Circus Circus

September 19th, 2019

True story:  In 1979, beleaguered  22 year old, professional sports bettor, Max Steingrout took a job at Circus Circus in Las Vegas, NV.

Opened by Jay Sarno in 1968 with mob money, Circus Circus was designed to allow families to enjoy the wholesomeness of a Circus (Circus), while Dad drank martinis, gambled the mortgage, and cavorted with prostitutes in casino men’s rooms.

At the time, Max was doing too much crank and his betting career had hit the skids.

He blamed the losing streak on the point guard, the quarterback, the bounce or the fumble. Never on himself.

Part of Max’s duties at Circus Circus included circus animal cleanup and clown support.

As part of the Clown Crew, he would help with wardrobe, makeup & costume changes.

Max didn’t get along with the clowns. They viewed him as an outsider with no clown credentials. They reported numerous, imagined violations to management and got him fired after only two weeks.

The clowns took their job very seriously.

No clowning around.

Bobo

September 13th, 2019
Bobo

Las Vegas, NV –  1976.

Happy Bicentennial Birthday America, Happy Birthday Bobo.

Ceasars Palace’s Bobo the Famous Handicapping Chimp turned five and was coming off an 8-4 NFL weekend spiriting his winning percentage to over .600.  Vegas partied like it was 1999. Don’t ask me how, Bobo knew how to pick the winners.

Bobo made regular appearances on the Lefty Rosenthal Show, opposite old Blue Eyes himself. Some maintain, Bobo stole the show. Bobo, was more a member of the Rat Pack than Peter Lawford and it was unanimous: Vegas loved Bobo & Bobo loved Vegas!

Unfortunately, Bobo also loved the sweet, banana nectar of Jack Daniels. Disillusioned by the late nights, cigarettes, booze and strippers, Bobo lashed out at his fans. He ripped off his diaper and threw feces at Caesars’ patrons. Bad Bobo.

One night, long after his Las Vegas bright lights were turned off, Bobo finished off a quart of JD, took a handful of sleeping pills, choked on his vomit and died in his inebriated sleep.

Danke Schoen

September 10th, 2019
Do the hustle

Unlike in New York, in Las Vegas Max made friends quick.

By 1977 he was running security for Birdie’s burgeoning escort service empire which consisted of an old crack whore named Connie and a semi-retarded 17-year-old.

Security consisted of Max hiding behind the trailer with a baseball bat hoping the johns didn’t get out of line.

Between 1979 and 1985 James “Birdie” Wallace became the biggest importer and distributor of cocaine in Clark County, NV.

He helped Las Vegas become known as “Sin City.”

He supplied coke to everyone who supplied coke to everyone in Las Vegas: dealers, valets, bartenders, taxi drivers, strippers, whores, hotel managers, stars and performers.

Steve & Edie, Phyllis Dyller, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Sammy Davis Jr., Brando, Eric Estrada, Goldie Hawn: either directly or indirectly, Max Steingrout sold cocaine to them all.

If you did blow in Las Vegas in the early ’80s it probably came from someone who got it from someone who go it from Birdie Wallace.

Birdie Wallace’s cocaine.

Peru was the world’s leading producer of cocaine. The Colombian traffickers turned it into a dirty, bloody business and the cartel cocaine wars turned violent. This spelled the end for ’60’s pacifists like Las Vegas’ Birdie Wallace.

He didn’t have the stomach for the rough stuff.

Birdie made too many people nervous and he started to make too much money.

Birdie was fine doing the hustle, rolling a junkie or slapping around an under-aged runaway hooker, but once he started to move mountains of coke and make the kind of money reserved for Wayne Newton, he no longer knew his place.

One day he flew away.

Allegedly with a bullet to the back of his head in the back of an El Dorado.

Danke schoen.

Vegas

September 6th, 2019

In 1976 Las Vegas was a mob town.

Everything was clean.

Everything was tidy.

Everyone knew their place.

No one wore flip-flops or tank tops in the casinos.

Young, junkie bottom feeders were allowed to exist. They served a purpose. They were consumers.

They also took care of one another, sort of like a black market Department of Social Services.

“Welcome to Las Vegas, Pilgrim!”

Yearling

September 4th, 2019

Local, Upstate New York bookies and cops persuaded him to take his talents away from Chemung County.

