Bringing Down the House


Bringing Down the House: The Bombing of Harvey's Casino

Two days of evacuations, investigations, and an extortion scheme


In the summer of 1980, three men wheeled what looked like an IBM computer into the Harvey’s Wagon Wheel resort and casino in South Lake Tahoe. It was the height of tourist season, just days from Labor Day, in the hustle and bustle of the west’s gambling capital.

The Bombing of Harvey’s Casino in Lake Tahoe

The computer turned out to be a bomb, one with a convoluted and complicated piece of circuitry and a thousand pounds of dynamite. It was so full of explosives that x-rays couldn’t penetrate most of it. What followed was two days of evacuations, investigations, and an extortion scheme so complicated it would take a year for investigators to unravel the tale… A criminal extortion plot that exposed problems that casinos and law enforcement never knew they had.

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