Map sale

Land 60 miles from Las Vegas believed to hide Ted Binion’s treasure sold for $1.9M

PAHRUMP (KLAS) – It’s a story with all the ingredients of a Wild West movie: the suspicious death of casino manager Ted Binion, buried money and never found gold and diamonds, a treasure map and a possible fire criminal start a new chapter.

The 138-acre Pahrump property where Binion’s silver stash was hidden before his untimely death was sold. The ranch property is in the middle of Pahrump behind Walmart near Highway 160 and Wilson Road. According to Nye County Assessor records, the property sold for $1.9 million to Henderson-based MACKK, LLC. The sale was closed on March 31.

The new owners have yet to release plans for the property, according to a report in the city newspaper.

THE SUSPICIOUS DEATH OF BINION

Ted Binion purchased the Pahrump property on June 30, 1997, but died under suspicious circumstances in Las Vegas seven months later. His death was ruled an overdose, then reclassified as a homicide.

Benny Binion (left) sits with his son Ted Binion (right) at what appears to be a gambling/poker table. (Photo: UNLV Digital Collections)

Within days of his death, more than 24 tons of silver bullion that Binion had hidden in a safe at his Pahrump home were stolen.

Binion’s girlfriend Sandra Murphy and her lover Rick Tabish have been charged with first degree murder, robbery and burglary for conspiring to steal his $7 million worth of cash and coins. In 2000, a jury found the couple guilty of first degree murder, but in 2003 both were acquitted of murder. Grand larceny and burglary of the buried money have been confirmed. Murphy was released a month after her acquittal due to time served, while Tabish became eligible for parole on April 2, 2010.

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Ted Binion (Photo: KLAS)

BINION’S BURIED TREASURE

During Tabish’s arrest, police found a treasure map in his apartment, which led to an empty hole where the X marked the spot.

Then in 2000, with the threat of criminal charges looming, the former ranch manager of the Binion estate attempted to trade immunity in return for telling authorities where the buried diamonds and gold coins were. Binion’s Double Eagle. The police dug where he told them but found nothing.

In 2010, the television news 48 hours looked for it and used ground penetrating radar which located 20 possible sites in the backyard. Everything arrived empty.

Even local district attorney David Roger told 8 News Now in 2000 that the chance of finding buried treasure on the ranch is about five on a scale of one to ten. “We had metal detectors. We had a huge front loader and couldn’t find anything. Maybe there’s money there, and there’s definitely a lot of intrigue,” Roger said.

After nearly 20 years, in 2019 Nye County detectives were looking for three men who were after Binion’s silver and gold after they were recorded sneaking onto the property and digging. One of the men, Richard Cleaves, who worked at the Binion Ranch, was arrested. Cleves also intruded on it while trying to dig in January 2017.

According to the Pahrump Valley Times, two suspicious fires on the property destroyed a stable and a storage structure. Although never confirmed, it was rumored that there was an underground tunnel under the storage shed.


Above is a story produced by the 8 News Now I-Team in 2019 about the investigation into men digging at the recently sold property.