Late bloomer, 19 year old Max Steingrout exalted in the exhaust fumes of the Las Vegas Trailways bus station.

Birdie Wallace noticed him immediately. He had seen a hundred, a thousand of kids like him. He was just what he was looking for.

Max hid his money in his shoes and his socks in his pants.

The Death of Town Hockey – Michael Costin, Jr.

July 5th, 2019

He climbed into the coffin at his father’s wake. It was as if he died that day at the rink. The beating just took a lot longer.

Michael was in & out of  jail following a troubled path of drugs, drinking and domestic abuse episodes.

On May 25, 2019 Michael Costin, Jr. passed away unexpectedly.

His obituary states: “Michael loved fishing and the outdoors and had a lifelong love of music. He was a hard worker and put his best effort into everything he did. He loved to be around people and had friends from all walks of life. He had the ability to make everyone around him feel comfortable and could strike up a conversation with anyone. His laughter was contagious and he will be best remembered for his sense of humor.”

Rest in peace.

 

 

The Death of Town Hockey – The Super Eight

June 24th, 2019

Thomas Junta was convicted in 2002 of involuntary manslaughter in the hockey Dad beating death of Michael Costin and sentenced to 6 to 10 years in prison.

In 2007 co-captained by senior defenseman, Joe Ronan, Reading High School made the prestigious, Catholic school dominated, Super Eight hockey tournament.

The following year, while Thomas Junta remained in prison, powered by three hockey dad beating death witnesses, including his son Quinlan, Reading High School became the first public school to win the tournament.

A commemorative banner listing the names of the players hangs in Burbank Arena, scene of the crime.

Joe Ronan and two of the names on the banner are dead.

At least two more are lucky to be alive.

 

Death of Town Hockey (cont.)

June 21st, 2019

In 2002 Thomas Junta was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the hockey dad beating death. Superior Court Judge Charles M. Grabau sentenced him to 6 to 10 years.

At the trial, the victim’s son, Michael said, “I knew that my life would never be the same. My life hasn’t been the same. My dad isn’t there in the morning to wake me up. My dad isn’t there when I play sports. My dad doesn’t take us places anymore. My dad doesn’t cook us dinner anymore. He is just not there anymore. I miss him. Even now, not 10 minutes goes by that I don’t think of him. I talk to him at church and before I go to bed at night, but it is just not the same.”

He asked the judge,”Please teach Thomas Junta a lesson. Let the world know that a person can’t do what Thomas Junta did to my dad, to my family and to me.”

Defense attorney, Thomas Orlandi, Jr. called the sentencing “extreme” and vowed to appeal: “We are going to continue to fight for Thomas Junta like a dog fighting against another dog.”

Death of Town Hockey (Pt. 1)

June 5th, 2019

In addition to Junta’s son and Costin’s three sons, the beating was also was witnessed by grandmother, Virginia Brings, who was there with her grandson and two of his friends.

She heard several children crying.

“I can remember one little boy saying, ‘Daddy, don’t do it, don’t do it.'”

Junta left the rink, but returned and “lunged” at Costin.

He pinned him and kept hitting him even after he stopped trying to defend himself. Virginia Brings saw him strike at least 10 blows.

“I remember shouting at Mr. Junta, ‘He’s not responding, he’s not responding. Don’t hit him anymore.'”

“Think of your children.”

When questioned about the number of punches by Junta’s defense attorney, Brings responded:

“It’s something that I’ll never forget,” she said without hesitation. “He went on and on. … I remember thinking at the time — he’s either going to kill this man or he’s going to have brain damage.”

 

 

 

The Death of Town Hockey (Pt 1 cont)

May 30th, 2019

Image result for inside burbank arena reading, ma

Responding to the 9-1-1 call, police Sergeant James Cormier found the 6″ 1′, 270 lb Thomas Junta standing in front of the arena. Shirt torn, face cut.

When asked where the other man was, polite and cooperative, Junta responded: “He’s inside laying down.”

Inside, a crowd of children, some as young as 7, gathered around Costin’s 6″ 1′, 156 lb, lifeless body.

Costin’s mother, arriving at the scene told Thomas Junta: ‘These children don’t have a mother, so you better get on your knees and beg God nothing happens to their father.”