Woman Found Murdered in Indiana Casino Parking Structure
A woman was discovered shot to death in her car in the parking lot of the Majestic Star Casino in Gary, Indiana on Friday morning, it has been reported. The woman, 76-year-old Mary Austgen from St. John, Indiana had been reported missing on Thursday afternoon and was found shot in her lower left torso.
Whether or not the shooting took place on the casino property has not been revealed, and representatives from Majestic Star have not publicly commented on the grisly incident. Gary is not a city known for its low crime rate, but rather quite the opposite – the run-down former industrial city has been blighted for decades.
Casino patron Ora Jackson expressed fear to ABC News, saying, “It really scares me. What about the security out here?”
Deaths inside of casinos actually aren’t too rare an occurrence. After all, many casino resorts are massive affairs, encompassing millions of square feet and featuring hundreds and sometimes thousands of hotel rooms. Given the number of customers that pass through a typical casino’s door each year, medical emergencies, heart attacks, and the like, are not altogether uncommon happenings.
Homicides, however, are much rarer. Perhaps the most sensational casino-related murder was the 1998 death of Ted Binion, son of the owner of Binion’s Horseshoe, Lester Ben “Benny” Binion. Ted Binion had struggled with drugs and narcotics and empty pill bottles were found at the death scene, initially prompting the coroner to rule his passing an accidental overdose of prescription drugs and heroin.
Authorities, however, suspected that the scene might have been staged and in 1999 re-opened the investigation, eventually trying Binion’s girlfriend, Sandra Murphy, and her lover, Rick Tabish, for murder and a variety of other charges relating to their attempt to get their hands on Binion’s fortune. Binion had millions of dollars of gold buried in the desert, and there are some who believe there are still undiscovered fortunes lying beneath the desert sand.
The case proved to be quite sensational, with the Nevada Supreme Court overturning their convictions in 2003. Murphy and Tabish were re-tried in 2004, resulting in both being acquitted of the murder charges but convicted on other burglary and larceny charges. Murphy was released on time served, and Tabish went on to be paroled from prison in 2010.
The Majestic Star case is probably not likely to captivate the public so much as the sensational murder of a Las Vegas legend, however the sad episode might dissuade visitors to the casino. That could prove to be disastrous, as Indiana casinos are already suffering revenue loss in the face of competition from neighboring states.
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