True CSI – High Rollers (Ted Binion Murder Documentary)
True CSI – High Rollers (Ted Binion Murder Documentary)

(cars honking) – [Narrator] Las Vegas, Nevada. A millionaire casino
boss is found dead. His girlfriend and her lover
are charged with murder. Did she do it, or didn’t she? – It was the most trying
time I’ve ever had in my life. – It’s a story that
really has everything. I mean, sex. – [Sandy] Teddy Ruxpin. – Oh, my little treasure. – Drugs. Love, betrayal, buried treasure. And it’s all in the
backdrop of Las Vegas. (catchy music) – [Narrator] Was it suicide,
an accidental overdose, or ruthless murder
that took the life of a Las Vegas casino boss? Here’s what
happened, you decide. (dramatic music) (lighthearted jazzy music) (sirens blaring) On September 17th, 1998… (radio chatter) (pleading) Rescue workers respond
to a frantic 9-1-1 call from the home of a
Las Vegas legend. – Please send someone here! Please, can you do something! It’s my husband, God! He’s not breathing. I have to go, he needs me. – [Narrator] The 9-1-1
operator traces the call to 2408 Palomino Lane, a
sprawling Las Vegas mansion. (catchy music) Inside, a grizzly sight. Millionaire casino
boss, Ted Binion, dead. (catchy jazz music) Crime scene investigator,
Mike Perkins, was among the
first at the scene. – Obviously, there
was no blatant trauma to the body of Mr. Binion. There wasn’t a gunshot
wound to the head, his throat hadn’t been slashed, there wasn’t anything
substantial like that. There were a few small
injuries on his body. But we didn’t have anything else specifically on him to go with. – I never should’ve
left the house. I never should’ve
let you be alone. – [Narrator] The
woman who called 9-1-1 is not Ted Binion’s wife, it’s his girlfriend, 26
year old Sandy Murphy. This is her first TV interview since being released after
four and a half years in a federal penitentiary. – Well, I came home, and I
parked in the sally port. (lighthearted music) And I came into the side
door, into the kitchen, and I said Teddy
Ruxpin, I’m home. I used to call him Teddy Ruxpin, ’cause I had a teddy
bear when I was a kid. (lighthearted music) He didn’t answer. So, I went to the
den to get him, and he was resting, what
appeared to be resting. And I tried to wake him up, and he wouldn’t wake up. It was that point I realized that he was in real trouble. (dramatic music) – [Narrator] Sandy
fears the worst. She calls 9-1-1, and
when police arrive, she tells them her story. Ted Binion has had a
destructive addiction to heroin for almost two decades. His favorite way of
getting high is smoking it, called “chasing the dragon”. To help him come down, he
used a prescription sedative called Xanax. (dramatic music) Doctor Enrique Enrique Lacayo
was Ted Binion’s neighbor. He prescribed the
sedative to Binion the day before he died. – I felt that it was
medically necessary for him to have it, to help him to
go through the withdrawal, without having to
go back to the drug. Heroin addicts, they have
a tendency to crave it as soon as they
get off the drug. So I felt by him
having the Xanax, he would feel much better to
fight the addiction again. (dramatic music) – [Narrator] CSI Perkins
finds an empty Xanax bottle and heroin paraphernalia. Everything about the
scene suggests an addict on a deadly binge. (dramatic music) Whether accident or suicide, police conclude that
drugs killed Ted Binion. Case closed. (jazzy music) There are many who
believe Ted Binion had good reason
to take his life. (jazzy music) Binion’s heroin addiction
cost him control of Binion’s Horseshoe Casino, a Las Vegas fixture since
the early days of Sin City. (jazzy music) Jeff German is a
Vegas journalist. – Well, I mean, anybody who
wants to talk about the Binions has to start with Benny Binion. (jazzy music) He’s the patriarch of the
family, he died in 1989. He is one of the
pioneers of Las Vegas. He’s an old time
gambler from Texas, ran illegal gambling
operations in Dallas, and one of the most
colorful figures this city has ever seen. He killed a few
people in Dallas, he had to get out of Dallas, and ultimately ended up
starting the Horseshoe Club, which became one of the most
popular casinos of its time. (jazzy music) Benny turned the
Horseshoe into Vegas’s most popular poker joint. He promoted the now legendary World Series of Poker. When Benny died,
Ted and the family took charge of the casino. (jazzy music) But Ted’s problem with
heroin haunted him. In 1997, the Nevada
Gaming Commission revoked his license. His final words to the
commission revealed his despair. – This is my life. I have nowhere else to go. – [Narrator] All he
has left is Sandy. – In the beginning,
it was wonderful. I mean, I had started
a new relationship, and he moved me into his home, and he had some
troubles of his own with the Gaming Control board, and he was going
through a divorce, so it was a little
tough, but it was new, and we were in love, and we had a great
time for, I would say, at least the first 12
months of our relationship, it was all bliss, and everything that
comes with love. – Thanks to those. – [Narrator] But the heroin
was more powerful than love. (dramatic western music) John Momot is a defense
attorney in Vegas. He was a friend of Binion’s. – He loved his heroin
more than he loved her. And that’s what stepped in
between Sandy and Teddy. You know, people say, well, he’s been taken
heroin for years, so he knows what he’s doing. That’s a joke,
that’s ridiculous. He is addicted to
heroin for 15-20 years, and because of that,
when you start taking it, you don’t realize your limits, and then you start taking
Xanax on top of it, you don’t know where you’re at. (hard rock music) – [Narrator] CSI Mike Perkins
concludes his investigation and finds nothing suspicious. The police are certain, Ted
Binion died of a drug overdose. – When we left the
residence on September 17th, we had not formed any
definitive conclusions on what had happened
to Mr. Binion. We obviously didn’t
have any signs of a substantial struggle,
or of a violent death. – I’ll call you when
he’s feeling better. Thank you, buh-bye now. – [Narrator] New
evidence will produce a different version of events. One that points to murder. (rock music) (ominous music) One day after casino boss
Ted Binion is found dead, an autopsy determines
the cause of death. A textbook overdose. (dramatic piano music) Famed pathologist,
Dr. Cyril Wecht has reviewed the autopsy report. – In my opnion, Ted Binion
clearly, unquestionably died as a result of
combined drug toxicity, heroin and Xanax,
a touch of Valium, but it was the
heroin and the Xanax. Keep in mind that both are central nervous
system depressants. Heroin is a powerful analgesic, and Xanax, a kind of a
tranquilizer and so on, both work pharmacologically
by depressing different parts of the brain. And in combination,
they produce a situation which we called synergism, where two plus two may
equal five or seven, not just four. (jazzy music) – [Narrator] The body
shows no signs of struggle. The pathologist notes
a small red mark in the middle of Binion’s chest, and a mild abrasion
on his upper lip. Neither points to foul play. Rigor mortis has set in, providing an approximate
