| Home | Books and Gifts | Photo Album | Mob Busters | Mafia Site Search |
Inside Vegas - Steve Miller

Steve Miller is a former Las Vegas City Councilman. In 1991, the readers of the Las Vegas Review Journal voted him the "Most Effective Public Official" in Southern Nevada. Visit his website at:

New Evidence in "Buffalo Jim" Death Case
GHB found in blood and urine samples kept secret

Rizzolo Wants Feds to Run Topless Bar
Judge Pro to hear bizarre EMERGENCY MOTION

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
June 23, 2008

LAS VEGAS - As if things couldn't get any stranger, the Clark County Coroner -- after repeated requests -- on June 20 reluctantly sold the late Buffalo Jim Barrier's family a copy of the toxicology report on the death of their father.

Not only had the coroner, Dr. Larry Simms, withheld the document from the family and media until after his contracted testing lab discarded the blood and urine samples, but his office also had the gall to charge the Barrier's $15 for something that should have been presented to them on May 9 when police received their copy of  the five page document revealing for the first time that Barrier had received a dose of GHB prior to his death.

Below is the first page of the toxicology report with GHB information that no official apparently wanted us to see.

GAMMA-HYDROXYBUTYRIC ACID, also known as GHB or the "Date Rape Drug," has been linked to many serious illnesses and even deaths. There are many side effects of GHB. They include: drowsiness, dizziness, loss of coordination, changes in blood pressure, trouble breathing, impaired judgment, seizure, coma, and death. These effects usually appear 10 to 20 minutes after a person takes the drug.

Dr. Simms wrote in his final autopsy report issued on April 27 that Barrier died as a result of "DILATED CARDIOMYOPHTHY (heart attack). A significant contributing condition is COCAINE INTOXICATION,." he wrote.  Simms made no mention of GHB which is considered far more dangerous than cocaine!
The public for some unknown reason was not informed of the presence of GHB until last  week. According to Quest Diagnostics of Las Vegas: "This analysis was performed under chain of custody. Unless alternate arrangements are made by you (the coroner), the remainder of the submitted specimens will be discarded six weeks from the date of this report."

The date of the report was May 9, 2008. Jennifer Barrier -- after repeated requests -- was finally able to obtain a copy of the report exactly six weeks later on June 20, and only after the specimens were allegedly discarded!

According to the coroner, Barrier had remnants of a "brown liquid" in his stomach. This liquid was not tested, but could have been the vehicle by which GHB was introduced into Barrier's system. The drug is usually found in powder form and is often mixed into drinks and secretly served to victims.
Upon the discovery of GHB by Quest Diagnostics, the lab stated, "This screening result indicates that further testing is required," and recommended that the blood and urine samples containing GHB be sent to National Medical Services in Willow Grove, PA for further tests.

But at 10:38 AM on May 8, Dr. Simms mysteriously ordered that all tests be canceled. He then had his assistant call reporters and the Barrier family to state that Barrier's death was an "accident," and that "cocaine intoxication" was a contributing factor. Again, no mention was made of GHB.

According to the DEA, GHB has been used in the commission of sexual assaults because it renders the victim incapable of resisting, and may cause memory problems that could complicate case prosecution.

According to Quest Diagnostics, Barrier had 20 mcg/mL of GHB in his blood when his body was discovered at 1:30 PM Sunday, April 6, 2008, 17 hours after his estimated time of death.

Based on yellow highlighted lines on all sentences that referred to GHB, and the annotation "OK" scribbled on page 4 of the toxicology report, someone at either Quest Labs, or the coroner's office, took great interest in the GHB finding.

According to Quest, any amount of GHB below 52 mcg/mL causes "wakefulness," certainly not a cause of sudden death. However, according to a pathologist consulted for this column, GHB rapidly dissipates in the blood stream and often goes undetected unless discovered soon after ingestion.

