(NewsNation) — A discovery at the basin of a Nevada reservoir could be connected to Las Vegas’s most notorious era.
A boater found a metal barrel containing human remains in Lake Mead’s receding waters.
Now, investigators are working to piece together clues that could connect the victim to an infamous crime syndicate.
Lake Mead has long been rumored to be a burial ground for victims of the Mafia. It is now possible that these new discoveries could bring those dark secrets into the light.
Earlier this month, remains of a human body were found inside a metal barrel stuck to the bottom of the lake. Autopsy reports show the victim was shot in the head and crammed into the metal drum. The report signals the death was likely connected to a gangland hit, pointing to Sin City’s storied connection to the mob.
Some experts believe the hit could be connected to infamous mob enforcer Tony Spilotro, the hit man who inspired Joe Pesci’s iconic performance in Martin Scorsese’s 1995 hit “Casino.”
Crime historians expect more grim discoveries as water levels continue to recede at the reservoir.
“Killing somebody and putting them in a barrel and dumping them in water is actually a common mob tactic going back to the 1800s,” said Mob Museum historian Geoff Schumacher, “When we’re talking about the era, you know, 1970s-1980s, the mob was pretty prominent in Las Vegas at that time. It was a time of a lot of conflicts as well. So there were people who went missing.”
The victim has not been identified, but experts believe an ID could tie together some loose ends regarding one of the most notorious areas for violence in Las Vegas.
“Once they can identify the victim, maybe they can start making some of the connections and see who may have been responsible, or what activities the person was involved with,” said crime writer Anthony Smith.