time of death around 12 noon, or
four hours before Sandy Murphy called 9-1-1. (jazzy music) Vegas police officially
close the case. But the Binion family
believes Sandy Murphy murdered Ted Binion. They hire a private
investigator to prove it. To this day, Sandy says the
cards were stacked against her. – I think it’s a
very tough thing when you’re up against
a very powerful family who has a tremendous amount
of political influence, and I was sort of the scapegoat. (jazzy music) – [Narrator] The PI
produces a new version of the facts. The story begins at a
Las Vegas strip club, when Teddy first
laid eyes on Sandy, a 23 year old
California surfer girl. (jazzy music) By most accounts, she
danced topless for him, but to this day, Sandy Murphy
says she was never a stripper. – Well, I was very young, and I was traveling at the time, and it was my first
time to Nevada. I was quite excited. And I lost money gambling,
and had a girlfriend with me who was manufacturing intimates, and we went to a
gentleman’s club, it was the first time I had
ever been to a gentleman’s club, and we sold costumes. And that’s how I met Teddy. (jazzy music) – [Narrator] Whatever
the truth is, Ted Binion saw Sandy
Murphy, and was entranced. – My Teddy Ruxpin. – Yeah, yeah. (laughing) – At first, I didn’t
really like him very much. He seemed sort of arrogant, and he was with a
friend of his who I thought was
rather interesting, and I didn’t care for
him in the beginning. But through several
cocktails and hours later, he kind of won me over, and he was very silly,
and extremely witty, and very intelligent. And then gave him my number,
and he never stopped calling. (laughing) I love you. – [Narrator] He divorced
his wife of 25 years. Sandy moved in. – Teddy was the man who
swept me off my feet. I thought he’d fill
the hole in my heart. I thought he’d love
and protect me forever. – Sandy was taken care
of very well by Teddy. He gave her a credit
card with a 10,000 limit, which he paid off
everything month. She had access to call
the cash she needed. They lived in a
million dollar home, beautiful ranch style home. He bought her a
Mercedes sports coupe, they dined at expensive gourmet
restaurants all the time. So it was a pretty
good lifestyle for her. – [Narrator] But by
1998, the relationship between Ted and
Sandy was no longer the loving, gentle
partnership it had once been. – Well, I don’t think anyone
really knows what it’s like to live with a drug addict. It’s very difficult, because
it’s like living with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. One day he would be the
sweet, loving man that I know, and while at his highest moment, or at his lowest of lows, where he was looking
to get high again, he wasn’t that man anymore. (jazzy music) – [Narrator] Tom Loveday
was Ted Binion’s gardener for 15 years. – The only thing I
didn’t like about Ted, that if he got stoned,
or if he did his heroin, or if he got drunk, he got mean, and he got mean
only with his women. And he beat up Sandy, ’cause I used to see
the bruises on Sandy. He’d call me in the house, and I came that
following Thursday, and say “Tom, I did a
bad thing last night, “I beat up Sandy.” – Teddy was the kind of
guy who had this smile. No matter what he did, or
how angry you got at him, all he had to do was smile. I miss his face. I miss his voice. I miss his touch. – [Narrator] Always
a paranoid man, Ted wires his
house with cameras. He watches Sandy’s every move, and he doesn’t trust her. In this version of events, Sandy senses Ted is
about to kick her out. She’ll lose her car,
her credit card, and the million
dollar house which Ted has given her in his will. (catchy rock music) Some say Ted Binion was
finished with Sandy Murphy. – Hey, my Teddy Ruxpin. What’s wrong? You’ve been drinking again. – Where the hell have you been? – Excuse me? – Where the hell have you been? – What business is it of yours? – Oh no, darling. If
it’s none of my business, then why don’t you get
the hell out of here? – Fine, I’m gone. – [Narrator] Is this
motive for murder? (catchy rock music) The private investigator
takes a fresh look at Sandy’s behavior the
day Ted Binion died. He reexamines the
statement she gave police at the hospital. – My neighbor, he’s
a doctor, and… He used to give us
that stuff all the time when we were… And I told him not to
give him that stuff again. (somber music) He gave him some last night. – [Narrator] Sandy’s
story comes across as a too perfect performance. – Oh, God. Oh, God, he wouldn’t wake up! – [Narrator] CSI Mike
Perkins doesn’t buy it. – I’ve been in,
the last 20 years, with several police departments, over 6,000, close to
6,300 crime scenes, and Miss Murphy’s
behavior that day struck me as fabricated, it was varying too much, she seemed to be able
to turn it off at will. – [Narrator] Then,
there’s the 9-1-1 call. – It’s my husband! (sobbing) He’s not breathing! – [Narrator] Binion has been
dead for about four hours at the time of her call. It’s a strange statement. Ted’s not only stopped
breathing, he’s stone cold. Sandy Murphy is either a
grief stricken girlfriend, or a gifted actor. Another strange fact. At 12 noon, a realtor
working on a deal for Ted phones the house. (phone ringing) – Hello? – Hi, Sandy, it’s Barbara. Is Ted there? – No, Barbara, he’s out of it. – What’s wrong? Are you okay? – No. No one understands
what it’s like living with a drug addict. I’ve got this mess to
clean up in the bathroom. – Do you want me to come over?
I could do that right now. – No. He doesn’t like people
to see him like this. – Oh, we have an appointment
tomorrow at 1:00 pm. – Well, you better call to see if he can make that appointment. – Why don’t you get
me to come over there, and we can go out
to lunch, and chat. – No. Every time I go out,
he interrogates me. – Are you sure? – Look, Barbara. I have to go, okay? Goodbye. (dramatic music) – [Narrator] Ted
Binion is already dead, or lies dying at
this very moment. An hour later, Sandy goes
out to run some errands. Either she didn’t see
Ted on her way out, or she had something
to do with his death. – Well, I don’t know that
I remember all of my day, but I remember most of it, only because I’ve told the
story so many times before. And I remember
specifically getting up at a certain point,
and feeding the dogs, and having a chat
about life, and heroin, and his life and hopes of having a life without heroin. – [Narrator] The
day before he died, Ted Binion calls his
lawyer with strict orders. – Yeah. Take Sandy out of the will, if she doesn’t kill me tonight. If I’m dead, you’ll
know what happened. Yeah. (catchy jazzy music) – [Narrator] Is money
enough of a motive for Sandy Murphy
to kill Ted Binion? There’s another
shocking discovery. Sandy Murphy has a lover, and he too, has a
motive for murder. (catchy jazzy music) Six months before his death, Ted Binion meets 33 year old
entrepreneur, Rick Tabish, in the men’s room. – Heard about this new
guy hustling around Vegas, his name was Rick
Tabish, from Montana. I had a ranch in Montana, hell, some of the best times in
my life were in Montana. Anyway, Sandy and I were
at the restaurant there having a couple of
