this day in crime history: august 26, 1980

On this date in 1980, two men made an early morning delivery of what appeared to be computer equipment to the Harvey’s Resort and Casino in Stateline, NV. Harvey’s employees soon discovered the “computer equipment” and the note attached to it. The note informed them that the large package was a bomb, and that it would go off unless the bombers were paid $3 million by the casino.

Police, the FBI, and the ATF were called in. Bomb squad personnel examined the object and confirmed that it was a bomb. The device, which was very sophisticated, contained a large amount of dynamite.

The decision was made to pay the ransom, then concentrate on tracking down the extortionists later. Unfortunately, the delivery of the ransom money – which was to be done by police helicopter – didn’t go off as planned. This left the bomb squad with the task of figuring out how to disarm the largest dynamite bomb anyone in law enforcement had ever seen.

After x-raying the equipment and carefully examining it, the explosive ordnance disposal experts decided that the best was to disarm it way to quickly disconnect the detonators before they could set off the dynamite. To do this, they rigged shaped charges of C-4 and positioned them so they would blow the detonators off. Sand bags were stacked around the bomb to minimize the damage in case the plan didn’t work. This was a good idea, as the plan didn’t work. The shaped charges set the bomb off, destroying most of the casino and causing some damage to the neighboring hotel. Thankfully, there were no injuries from the explosion.

As the ensuing investigation unfolded, a suspect soon emerged: a Hungarian immigrant from Clovis, CA named John Birges. Birges, as it turned out, lost thousands of dollars gambling at Harvey’s. (note to all you high rollers out there: You can lose. That’s why they call it “gambling.”) In the summer of 1981, investigators received a tip that Birges had stolen dynamite from a construction site. Forensic examination matched the dynamite used at the site with that used in the Harvey’s Casino bomb. John Birges was arrested in August 1981, almost a year after the bombing. His three accomplices were soon arrested as well. It wasn’t long before they flipped and agreed to testify against Birges in exchange for lighter sentences. John Birges was convicted of multiple state and federal crimes. He died in prison of liver cancer in 1996.

Nobody Move!

On this date in 1980, two men made an early morning delivery of what appeared to be computer equipment to the Harvey’s Resort and Casino in Stateline, NV. Harvey’s employees soon discovered the “computer equipment” and the note attached to it. The note informed them that the large package was a bomb, and that it would go off unless the bombers were paid $3 million by the casino.

Police, the FBI, and the ATF were called in. Bomb squad personnel examined the object and confirmed that it was a bomb. The device, which was very sophisticated, contained a large amount of dynamite.

The decision was made to pay the ransom, then concentrate on tracking down the extortionists later. Unfortunately, the delivery of the ransom money – which was to be done by police helicopter – didn’t go off as planned. This left the bomb squad with the task of figuring…

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FBI To Formally Open New South Florida HQ

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The FBI’s new South Florida field office in Miramar. (Source: CBS4)

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – There will be a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony Friday for the FBI’s new South Florida field office in Miramar.

FBI Director James Comey and U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson are scheduled to officially open the building which is named for agents Benjamin P. Grogan and Jerry L. Dove, who were killed in a gun battle with bank robbers in South Miami-Dade on Friday, April 11, 1986. The firefight is still considered the bloodiest in the history of the FBI. Agent Grogan was a 25 year veteran of the Bureau. Agent Dove had been with the FBI for four years.

“The naming ceremony and dedication is a fitting tribute to Special Agents Benjamin P. Grogan and Jerry L. Dove. These brave men answered the call of duty and gave their lives to keep our streets, communities and country safe. We owe them and their families a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid,” said Wilson in a statement.

The new $194 million office building contains 330,000 square feet and sits on a 20-acre site adjacent to Interstate 75.

For 28 years, the FBI’s South Florida headquarters was located in North Miami Beach. The field office has jurisdiction over federal cases along Florida’s southeast coast from Vero Beach to Key West.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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Decades After Selena’s Death, Case Continues to Make News

10613bf4-a526-4826-9f82-d814e18ec836-medium Death of a Rising Star: March 31, 1995: Selena is shot to death by the President of her Fan Club.

Her death, 20 years ago today, on March 31, 1995, rocked the Latin music community and devastated millions of fans. The Grammy-winning performer was a fashion icon and a role model for many young women. As TIME described her shortly after her death, “[s]he was the embodiment of young, smart, hip, Mexican-American youth, wearing midriff-baring bustiers and boasting of a tight-knit family and a down-to-earth personality — a Madonna without the controversy.”

When she died, she had just recorded her first album in English and, per CBS News, “was poised to become a crossover success when her death turned her into a legend.”

Her death was even more shocking because it came at the hands of a woman once considered one of Selena’s biggest fans: Yolanda Saldivar, who had founded Selena’s fan club in San Antonio.

Saldivar had also been hired to manage Selena’s clothing boutique, Selena Etc., but was fired a few weeks before the shooting when Selena’s family discovered that she had been embezzling money, Selena’s father told the New York Times in 1995. Selena demanded that Saldivar return some of the boutique’s financial documents, and they agreed to meet at a Days Inn motel in Selena’s hometown of Corpus Christi. But Saldivar refused to turn over the documents, shot the singer and then fended off police during a nine-hour standoff while she sat in a pickup truck in the motel parking lot, holding a gun to her own head.

While Selena has retained her fan base and even attracted a new generation of fans following her death, Saldivar remains in prison, where she is serving a life sentence for the murder. (She will be eligible for parole in 2025.) She has filed a string of unsuccessful appeals, arguing, among other things, that prosecutors coerced her confession and that she received ineffective legal counsel.

She may be better off in prison, however, given the fury of Selena devotees. In 2012, Saldivar’s brother told TMZ that she was still being held in solitary confinement for her own safety. Selena’s father recently told a Corpus Christi TV news reporter that he thought an early release would be a harsher punishment than life in prison.

“Not very many people like her,” he said.

Read TIME’s original coverage of Selena’s death, here in the TIME Vault: Death of a Rising Star

TIME

Selena, the one-named Tejano star, was sometimes called the Mexican-American Madonna, after that other one-named pop superstar. After winning the Tejano Music Award for best female vocalist as a teenager, Selena went on to earn the title nine more times — including two posthumous wins following her murder at age 23.

Her death, 20 years ago today, on March 31, 1995, rocked the Latin music community and devastated millions of fans. The Grammy-winning performer was a fashion icon and a role model for many young women. As TIME described her shortly after her death, “[s]he was the embodiment of young, smart, hip, Mexican-American youth, wearing midriff-baring bustiers and boasting of a tight-knit family and a down-to-earth personality — a Madonna without the controversy.”

When she died, she had just recorded her first album in English and, per CBS News, “was poised to become a crossover success when her…

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