Climate change reveals dark secrets as human remains are discovered in receding Lake Mead
By Joy Malbon, CTV National News Washington Bureau Chief
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Washington, DC (CTV Network) — “Where are the bodies buried? Climate change shows us that.
If there is a title that holds you back, it would be this one. Body? Climate change? Here’s how the two are related.
In the American West, the second largest man-made reservoir has fallen to historic lows due to drought. Water flowing from the Colorado River fills Lake Mead, which is now drying up.
As the water recedes, dark secrets float to the surface after the recent discovery of two sets of human remains.
Two sisters paddleboarding at Lake Mead National Recreation Area stopped to explore a nearby sandbar when they spotted what they thought was an animal.
“We found more and more bones,” Lindsey Melvin told local media, “and we found a jawbone and realized it was definitely human.”
Other human remains were found six days earlier. Boaters enjoying a day on the lake made another gruesome discovery, a decomposed body inside a rusting metal barrel.
Called to investigate, Las Vegas Police Lt. Ray Spencer told CNN: “We believe this was a homicide resulting from a gunshot wound.”
The man had been shot in the back of the neck, he said. As they tried to identify the victim, another clue was the man’s clothing and shoes. They appear to be from the 1970s or early 1980s and a brand sold at K-mart.
The discovery of these bodies has revived interest in Las Vegas and its past as a city of sin, when gangsters ruled the Strip.
If anyone is an expert on all of this, it’s Oscar Goodman. The former Las Vegas mayor was also an attorney who once defended mob figures like Anthony “Tony the Ant” Spilotro.
Chicago mob henchman, Spilotro was assigned to Las Vegas in the 70s. Described as defiant and angry, actor Joe Pesci modeled his mob persona in the movie ‘Casino’ on ‘Tony the Ant “.
Goodman won’t speculate who might be in the Lake Mead barrel, but said: ‘I’m relatively sure it wasn’t Jimmy Hoffa’, referring to the former Labor boss who disappeared in 1975.
“They keep calling me asking, Oscar who did this?” Goodman told The Associated Press. “And I said how am I supposed to know who did this?” I did not order it; I’ll tell you,” he also told NBC.
All this makes languages speak. Two former police officers who now co-host a podcast in Las Vegas are offering a US$5,000 reward to qualified divers for finding more barrels and possibly more bodies in Lake Mead. David Kohlmeier told CTV News that his “Problem Solver Show” received several tips from the public, two of which related to “mob” connections. He also heard of families of missing persons, including a father from Utah who disappeared in the 1980s.
“We just don’t really know, there’s a lot of, you know, crazy people doing crazy things, whether it’s in Las Vegas or anywhere in the world.”
Kohlmeier hopes the mystery surrounding the bodies will soon be solved to help close these cold cases. “So I definitely want to close any type of case. People need justice, don’t they? …or at least get some sort of closure.
As water levels continue to drop during this mega drought, many suspect that what lies beneath Lake Mead won’t remain hidden for long.
Kohlmeier says, “My gut tells me there’s probably more bodies.”
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