drinks and a steak, I excused myself
to go to the John, and well, there’s Rick Tabish. Said I heard about him, asked him if he’d like
to come out on the town with Sandy and me. Well, he was a little
hesitant at first, but I said, you don’t
know who I am, do you? My name is Ted Binion. He came. – We met in the can. We just hit it off. After a couple of
months, he consulted me about his problems. How he’d like to
quit taking drugs. I started helping the guy out. Everybody’s against him, I just took him for who he was. It was good. – [Narrator] Tabish owns
a large trucking company. Binion asks Tabish
for a bizarre favor. He enlists him to bury
five million dollars worth of rare silver coins. He directs Tabish to
a vacant lot he owns in a small town outside Vegas. The paranoid casino
boss explains that he doesn’t want the coins
falling into the wrong hands. – Ted said, “You keep the combo, “you’re the silver guy.” “If I need anything,
we’ll both come out here.” He said he didn’t
want his ex-wife getting her hands
on that silver. – [Narrator] Tabish
owes the IRS $300,000. He’s hoping his new
friend can help him with his money problems. (jazzy music) And then, there’s Sandy. (jazzy music) – One thing led to another,
they became friends. Rick started doing
work for Teddy. That’s how they came about. And that’s how Sandy met Rick, it was through Ted. And because of the abuse
that she was undergoing and suffering in the household, because of the drug addiction,
because of the alcohol, she turned to Rick. And that’s understandable in
a house where there’s abuse, and then a person turns to
a caregiver for assistance, and that’s what happened
here with Sandy. – I swear, we only
slept together twice, and we were pretty drunk, and we decided to break it off. Me married, two
kids, Sandy with Ted. She was afraid of him. That he would kill her
if he ever found out. We thought we’d be
together one day, but for now, just
calling it quits. – I loved my man very much, and he was on heroin, and
his love became heroin. And as a result, he had
a friend who I trusted, who I confided in, and I took it a little too far, on one occasion,
on September 13th, and because of that, I’ve
been held accountable, and to a standard
that I don’t think that any woman can live up to. – [Narrator] Rick is deep
in debt and desperate. Sandy is abused, alone,
and about to get kicked out of her million dollar home. (gate closes) Not to mention, that
Ted might shoot them if he knew about their affair. (catchy funky music) Did Rick and Sandy
murder Ted Binion? – Ted was more valuable
to them dead than alive. Sandy felt she would
inherit the home, and a certain amount
of cash from Ted, and Tabish was basically
trying to get at his wealth any way he could, and if Ted wasn’t around, it
would’ve been a lot easier. (catchy funky music) – [Narrator] Now it’s
up to forensic science to prove their guilt… Or innocence. (calming music) Casino boss, Ted Binion, died
of a massive drug overdose. But was it murder? (jazzy music) Doctor Ellen Clark is
a forensic pathologist in Reno, Nevada. She believes Ted
Binion was murdered. – Mr. Binion had some paleness
and distortion or bending of the tip of his nose,
toward the, I believe, it was the right side of
the front of his face. In addition to this, he had
evidence of skin break injury, or abrasion on the
sides of his upper lip, immediately below his nose. The total patterning
all suggested that the body had at one point
been partially face down, and at the scene, it
was discovered face up, with these fixed
changes suggesting that it remained face down for some
time after death occurred, then had been rotated face up. (mysterious music) – [Narrator] If Sandy and
Rick did kill Ted Binion, how did they do it? How do you force an
addict to smoke heroin? Famed forensic
pathologist, Cyril Wecht, thinks the idea is preposterous. – Ted Binion bought
the black tar, Ted Binion got the Xanax tablets from his next door neighbor. So you’ve got that short
period of time, think. So, Sandy Murphy and
Tabish, you know, I’m not making them
out to be imbeciles, but they’re not medical people, they’re not forensic scientists. They figure out, they
conspire, that gee, he got the black tar,
and he got the Xanax, this is what we can do. In less than two days, they
planned the whole thing. Think about that. – [Narrator] No matter, two
days after Ted Binion’s death, Rick Tabish is caught digging up the five million
dollars worth of silver he buried for the casino boss. – All right, let’s see
what this guy’s up to. (catchy music) What are you doing out here? – Just cleaning up the place. Working nights, to
get ahead of the job. You know… – What’s in the truck? – Oh, nothing. See? Nothing in there. – Jimmy, come on up and
have a look for me, will ya? – Steel on the bottom here. – Uh huh. (mysterious music) – [Rick] Great night, isn’t it? – Yeah, a little nippy. Out here digging holes in
the middle of the night. – Oh, yeah. Gotta do that now and then, to
fill the holes in, you know? Gravel taken out. – What do you got? – You better have
a look at this. – [Officer] I guess there
is something in the truck. – All right, I’m lying. I’m digging up the
silver for Teddy Binion. I’m taking it to Las Vegas
to put it in a trust fund for Teddy’s daughter,
for when she turns 35. Hey, I got nothing to hide. – Let’s talk
downtown, huh, okay? – Man. Honestly, Officer, I’ve
got nothing to hide. – Yeah, I’m sure you don’t. – [Narrator] The cops don’t
buy it, he is arrested. Police find a briefcase
containing information for selling antique coins. The case also contains a love
letter from Sandy Murphy. (mysterious music) – [Officer] Hey, let’s
go over it again, Rick. – I mean, I’d have
to be a complete fool to come out and load a
trailer full of silver. I even called you guys and told you I was coming out. I didn’t come out here
to rip the guy off. I mean, I have a year
and a half year old kid, and a three and a
half year old kid. You think I want to go to jail? Leave them without a daddy? I know it’s hard
for you to believe. – [Narrator] Rick
is set free on bail. (somber piano music) The state of Nevada reopens
the Binion murder case. They’re looking for new evidence to prove that Sandy
Murphy and Rick Tabish killed the casino boss. (dramatic piano music) Binion’s gardener gives them
what they’re looking for. – When I arrived at Ted’s house, it was approximately nine
o’clock in the morning, because I had checked
the clock on my dash. The first thing I
noticed was Sandy’s car parked on the side. Sandy never parks
her car on the side. It’s always parked
either in the garage, or in the circular driveway in the front of the house. So that seemed a
little strange to me, but I didn’t think
too much of it. When I turned, I looked up, and that’s when I noticed
these curtains were closed. Those curtains were never
supposed to be closed, because Ted always
told me those curtains have to be open, because
when he leaves his bedroom to walk into his den, he had always wanted
to see in the backyard. I thought well, this
doesn’t look right, so I decided to check the house. – [Narrator] Then,
