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Casino safe could solve 1960s murder

7:50 PM, Aug 26, 2011   |    comments
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South Lake Tahoe, NV (KCRA/CNN) - A huge safe was found hidden away in an old casino in South Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

"There is a pirate part of your personality that hopes to find diamonds and gold," said owner Mike Laub.

Owner and attorney Mike Laub said last Thursday crews discovered a secret four foot safe behind the walls, completely sealed off. Word quickly got out.

"I can't go anywhere without being stopped and asked what is inside the safe. I had no idea this would become such a distraction," said Laub.

Twenty different locksmiths from around the county have called. Three have seen it. None have been able to crack it.

Laub thinks it may be linked to an unsolved murder of the former owner of the casino. That former owner is Richard Chartrand. He was blown up in his car in the neighborhood more than 42 years ago by a sophisticated bomb.

Douglas County detectives said it is one of their oldest cases.

"After the murder it was a conclusion that was drawn in the law firm, Mr. Chartrands personal attorneys, that he had been hit by a New York mob gang or group," said Laub.

If the safe contains new evidence, the cold case could be blown wide open.

Long before the discovery, someone cut into the outer wall of the safe, but never made it past the inner wall of the safe.

Since the discovery, people have tried to break into the building to get at the safe.

"So every opportunist in the country is trying to get at this," said Laub.

He's been offered large sums of money for the safe, but he won't take the money. He'd rather gamble on his curiosity.

Laub plans on opening the safe within the next few days, with investigators watching.


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