently works as a journalist covering San Jose, Calif., Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties in Northern California for San Francisco-based Bay City News Service