Loveday notices something. (mysterious music) A chair off the bathroom window. Did Ted kick Sandy out, and
did she break in to kill him? (lawnmower revving) Tom Loveday is certain. Sandy Murphy was in the house
while he was in the yard. Exactly when forensic
science had determined Ted Binion’s time of death. (sobbing)
(dramatic music) Was Rick in the house too? (dramatic music) (jazzy funky music) Rick Tabish and Ted Binion
had become fast friends. But Rick couldn’t take
his eyes off Sandy. – I’m not perfect, by all means. I made my mistakes. Some of the greatest lessons
in life are about hardship. You don’t learn that until
your hands are slapped. – They would go to posh Beverly
Hills hotels on weekends, and rendezvous
there, and live it up all behind Ted’s back. And so, it’s a relationship
that kinda evolved, the last over time, maybe
the last four months of Binion’s life, and where
it became really serious about the time that he died. (jazzy music) – [Narrator] Investigators
seek evidence to prove that Rick
Tabish was in the house when Ted Binion died. Their main clue is Sandy’s car. Tom Loveday had never seen
it parked clear of the drive. – I figure there was another
car in her garage space. Because the other garage space, there was no way
you could get in it, because I’m parked
in front of it. So, who was ever in there,
cannot leave anyway. (mysterious music) – [Narrator] Ted Binion
stashed millions of dollars all over his house, but police find safes
and hiding spots empty. (mysterious music) Did Sandy keep
the driveway clear while Rick stole
millions in cash? Lawyer John Momot says
the theory is crazy. – Well, that’s exactly correct, because you have a
couple of things here. Number one, during the
course of the trial, no one ever placed Sandy
Murphy at the scene where the silver
is being dug up. And at the trial, no one
has ever placed Mr. Tabish in the house where Ted Binion’s
body was found that day. So, we have a
divergence of facts here that’s putting the people in
opposite ends of the spectrum. – Hi, Mary, it’s Sandy. – [Narrator] But there
is another strange fact. – I’m fine, thank you. You don’t need to come in today, Ted isn’t feeling very well. He was up all night, so was I, so we need to get
some sleep, okay? – [Narrator] Sandy Murphy
canceled the cleaning lady the morning Ted Binion died. – I’ll call you when
he’s feeling better. (ominous music) Thank you. Buh-bye now. (lawnmower mowing) – [Narrator] But what
about the gardener? Did smart Sandy simply
forget to call him? Even if Rick Tabish
was in the house, how could he kill Ted Binion? And can you get
heroin in your stomach if you smoke it? Forensic scientist
Ellen Clark says yes. – Certainly, you can swallow
heroin when you smoke it, it’s going through
the oral cavity, through the nasal cavity, so it may end up in the stomach. And Mr. Binion’s
case, the morphine, the Alprazolam in particular, and even the Benzodiazepine,
Valium-like drugs, were all present, and toxic,
and published lethal levels. – [Narrator] Murder by
deliberate overdose, a near perfect crime. (calming music) – I’m an overachiever. Should’ve listened to my father. He told me all the time. “Learn to walk before
you learn to run, Rick.” I never listened. Got in too deep. (jazzy music) – [Narrator] But even if his
life was being threatened, would Ted Binion
deliberately overdose? Pathologist Cyril Wecht cannot
envision the crime scene. – To my knowledge,
nobody ever suggested that they had a gun
pointed at his head, and even if you
restrain his wrist, how do you get this
stuff into him, including all of
these Xanax tablets? – [Narrator] The only
other piece of evidence is the chair outside
the back window. Vegas CSI Mike Perkins
revisited the crime scene and took a closer
look at the chair. – We did fingerprint
processing on the window, both inside and out,
as well as the chair, and the windowsill inside. We did recover several
prints from those areas. At a later time, these
prints became identified back to Sandra Murphy. (catchy music) – [Narrator] Did Sandy Murphy
break into her own house to kill Ted Binion? (catchy music) It’s a slim case, but Sandy
Murphy and Rick Tabish are arrested for his murder. – [Reporter] Court
documents just released point to Murphy and her
alleged boyfriend, Rick Tabish, as the masterminds
of a conspiracy to kill the casino executive,
and take his assets. – There isn’t a
week that goes by where we don’t acquire
more information. The investigation
is not over with. We will continue to investigate
even up until the time that the case goes to the jury. – [Narrator] It’s up to
the jury to find the truth in one of Las Vegas’s
murkiest murders. (gavel slams) – [Man] This court
is now in session. – [Narrator] One and
a half years after the death of Ted Binion, the trial of Sandy Murphy
and Rick Tabish begins. – [Man] Please be seated. – [Narrator] Mob
attorney John Momot defends Sandy Murphy, as she
and Tabish sit side by side and face a media frenzy. – This young lady is strong, and she’s gonna continue to
fight until she’s vindicated. But a long trial is no excuse for an expert witness to
break the rules, is it? – I do the best I can. – And the gentlemen
of the jury will then be the ultimate determiners
of reasonableness. – This is a case that
really captivated Las Vegas. I mean, the first
trial was shown live, gavel to gavel, on television. It was also covered
live by Court TV. – [Man] In this case
paints a clear picture, of two people who killed a man– – It was just a case that
fascinated everybody, it was this ultimate mystery, there was no smoking gun, there was a compelling
circumstantial case, but no one could
really say for sure how Ted Binion died, and I think that
was part of what piqued everybody’s interest. – You know what, Teddy? – [Narrator] The
prosecution maintains that Binion’s overdose
was forced on him by Rick and Sandy. – Come on, pal. – [Rick] Pick it up. Pick it up. (dramatic music) Go ahead. (dramatic music) – [Narrator] Cyril Wecht
testified for the defense. – [Rick] Go again. – [Narrator] And he
thinks the lovers didn’t stand a chance. – I don’t care
what anybody says, when a jury is convened
in a criminal case, especially a homicide case, those jurors, the
overwhelming majority of them, will go in thinking hey, this guy would not be
here, charged with murder, if they did not have a case. (jazzy music) Any time you have adultery,
or cheating on the side, then that’s going
to be a major factor in the consideration
of the jury, even though it does not
directly have relevance in application of the
true issues of the case. – [Narrator] Another
forensic pathologist presents the jury with a
new and radical theory. – I think they had
one primary witness, his name was Dr. Michael Baden. – [Narrator] Dr. Michael
Baden is a forensic superstar. – That he didn’t want to be
influenced by outside opinions. – [Narrator] His theory
makes a messy legal case even messier. – My opinion is he died of
asphyxia by suffocation. (dramatic music) – [Narrator] The process
is known as “burking”. Named after a famous
Scottish serial killer, who suffocated his victims
by sitting on their chests. – Just keeping pressing,