Barrier's blood was first drawn after his body had laid dead for 17 hours and decomposition had begun. Therefore, it's possible that at the time of his death, the concentration of GHB was much greater than 20 mcg/mL.
Even when they were informed of this latest development, police refused to investigate Barrier's death as a homicide, and the last person to see Barrier alive, a woman later identified as Lisa, was not arrested or charged with a crime.

On May 31, when I was present at the police homicide division with the Barrier daughters to view the video of their dad taken around 8:20 PM when he checked in to the motel where he died minutes later, Jennifer Barrier inquired if GHB had been found in the toxicology report? Two LV police detectives present at our meeting denied that GHB was involved. The tape showed a very tired looking Barrier signing a credit card receipt, then going to his car and returning with a female -- reportedly Lisa -- who followed him to room 105.

Lisa left Barrier to die in the room without notifying police or hotel employees. Her identify was discovered by police because her phone number appeared on Barrier's cell and home phones after she called him three  times between 9 and 10 PM the night of his death saying, "Buffalo, are you all right? Give me a call."

Police called Lisa in for an interview, but she was not charged with a crime. The transcript of that interview is on request by Barrier family attorneys.

When Barrier's body was discovered, there reportedly were remnants of cocaine scattered on his beard, mustache, and shirt. There was cocaine also found on the motel room key and on the passenger seat of Barrier's Rolls Royce.

Dr. Simms did not swab Barrier's nasal cavities to determine whether he ingested the cocaine voluntarily. Skeptics believe that the powder may have been scattered on Barrier and in his car by Lisa to make it look like he was snorting coke. Cocaine, like GHB, can also be ingested by mixing it with liquids.

There was also an empty soda pop can found in the motel room, but police did not test its contents.

Based on so many unanswered questions, this case is far from over -- even if several authorities made every effort to close it weeks ago.

Even a country song was produced that questions the popular ex-wrestler's mysterious death!

The death of Buffalo Jim Barrier clearly shows that Las Vegas has a dangerous double standard of justice.

Just imagine how the police and coroner would have reacted had it been a "pillar of the community" like Fred Doumani, Lorenzo Fertitta, or Steve Wynn found dead in that motel on April 5. They would have pulled out all the stops. Instead, a coroner apparently was too cheap to spend taxpayer dollars having GHB-laden blood and urine specimens tested out of state.
This, while GHB was long suspected of being involved in the dozens of credit card extortions of patrons of the Crazy Horse Too topless bar.
Several witnesses told a Federal Grand Jury that while in the Crazy Horse, they consumed one or two beverages, and later woke up to find they had been robbed or that their credit cards were charged thousands of dollars.
The witnesses told the grand jury that they were approached by two women in the bar, one a Russian, the other an Asian who would ask to be bought drinks. After consuming a drink, the men said they felt sleepy, and several said they passed out.
Several men testified that they woke up in the parking lot, and found that their cash was missing, or several days later found bogus charges on their credit cards.
When credit card companies were asked about the charges, the men were reportedly told that their thumb print was placed on the charge slip next to their signature. Even though the charges were challenged by the men, the thumb print caused the charges to go through.
After interviewing several persons who told exactly the same story, I wrote about it for
Now it's discovered that the Crazy Horse Too's biggest enemy, Buffalo Jim Barrier, died with GHB in his system.

