Ted Binions Death Case: Was Sandy Murphy A Murderer Or A Slandered Victim?

Ted Binions Death Case: Was Sandy Murphy A Murderer Or A Slandered Victim?

  On a bright September day several Las Vegas EMTs were approached by a crying young woman. 'He's not breathing, he's not breathing!' she kept yelling. Some time passed before the EMTs realized that the woman meant her lover, Ted Binion, the owner of the most famous Las Vegas casino Binions Horseshoe. On that day, September 17, 1998, the heir of the gambling empire was found dead at his home. The medical examination said Binion died of lethal mix of heroin and the prescription sedative Xanax. It wasnt something surprising as Ted was known to be a drug addict.   But half a year after Sandy Murphy, the woman, who called the EMTs was arrested on suspicion of murder. Did she really kill him?   To tell the story properly we should start from the beginning. Millionaire And His Topless Lover  1995 was not the best year for Ted Binion. He had troubles with his gambling license because of the drug addiction. His wife had left him and the divorce was in process. However, he still owned the Horseshoe and was a millionaire. So, he visited various Vegas strip clubs to liven himself up somehow. And one day, while he was drinking his booze in a topless club he met Sandy Murphy.   Sandy was extremely beautiful and half younger than Ted. Before coming to Vegas she was a finance manager in Calfornia. But then she went to the City of Sins to make a new start. Very soon she played away $20,000, which she brought with her, at blackjack tables and had to work at the already mentioned topless club, to make her living.   When Binion first met Sandy and offered some drink she had no idea who he was. He did not impress her very much and actually, she did not even believe Ted when he said he was the casino owner. Maybe thats why Binion, the guy who could get almost any girl, found Sandy an unusual person.   Once, we were walking downtown, under the Fremont Street Experience," recalls Sandy. "Ted said, 'You always call me Bunion. It's Binion, and I own that casino.' We were in front of the Horseshoe. I told him, 'Ted, you don't have to do that.' But he insisted. He asked a security guard to tell me he was Ted Binion and that he owned the hotel. The guard said, 'I've never seen you before.' He was new and didn't know Ted, and at that time, Ted couldn't even be on the property."   But that did not last long and soon enough Murphy understood how lucky she was. They began appearing together at clubs and casinos and after some time Sandy moved to Teds house. That was not love. She told me right from the start she wouldn't be with an older man unless he had money," recalls Becky Behnen, Teds younger sister. Becky didnt not like Sandy and neither did Bonnie, Teds daughter, who was just several years younger than her new mother. Everybody saw that Sandy totally controlled her lover just to waste his money. Her Secret Love  But the things with the Horseshoe went bad. And finally Binion lost his license due to his drug addiction. That was a hard strike and he became more involved in heroin abuse. This made their life with Sandy very hard. They were always quarreling and almost didnt have any sexual relations as drugs had destroyed some vital functions of Teds body. All this led to the fact that Sandy began cheating on her lover.   His name was Rick Tabish. He was a truck company owner who once had stolen a $600,000 painting and served nine months in prison for drug possession. Tabish was Teds business partner and the older man never realized that he shared with Rick not only his business, but also his mistress.   Sandy never loved Ted but the time passed and her attitude to him lover became a sheer hostile one.   "Take Sandy out of the will, if she doesn't kill me tonight. If I'm dead, you'll know what happened," told Binion to his lawyer Jim Brown the day before he was found dead. Binion had a will, saying that Sandy Murphy will receive a lovely sum in case his premature death occurs. And it did occur.   As it was already mentioned, on September 17, 1998, the heir of the gambling empire was found dead at his home. The medical examination said Binion died of lethal mix of heroin and the prescription sedative Xanax.   The case was closed, but Teds sister, Becky Behnen, who did not like Sandy right from the start, was not satisfied with the results of the investigation. And she had some reasons. First of them was that the day after Ted Binion died, Tabish and Murphy were caught exhuming Teds silver. Binion had brought the collection to an abandoned place and earther there because he did not want to keep it in the casino.   There were other little facts that made Becky doubt about the official version. And she succeeded. After a half year-long investigation Rick Tabish and Sandy Murphy found themselves on the prisoners dock. They were accused of murder and robberyPro & Contra  but were acquitted on the charge in 2005.   What did actually happen on that day in Binions house? First prosecutors said that Binion was forced to take the fatal mix of heroin and Xanax. Then they said that he was choked to death. Dr. Michael Baden, a New York forensic pathologist, came to this conclusion. But after the second examination nothing which could prove this version was found.   "Baden was a joke," said, Stacy Juarez, one of the jurors. "Baden was an idiot," politely added Patricia Estes, her colleague. So, no one can say for sure how Ted was killed in case it was a murder.  Also, Binions request to take Murphy out of his will was called in question. "If Jim Brown knew that, why didn't he say something to the police (right away)?" Juarez said.   Finally, after several retrials, the case was closed because nothing pointed out directly on the fact that Ted Binion was killed and that it were Sandy Murphy and Rick Tabish, who convicted the crime.   On April, 30th Sandy Murphy was officially discharged from prison. "It's good to be free let me tell you," she said to journalists. Now she lives in Las Vegas and in California and enjoys life again.   Rick Tabish is serving time for previous convictions and will be released by December.   Becky Behnen also lives in Las Vegas, but she does not think that Murphy has a right to be out. She still remembers Murphys sneer and silent words: Fuck you, Becky, whispered during one of the hearings. She is sure her brother was killed.   And Ted Binion rests in a narrow house and keeps the truth in the ground. It will never come out.

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