just keep pressing, keep blocking, keep blocking. – Why is he shaking? – It’s okay, Teddy. I think he’s done. (mysterious music) – Some pathologists,
including yourself, have described suffocation
as perhaps the perfect crime. – I would not say perfect crime, it’s among the most
difficult diagnoses to make at autopsies. – [Narrator] Baden says
the mark on Binion’s chest is from one of
his shirt buttons. (dramatic music) Baden’s expertise hits
home with the jury. But there is another twist. – And the opinions that
you reached in this case were opinions that you reached– – [Reporter] Shella
went on to portray Baden as a gun for hire, pointing out he was initially hired
by the Binion family, not the prosecution. – The opinions I reached
were the opinions I reached the day before I testified
in preliminary hearing, and at that time,
I’d come out here, at the request of
the family, yes. – [Narrator] Then, it is
pathologist Cyril Wecht’s turn. He totally disagrees with Baden. – I just don’t find a basis for such a diagnosis
in this case. Take the morphine, and
you take the Xanax, and you take the Valium, and you got three drugs that
are depressing the brain, and you have a
synergistic effect. – [Narrator] Wecht also asks, “What on Earth do Sandy and
Rick know about berking?” – “Boy, if you sit on the chest, “and I’ll cover the nose,
and I’ll cover the mouth, “and we’ll stop him from
breathing and so and so forth.” And by the way, there was no
evidence of strangulation, and no marks on the neck,
or in the soft tissues beneath the skin in
the neck and so on. You know, again, 99
out of 100 doctors don’t know what berking is, and 95 out of 100 pathologists who don’t do forensic
pathology know what berking is, and 999, no, 999,999 out of a million forensic pathologists
have never used berking as a diagnosis. I’m still looking
for the last case that was signed out as
berking, anywhere in the world. – [Narrator] Wecht
says Ted’s scraped lip is shaving burn,
plain and simple. – My opinion that this
case represented homicide was based upon the fact that
the collective evidence, that is the physical
evidence on the body, coupled with the
investigative evidence, many inconsistencies
at the scene, and in the follow
up investigations, indicated that other
people may have had a hand in Mr. Binion’s death. – [Narrator] In other words, Ellen thinks Rick
and Sandy killed Ted. Wecht doesn’t. – You’re gonna have six,
eight, 10 forensic scientists, as in the Binion
case, top people, forensic pathologists,
toxicologists, et cetera, but these 12 jurors, most of
whom didn’t go to college, most of whom never even saw
a chemistry physics lab, let alone looked
under a microscope, or saw a dead body
and dissected it, but they will figure it out, they’ll figure it out. It’s ridiculous! – [Narrator] Less than two
months after the trial began, the jurors return
with their verdict. – [Juror] We, the jury in
the above and titled case, find the defendant, Richard
Bennett Tabish, as follows. Count seven, murder with
use of a deadly weapon, guilty of murder of
the first degree. We the jury in the
above and titled case, find the defendant, Sandra
Renee Murphy as follows, count seven, murder with
use of a deadly weapon, guilty of murder of
the first degree. – I can remember,
but I don’t know that I could ever describe it. Because at the same time, I was disheartened to think that anybody who ever
knew us as a couple, would ever think
that I would harm someone that I loved. – [Narrator] They
each get 20 years. But there has been a
major legal screw up, one that will open
up old wounds, and set Sandy Murphy free. California surfer
girl, Sandy Murphy, finds herself doing hard time. Convinced of a murder she says she did not commit. – I went to prison for
four and a half years. The first six months I did
in solitary confinement. I received a 30 minute
phone call in the morning, and a shower, escorted
back to my cell, and a 30 minute phone
call and a shower later on that evening,
Monday through Friday, locked down Friday ’til Monday, for my first six months. And then I was eventually sent to the women’s state
penitentiary in Nevada. – It’s not about
passing or failing– – [Narrator] Alan
Dershowitz is among the most famous defense
lawyers in the world. He defends underdogs. And he believes Sandy
Murphy and Rick Tabish were wrongfully convicted. – I loved Teddy
with all my heart, and I know he loved
me just as much. I’m sorry for the day
I walked out that door on September 17th, and
left him there alone. I’m sorry for not being there when he needed me the most. – I absolutely and unequivocally
did not kill Ted Binion. Digging up the silver was the
worst decision of my life. I got sucked into
Ted Binion’s world. (jazzy music) – [Narrator] Dershowitz says
the Binion case is unique because prosecutors presented
two forensic stories. Maybe Binion was suffocated, or maybe he was
forced to overdose. You can’t have it both ways. – Yeah, yeah. Take Sandy out of the will, if she doesn’t kill me tonight. Then, there’s the testimony
from Ted Binion’s lawyer. Total hearsay from a dead man. – Well, if I end up dead,
you’ll know what happened. (catchy music) – [Narrator] In October 2004, Sandy Murphy and Rick
Tabish get a retrial, and a second chance. – Well, I think that the
truth spoke for itself in my second trial,
and I was vindicated for all the right reasons,
thanks to medical science, and I think it was easy to
pick out an indiscretion that sort of became the
catalyst to my downfall, and ultimately it was rectified, and we are where we are today. But sure, my involvement
with Rick Tabish was the catalyst, it was
the beginning of the end, and I’m grateful for science, because that’s what led
me to where we are today, and to my new found freedom. – Mr. Tabish, Ms. Murphy,
I’d like you to stand up and face the jury. – [Juror] We the jury, in
the above and titled case, find the defendant, Richard
Bennett Tabish as follows. Count one, conspiracy to
commit murder and or robbery, we find the
defendant not guilty. We the jury, in the
above and titled case, find the defendant, Sandra
Renee Murphy, as follows. Count one, conspiracy to
commit murder and or robbery, we find the
defendant not guilty. – [Man] Quiet. Everybody quiet down. – [Narrator] Both are
found not guilty of murder, but guilty of stealing
Ted Binion’s money. Sandy Murphy is
appealing that decision. (clapping) Today, after four and a
half years of hard time, Sandy Murphy is free. – I feel relief that I have
set the record straight, that I’ve been given
a second chance. – [Reporter] Sandy
Murphy is free, clear from the legal shadow
of Ted Binion’s death. – So even though at some point, every now and then I
feel a little resentful, I’m grateful at the same respect that they gave me a
greater sense of self, and I was able to
achieve what I did, and I don’t know
that I ever thought that I would be capable
of fighting and surviving through all of this, knowing who I was at such a
young age at Teddy’s death, in comparison to
the woman I am now. – [Narrator] Rick Tabish
is up for parole in 2008. (jazzy music) Did they do it? Unless one of them confesses, no one will ever know for sure. (jazzy music) (dramatic music)