Barrier died on a Saturday. His body was discovered on Sunday. Blood and urine samples were taken by Dr. Simms on Monday.
Simms held on to the samples for two weeks until April 24 when he sent them to Quest Diagnostics.
Several days after receiving the samples, Quest discovered the GHB, and stopped the test. They informed Simms that the samples should be sent to another lab for further testing.
Dr. Simms refused! He then canceled all tests, and released a statement that Barrier had died only of "cocaine intoxication."
In the meantime, Metro received a copy of the Quest report on May 9, indicating that GHB was found in Barrier's system along with cocaine.
GHB is readily available and is much more powerful and lethal than street cocaine if given in quantity. It's a much more common killer than cocaine, and is famous for incapacitating women who are about to be raped.
Barrier was very familiar with the effects of GHB after photographing the drug's purported victims when he discovered them laying in his parking lot next to the Crazy Horse. Often when he'd call paramedics, he'd be told the incapacitated person was drugged. Police did not investigate these incidents that went on for over a decade. When called, officers would often be observed giving "high fives" to club bouncers, or would arrest the drugged victims when they came to.
Quest wrote in their report that -- unless told to do otherwise -- all specimens are discarded six weeks after they are received.
Dr. Simms did not instruct Quest to preserve Barrier's blood or urine specimens, so it's presumed Quest discarded the specimens around June 20, the day Jennifer Barrier was allowed to purchase the toxicology report.
Dr. Simms on May 9 was asked by Barrier family members if GHB was discovered? He told them GHB was not present in his system.
But most intriguing is that the former operators of the Crazy Horse Too were suspected of being experts in the use of GHB.
Why did Dr. Simms cancel the toxicology tests?
Why did Dr. Simms tell the Barriers that no GHB was discovered?
Why didn't Dr. Simms swab Barrier's nasal passages to determine whether he willingly ingested cocaine?
Why didn't police or the coroner test the contents of the empty soda can found in the motel room?
Why did the coroner withhold the toxicology report from the family and media until blood and urine specimens were no longer available?
Metro received the Quest report on May 9. On May 31, officers let us view the video of Barrier checking in to the motel. They knew of the GHB at that time. Why didn't they tell us?

Rizzolo Wants Feds to Run Topless Bar

I'm not making this up!

Attorneys for Rick and Bart Rizzolo last week filed repeated threats in U.S. Federal Court saying they intend to sue the citizens of Las Vegas if the about-to-expire adult use zoning of a bar that was taken away from them is not STAYED.

In the meantime, Bart Rizzolo was heard telling a friend how his family is being gouged by their attorneys at Patti & Sgro, and at Lionel Sawyer and Collins. Law firms that seem to have an insatiable appetite for billing the Rizzolos for ridiculous MOTIONS filed in local and federal courts.
The following expensive court documents speak for themselves.


It's more than clear that the federal and local governments have absolutely no interest in going into the topless bar racket. The feds learned their lesson years ago when they tried to run the Mustang Ranch brothel. It was a public relations disaster!

The Associated Press wrote on August 5, 2007: "By 1990, the IRS was fed up with his tax shenanigans and seized the ranch, putting the federal government in the unique position of running a brothel. It failed and the ranch was padlocked for the first time." 

Just imagine how ridiculous Judge Pro would look if on Monday, June 23, he heeded Rizzolo's plea and ordered the United States of America to go into the breast bar business! And how our town's ex-mob lawyer-turned-mayor would get hammered when he tries to run for Governor if he called a special meeting to help his friend and former client keep his ill-gotten hidden assets?

And, on Wednesday, June 25, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman said much the same as the feds when he told an under-financed applicant for a temporary liquor license that he  would not call a special meeting of the city council to consider an application by the US Marshal to open the Crazy Horse Too for an 8 hour period to re-set the zoning clock for another year. He then ordered City Attorney Brad Jerbic to file a strongly worded MOTION opposing any efforts to override the city's zoning laws.

If Judge Pro or the city council falls prey to Rizzolo's demands, then beating victim Kirk Henry and other court ordered creditors will find themselves continued victims of the Rizzolos -- this time with the help of the United States of America -- and will again have to wait to receive remuneration or payment for far past due debts Rick and Lisa Rizzolo have shown no interest in paying.

If the zoning reverts to warehouse use only on Monday, June 30, and the Crazy Horse is permanently sent to the glue factory, then let the lawsuits against Rick and Lisa Rizzolo begin!

