The Mob Museum in Las Vegas is one of the most intriguing museums I’ve ever visited. Located in the former federal courthouse in downtown Vegas two blocks from Fremont Street, the museum tells the story of organized crime in America.
The Mob Museum is open daily 9am to 9pm. An adult ticket costs US$20.95 (as of November 2017), but discounts are available if purchased online or through coupons. I spent about three hours there but could have stayed longer.
Moving along, organized crime is examined through the role it played in different areas it manipulated, such as sports, politics, and casinos. From the sports world, stories of certain teams caught cheating along with artifacts such as a ticket from the 1919 World Series, marred by the Black Sox Scandal, are on display.
The role of the mob in casinos and Las Vegas is examined carefully. Items from the opening of the Flamingo in 1946 and other artifacts from Vegas’ heyday are displayed.
One of the most interesting exhibits is located in an actual courtroom on the second floor. In that courtroom, one of fourteen Kefauver Committee hearings took place in 1950 and 1951. These heavily publicized and televised hearings exposed the vast network of organized crime to Americans. Personal items used by Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver, the head of the committee, are also on display.
Personal articles owned by members of the mafia as well as items associated with their death are part of other exhibits. Suits worn by John Gotti and Mickey Cohen, Meyer Lansky’s grave marker, and the barber chair in which Albert Anastasia was murdered in are all in the museum, among other items.
Catching the Mob
Catching perpetrators of organized crime is thoroughly examined. Visitors are able to listen to wiretaps and learn about methods used to catch criminals. Stories of moles and investigations are told, and a new respect is gained for how these people put their lives on the line to expose mafia members.
Finally, an exhibit about the mafia in pop culture is on display. You can see props such as dummies and clothing used in Goodfellas and other films.