100 thoughts on “True CSI – High Rollers (Ted Binion Murder Documentary)”

  1. The Mourning says:

    If you need to come down off of heroin, you need a new dealer

  2. vern wallen says:

    What happened too all that silver?"humpin" young 🐥🐤is very expensive and hard on your health.Ask M Jager.

  3. jesse villanueva says:

    Heroin+ xanax= Respiratory failure. How my cuzzo died. RIP TRILL PHIL

  4. larnacaLCA says:

    I wanna marry Rick 💕

  5. Richard Smith says:

    How much proof is needed to prove that the woman is guilty and so is Rick! This is crazy

  6. Samo Marincek says:

    when you mix money and heroin with another toxic thing, young pretty woman, it becomes deadly

  7. Nikki Kelley says:

    That doctor was incompetent!!!! He obviously didn't understand the addiction to heroin!

  8. Jose Oswaldo De Peralta says:

    the butler did it 😀

  9. Jonathan says:

    Ted was a junkie, that's one thing, but he had a loyal gardener for 15 years, and yet he handed his 3m coins with a guy he just met months before.
    The gardener knows inside out the garden and whats all around it, his inner self suspected something not normal right away with the chair in front of the window, plus he knew how Sandy always parked the car.
    Lastly with the autopsy, blood does not clot on the face when the body is lying down on the back. Thus the blood clot on the face is a no brainer. He died face down and not lying down on his back end of story. MURDERING GOLD DIGGER AND BOYFRIEND….

  10. Shawn The Collector says:

    "Use a weapon to force to overdose" ….
    not in a million years to do that … because
    1. People who use a drugs slightly worry to be dead (especially the one who uses it for long time and 40 yrs up)
    2. Using Heloin by smoking , when its full (enough) its mean "Enough" even got a gun point on the head its enough … mean stop no matter what
    3. If overdose by forces to smoke… its easy to close the case by checking both of them for heroine in their body .. must to be found because smoke as same as the dead man …

  11. Top Views says:

    Love for greed

  12. Will Rose says:

    Benzos are NOT used to "come down" off a heroin high – they're used to increase the high and the nod. Only time benzos are used to "come down" is when in withdrawal from heroin, not in conjunction with it.

