LAS VEGAS, NV — The Mob Museum – the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement – today unveils one of the most historically significant and fascinating artifacts in its growing repository: the barber chair, where on October 25, 1957, Albert Anastasia – aka “Lord High Executioner” – was murdered in New York City at the Park Sheraton Hotel (now Park Central Hotel). Anastasia, then boss of the Gambino crime family, was known for running a gang of hit men, contract killers known as Murder, Inc. Estimates of those killed during the time period in which Murder, Inc. operated are between 400-700 people, and most of the cases were never solved, just like the murder of Anastasia.
Former Las Vegas Mayor, Oscar Goodman, shows the Barber Shop Chair where Albert Anastasia was shot to death in Manhattan in 1957. The chair will be exhibited in The Mob Museum early 2012.
The assassination of Anastasia is important for several reasons:
- The murder is the result of a leadership dispute within the “family” as Genovese and Gambino wanted Anastasia out. This unsolved murder was a high profile front page example of mob brutality.
- This was one of THE mob hits of the century that was performed in broad daylight and in a very public place.
- Following the murder, a summit meeting of mob leaders from across the country was convened at the home of Joseph Barbara in Apalachin, NY, to discuss postponing a potential Mob war. The house was under surveillance, so 58 of the 100 or so mobsters gathered there were easily rounded up by law enforcement. This revelation forced J. Edgar Hoover to acknowledge the existence of an organized crime network in the United States.
The barber chair is owned by Artie Nash of New York City, a prolific and important collector of Mob-related documents, photographs and artifacts whose extensive holdings are the result of years of collecting. Nash is working closely and exclusively with the Museum and is providing important artifacts like the barber chair from his holdings – The Nash Collection – for inclusion in the Museum.
“Artie has long been known as one of the world’s foremost collectors of mob artifacts,” said Kathleen Barrie, curator of The Mob Museum. “Many of his most historically significant and treasured artifacts, such as the Anastasia barber chair, will soon make The Mob Museum their home and will bring to life the stories that document the history of organized crime in our country. We are thrilled to enter into this partnership with Mr. Nash.
The Mob Museum is under construction inside the city’s historic former federal courthouse and post office at 300 Stewart Avenue in downtown Las Vegas. Set to open in February 2012, The Museum is highly experiential and interactive and is being developed by the same world-class creative and digital media teams that created the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Admission fees will be under $20 with additional discounts for seniors, students, military and groups as well as special rates for local residents
The $42 million Mob Museum is being funded through local, state and federal grants, in addition to matching grants and Redevelopment Agency funding sources that can only be spent in the city’s redevelopment area.
About The Mob Museum
The Mob Museum is a world-class destination in downtown Las Vegas dedicated to the thrilling story of organized crime and law enforcement. It presents an exciting and authentic view of the mob’s impact on Las Vegas history and its unique imprint on the world. With tales so intriguing they need no embellishment, The Museum reveals an insider’s look at the events and people on both sides of this continuing battle. True stories of mob history are brought to life in a bold and contemporary style via engaging exhibits and multi-sensory experiences. The Mob Museum puts the visitor in the middle of the action through high-tech theater presentations, iconic one-of-a-kind artifacts and interactive, themed environments. For more information, visit www.themobmuseum.org. Connect with us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/themobmuseum and on Twitter: @TheMobMuseum.