But at the last minute on Saturday, June 21, the US Attorney for Nevada tried to throw a monkey wrench into the works by filing an extraordinary MOTION at taxpayer expense that states: "This Court should exercise the broad powers of § 1963(e) to protect the United Statesís interest in the forfeited property by recognizing the United States has not abandoned the Crazy Horse Tooís non-conforming uses within the intent and meaning of the City's ordinances and staying the expiration of the exotic dance use permit and the tavern license on the forfeited property until the United States Marshals Service can sell the forfeited property so as to protect the value of the property. If the Court fails to exercise its discretion to use these broad powers under § 1963(e), the forfeited property will lose approximately 70 percent of its value, $22 million, and the Court's order of restitution for the Henrys and approved order of distribution as to all the parties in this matter will not be achieved. If the United Statesís motion is not granted, the Henrys, Security Pacific Bank, the City, the United States, and the other petitioners will be irreparably harmed because the value of the forfeited property will be dramatically less without the exotic dance and liquor sales nonconforming uses."

The MOTION also stated: "The United States under current policy limitations as a sovereign cannot open the Crazy Horse Too for topless dancing, even for eight hours."

Like in the coroner's statement about the cause of Buffalo Jim Barrier's death, something is glaringly missing from the above MOTION.

No where does it mention that the Rizzolos hid their personal assets, guaranteed payment of all creditor's debts, and are prohibited from declaring bankruptcy.

The MOTION also does not offer legal evidence that the value of the property will lessen by a change of zoning. In fact, experts have said it may be worth more as vacant land for future high rise condominium development, and the adult use may actually de-value the land's worth for many years to come! Intelligent people would not want to buy expensive condos next to a topless bar with a decades long reputation for violence and mayhem.

Now it's up to Judge Pro. If he does not let the Crazy Horse die a natural death at midnight on June 30, anything else he rules will make him look like Rizzolo's personal lackey.

Will Judge Pro over ride the city's zoning laws and prolong the agony for Rizzolo's creditors based on the "Pie in the sky" wishes of Nevada's two US Attorneys who have failed time and again to find anyone stupid or crooked enough to pay five times what a shuttered, graffiti strewn topless bar is worth?

Or will he say "Enough is enough," and let all the high priced attorneys go after the Rizzolo's hidden assets?

If Judge Pro lets the blood soaked Crazy Horse live on, he'll expose the United States District Court, District of Nevada into becoming the laughing stock of the American judiciary.

Judge Pro may see through all the bullshit, including that being thrown at him by the two US Attorneys for Nevada who have in the filed damaging MOTIONS such as a pending one to give priority to a California bank that foolishly loaned Rizzolo $5 million dollars that he immediately stole, and filing a denied MOTION asking that the names of potential buyers be sealed because "The general public should not be allowed to know the proposed offers, the proprietary information, etc., since Rizzolo will select one to see if it will complete the sale. If it fails, Rizzolo will select the next one."

With a reputation for filing such bogus MOTIONS, and for doing Rizzolo's personal bidding, Judge Pro should treat the US Attorneys for Nevada like adverse parties, not friends of the court!

Between Lisa Rizzolo's illegally transferred houses in Las Vegas, Newport Beach, and Chicago; her $7.2 million dollar annuity; the money Rick received from the sale of the Philadelphia Crazy Horse Too; Rick's gambling cash he has secreted in safety deposit boxes up and down the Strip; along with jewelry, cars, and other hidden valuables, there is plenty of money available to pay Mr. Henry, the bank, the city, the state, and the IRS.  And it will be far easier to acheive than waiting endlessly for the US Marshals and C.B. Richard Ellis Realty to find a qualified person to buy the Crazy Horse property for enough to pay off the Rizzolo's personal debts.

The ball is now in US Judge Phillip Pro's court. I will let you know how he rules in next week's INSIDE VEGAS.

Copyright © Steve Miller

* If you would like to receive Steve's frequent E-Briefs about Las Vegas' scandals, click here: Steve Miller's Las Vegas E-Briefs

Copyright © Steve Miller

email Steve Miller at:
div. of PLR International

Copyright © 1998 - 2008 PLR International