  13. Johnatan Davis says:

    Sandy sound like a Gold-digger

  14. Pockets MacCartney says:

    So a trailer park murder in an expensive house. That's the only difference.

  15. Dwight st. john says:

    Binions' phone call to his lawyer the day before he died? I'd suggest belligerant gaslighting with added dementia. You don't even need all the acohol, drugs, and just getting older and meaner. IF THAT CONVERSATION as heresay even occured.

  16. Robin Hood says:

    This story goes to show you how the rich can control the legal system and the jury. The Guilty verdict was appalling.

  17. Ms S says:

    IWe told the storie so many times before!??

  18. Asher Richards says:

    My ears started bleeding in the first 2 min 😳 – who directed this crying lady scene ???

  19. Neil Kinney says:

    She is as guilty as hell!!

  20. alan smlth says:

    What`s new Las Vegas Casino owners dying and spending Eternity in Hell. What will it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose your soul. Holy Bible, KJV. Are these people really happy and full of Joy?

  21. Qween Qween says:

    Oh Sandy Sandy

  22. James Hamilton says:

    The knowledge on the drugs is off. No one smokes heroin without a straw. Xanax isn't for a come down on heroin. Take it from someone in recovery who did that shit for years on end.

    Acting was too damn funny 😂

  23. Daniel D says:

    Those POS's got away with murder! Wow, what joke!

  24. Omega Minus says:

    I made it 1:49 before the bad acting made me go right to the comments.

  25. stephen colebrook says:

    Please someone explain to me, if he's found not guilty, how was he then up for parole in 2008

  26. MMAIH says:

    first scene w/ chick calling 911…worst acting ever…had to change video after seeing that

  27. Ian Potter says:

    That's some pretty piss poor acting.

  28. Steve Mifsud says:

    She fucking sucks at acting

  29. Pat Martin says:

    Old men with money and big mutton guns get the sluts

  30. Stephen Rochester says:

    Both of them had a motive to kill him. She did not like him at first but after a while fell in love with him. The.young stud had a trucking company.but owed the goverment $300000.00 in debt. Man trust u to bury five million in rear silver and two days he gone and dig it up. All the evidence is there that the two of them kill this old rich drug addict.

  31. Ahh Yo says:

    Rick Tabbish and Sandy Murphy both should've been locked up for life. I lived in Las Vegas, NV when this occurred. Vegas news milked the hell out of this story. But than again, nothing new, Vegas news always lov to milk stories.

  32. Corset Kitten says:

    He was not a casino boss. He was an owner. Big difference. Not a grizzly death. His kids are a real treat. As for his relationship with his girlfriend. They both got what they wanted from the relationship. He gave and she took. Works for me.

  33. Warrior King agony says:


  34. Jonny Linkous says:

    That's the kinda chick for a choo choo and dump

  35. Chris Smith says:

    What's new ,even in 2020 it's the same thing.we need money, but some people will go though any lenght .

  36. SL twentyeight says:

    only 4 years for murder?

  37. francesco zambuto says:

    Black Tar is not Heroin its Morfine a low grad version of it. If Ted was smoking it, he would have had created a high tolerance to it. However, if he had taken another drug with it and toping it off with alcohol the combination could or would have killed him. Of course if he was a sleep someone could have placed a pillow and or something else covered up his mouth and nose to stop him from breathing and he would have died as a result. Of course since he was nocked out, because of the drugs, he would not have put up any struggle and therefore his death would have appeared caused by accidental overdoes.

  38. Abdirizak Mohammed says:

    Ted sure did have big ears lol

  39. del trotts says:


  40. BLUEONEDOT says:

    "I miss his face."
    He doesn't miss yours.

  41. Hughie Davies says:

    I know that its almost impossible to die from smoking heroin alone especially if you have used it for many years, but diazepam and xanax are dangerous mixed with the heroin, add a little alcohol and many people overdose. But it's all the circumstantial evidence that makes it obvious that they killed him. She said she would never hurt someone she loves, but she didn't mind hurting him when she was sleeping with Rick behind his back. ? No one will ever know

  42. lennonscat says:

    It sucks when the stories are good but the actors are so shitty or over the top it ruins it.

  43. Adam Parker says:

    Who cares Vegas is for assholes!

  44. blue says:

    witch hunt because somebodys guilty if a rich person dies

  45. blue says:

    cant force someone to od by inhaling heroin thats funniest shit i ever heard

  46. Aiden Morris says:

    Sandy loved Ted for his money nothing else like all girls and women> does not matter how appearance man has or how behaviour he has or punch woman every day if a man has money everything will good for a woman.

  47. Aiden Morris says:

    Money is everything for women .

  48. tass86 says:

    I smell a goldigger bleh

  49. francesco zambuto says:

    The comments, better than the documentary.

  50. Luis Garza says:

    Mr Trump thanks

  51. Calvito Bonito says:

    The strippers always get you in the end..

  52. Calvito Bonito says:

    How come you never hear young women/strippers getting all 🥰 loved up over broke old men 😂😂

  53. Joseph Svennson says:

    Tavish went in looking slim and trim and he came out thick and slick. Those sloppy Jo's must have been a source of comfort now that Sandy was on the loose.

  54. Joseph Svennson says:

    She was selling "intimates" at a "gentleman's" club when she met Teddy Rocksman or whatever she calls him?

    So basically she was a stripper who sold her panties to the highest bidder that night. At least in the interview she sounds like she's been taking elocution and poise classes.

  55. stephen morris says:

    a middle aged drug addled git. exactly what part of that is attractive to a 26 year old babe?

