October 25: The Legend of Sonny Liston: Cracking the Cold Case in Las Vegas

October 25: The Legend of Sonny Liston: Cracking the Cold Case in Las Vegas

Date: October 25, 2016
Time: 7 p.m.
Cost: Free for Museum Members or with Museum admission

The Legend of Sonny Liston.

Cover of Sonny Liston book1Cracking the Cold Case in Las Vegas.

Author Talk with Shaun Assael. Book signing to follow.

In the early 1960s, Sonny Liston was on top of the world as boxing’s heavyweight champion, but after he lost the title his life spiraled to a tragic end when he was found dead in his Las Vegas home in 1971.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images: Allsport Hulton/Archive

In The Murder of Sonny Liston, investigative journalist Shaun Assael digs into the mysteries surrounding Liston’s death, links Liston to a prominent Mob figure and tells a fascinating story about the boxer’s tortured final years.

Following the heavyweight champion’s death, the Clark County coroner determined Liston had died of natural causes related to heart and breathing problems. As a result, Las Vegas Police did not investigate the case as a homicide.

But in a new book, , to be released just days before this event, Assael raises questions about whether Liston might have been murdered. He pursues leads suggesting several potential suspects who might have had motives to see Liston dead.

Assael’s story is set against the backdrop of Las Vegas in 1970, when Elvis Presley was performing at the International Hotel, Howard Hughes was running his empire from a penthouse suite at the Desert Inn and the Mob was still skimming millions from Strip casinos.