After millionaire, Lonnie Theodore Binion died in 1998, a dramatic story involving an affair, narcotics, underworld connections, and silver in a vault arose.
The NBC News documentary ‘Dateline: What Happens in Vegas‘ digs into the high-profile trial in which Ted’s then-girlfriend, Sandra Murphy, and a friend, Rick Tabish, were found guilty of his murder.
The convictions were reversed a few years later, leaving Ted’s death shrouded in mystery and intrigue. So, if you’re interested in learning more about Sandy and where she might be now, you’ve come to the right place.
Sandy Murphy, Who is She?
Sandy grew up in Los Angeles, California, and was always interested in sports. She, on the other hand, never finished high school and instead started a business with a family acquaintance.
She then travelled to Las Vegas, Nevada, where she gambled away around $12,000 of her funds in 1994.
Sandy began dancing at a small club and selling lingerie because she was broke and needed to make money.
Sandy met Ted Binion, a millionaire whose family owned the Horseshoe Casino, at the club.
The couple started dating soon after, and she moved in with him. Ted, on the other hand, was a notorious heroin user who had allegedly abused her.
On occasion, people noticed Sandy with a bruised face or hair missing, and she admitted to Ted beating her.
Then, on September 17, 1998, a frightened Sandy contacted 911 in the afternoon, stating Ted was motionless and laying on the floor.
In his den, the authorities discovered Ted, 55, on a yoga mat, with an empty Xanax bottle near him.
Because Ted was a known addict, the initial clues pointed to a suicide or an accidental overdose.
Furthermore, his casino licence had been cancelled by the Nevada State Gaming Commission a few months previously due to his drug addiction and ties to criminals.
Ted had an underground vault in Pahrump, Nevada, at the time, where he kept silver worth millions.
Rick Tabish, one of his associates, was caught just days after his death for attempting to steal the silver.
Before he died, Ted had Rick construct the vault. The authorities quickly discovered, however, that Sandy had been having an affair with Rick.
The officers assumed the crime scene had been faked, so Sandy and Rick suffocated Ted by sedating him with narcotics and smothering him.
The motivation, according to officials, was money; Ted’s lawyer alleged that the millionaire instructed him the day before his death, “Take Sandy [Murphy] out of the will if she doesn’t kill me tonight.” You’ll know what occurred if I’m dead.”
Sandy bailed Rick out after he got detained with two others. The crimson stains around Ted’s eyes and the bruises on his chest, according to a medical expert, indicated that he had been smothered with a knee on his chest.
According to the same doctor, the narcotics identified in Ted’s body did not reach a lethal level.
Then Ted’s maid testified, claiming that Sandy had sent her home early the day before the event and told her not to come in the next day.
Where Is Sandy Murphy Now?
Sandy and Rick were found guilty of murder, burglary, and larceny in May 2000. She was condemned to a minimum of 22 years in jail and a maximum of life in prison.
However, a judge reversed the conviction in 2003 due to a technicality. The defence questioned the prior medical expert’s findings of Ted’s murder in a fresh trial in 2004, claiming that the markings on his chest may have been caused by a skin disease.
Both were acquitted of murder in November 2004, but were convicted guilty of conspiracy, grand larceny, and burglary.
Sandy, who was 32 at the time, was released from prison after serving his sentence. She relocated to Henderson, Nevada, and went to work for a mining company owned by one of her donors.
Before marrying Kevin Pieropan in 2009, Sandy worked in the mortgage industry. She appears to be living in California with her spouse, where she manages an art gallery with him as a co-owner.
Sandy is a mother of two children and a painter. She had also sued the state for damages for wrongful detention and malicious prosecution.
But, if there was a pardon, she was willing to abandon the lawsuit. “Just vindicate me on [the silver robbery accusations], and you don’t have to waste any more of the state’s money on an issue that you’re almost certainly going to lose,” Sandy continued.
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