  56. vijay Duttaluru says:

    don't love club girls..

  57. MISS SHANNON LEE says:


  58. eric salles says:

    I don't know ,good story though .very circumstantial evidence , they thought oh well he's dead might as well have the money .can't prove that they murdered him ,maybe she used the chair to look through the window ,maybe she climbed out of the window , the gardener didn't see anyone , he didn't see the car in the garage , he is surmising .The Dr gave him the xanax and valium .They took some money and waited till they called the cops .,maybe ,

  59. morris isalambo adukha says:

    looks like the perfect murder

  60. Paulo Sousa says:

    Xanax to help come down?!!! WTF??

  61. moviesforrandy says:

    wow a whole 12 months of happiness in a life long marriage.

  62. moviesforrandy says:

    all he had to do was smile and pay off the credit card.

  63. mastermooky says:

    "leaving las vegas"

  64. David Starr says:

    She isn’t even hot

  65. Richard Simons says:

    Only women

  66. Van Nguyen says:

    I miss his money

  67. Kids activity Fun unlimited says:

    Girl: we were in love ( love towards his money I mean)😄😄

  68. Rachel Fitzmaurice says:

    when people say that addicts love their drug better than the person they are supposed to love or care for its unfair because if you are addicted you become ill and have horrid moods and you dont even like yourself and become so un together you cant use that analogy for illigal drugs its only comming from those who dont understand withdrawels addicts will understand if the drugs were sorted properly millions would not have to go through such horror and i mean horror and for those who think im not an addict to anything we all are tea coffee sex money TV mobiles the list is endless you get my drift/

  69. Jonny Sl says:

    THEY ALL ARE $$$$$$

  70. Martin Desrocher says:

    23 year old babe in love with a 60 something year old junky owner of a casino!
    of course she is not a gold digger, right ! lol and she has that soft voice
    that could put any men back to sleep while she is stealing all his belongings !

  71. Rodney King says:

    Teddy Ruxpin??!!!! Gold diggin' offed Binion???

  72. RNE2224U says:

    Juat like all the Datelines, 20/20 etc skip the 1st SPOILER 3 minutes and then enjoy.

  73. C Liverpoolboy01 says:

    The American Justice System 😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂

  74. vasiliosrigos says:

    Sandy is very annoying. Shocking discovery Sandy has a boyfriend?

  75. Larry Maxwell says:

    Money grubber, it's all about money! She had an affair and planned the whole thing! I don't care how kind she sounds! What happened to the money he had in different parts of the home! Yep she is guilty!

  76. jay magisa says:

    High class hooker dead addict rich boyfriend = money

  77. Explore with Ranee Lee says:

    She was in love with his money. Lt he had to know money she would not be there. Then that cute guy comes and there you go.!

  78. Jai Singh says:

    Money never made friends ☠️

  79. Hristina Trajkovska says:

    Stupid doctors

  80. Yroll Bibit says:

    The way she act. She killed him. She's good pretender. What love? Again love? It doesn't sounds real. You obviously in love his money & that's for sure. She had a boyfriend wtf? The truth will put u in jail remember that

  81. nita morgan says:

    Honestly she knew all along this man drugs problem .. She want this man money ..YYeepp money grubber

  82. 2 SUSS says:

    She killed her plan from day one is takeoff he’s money

  83. Nurse Wratchet says:

    'Casino Boss' Ted Binion Was An Idjit !!!

  84. jc jones says:

    The should give life to anyone making this stupid show. Director, actress, actor……

  85. missasinenomine says:

    23:05 Unusual photo for a lawyer's office? On the left.

  86. missasinenomine says:

    Such a difference having soft unobtrusive background music instead of loud raucous noise. Congratulations.

  87. jedus007 says:

    God has kept details in his record book,. You reap what you sow.

  88. Bari Demers says:

    WOW ! Interesting case. It’s indeed a complicated one, that’s for sure. Only three people know for sure, and that’s Ted Binion , Sandy Murphy and Rick Tabish. The fact they found Rick digging up Ted’s treasure is motive. Sandy certainly had a good life with a rich older man. Strange…with all the camera surveillance outside property, you would think there should be a hidden camera inside the house, if not many of them. I wonder…
    Wish I was as rich as Ted – lol. The documentary was interesting with real footage, however I can’t see the actors getting an Oscar for their performance 😉

  89. Nobuntunglogop Bonong says:

    The guy killed himself …. He said if anything happened to him … Its all her…

  90. Bin Ren says:

    Give that woman an Oscar

  91. Ron Love says:

    Both are liars.

  92. Amza Qamran says:

    Y the 1st wrong decision has been taken ,if she was not murderer than how she were a steeler

  93. joe fran says:

    you,re rich don't get married

  94. Thomas Kole says:

    Subpoena the phone records from the lawyer who claimed Ted said she will kill me

  95. Jesse Reed says:

    Binion pressly it's all reruns drugs money game

  96. Death Larsen says:

    I've seen better acting out of Gweneth palrtrow than these garage band players

  97. Death Larsen says:

    "I was never a stripper" while she was a stripper

  98. Qusin111 says:

    She has even said she got away with murder to her friends but who knows, she did lie and changed her story endlessly to police so my opinion is she and Rick murdered him

  99. Jack Tarasar says:

    Sandy Murphy was and IS GOLD DIGGER. Rick Tavish is a Thieving, PREDATOR. Teddy Binion was not all that bright. He allowed Rick Tavish, a guy DEEPLY in debt to the IRS, knowledge of where MILLIONS of untraceable Silver coins & bullion were buried. Ted Binion could have called a private Security firm, OR one that the Casino uses to HOUSE SIT with him until his Lawyer changed his Will to remove Sandy Murphy OUT. And, he could have thrown her out and cancelled the Credit Card and impounded the Mercedes Benz.
    Ted Binion created the perfect storm to cause his OWN MURDER.
    It is a SHAME that Sandy Murphy got out of prison after only 4 years for FIRST DEGREE MURDER.

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