Mob Museum

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.

Mob Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada

Mob Museum

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.

 

Exhibits

One of the first exhibits in the museum gets your attention. The original wall from the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago in 1929, complete with bullet holes, stands right in front of you.

St. Valentine's Day Massacre wall at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada

St. Valentine’s Day Massacre wall

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.

Organized crime in sports at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada

Organized crime in sports

Ticket from the 1919 World Series at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada

Ticket from the 1919 World Series

Politics weren’t immune either. Newspapers and artifacts about the JFK assassination, including a bullet from Jack Ruby’s gun, are featured.

JFK assassination at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada

JFK assassination

Bullet from Jack Ruby's gun at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada

Bullet from Jack Ruby’s gun

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.

Items from the opening of the Flamingo at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada

Items from the opening of the Flamingo

 

Courtroom

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.

Courtroom at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada

Courtroom

Personal items of Estes Kefauver at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada

Personal items of Estes Kefauver

 

Personal Articles

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.

John Gotti's suit at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada

John Gotti’s suit

Mickey Cohen's suit at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada

Mickey Cohen’s suit

Meyer Lansky's gravestone at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada

Meyer Lansky’s gravestone

Barber chair where Albert Anastasia was murdered at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada

Barber chair where Albert Anastasia was murdered

 

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.

Wiretapping equipment at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada

Wiretapping equipment

 

Pop Culture

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.

Dummy from Goodfellas at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada

Dummy from Goodfellas

Costumes from Goodfellas at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada

Costumes from Goodfellas

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