Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Monday, March 21, 2011 | 4:34 p.m.
A minor debate has surfaced since The Mob Museum unveiled its latest artifact, the barber chair in which mob boss Albert Anastasia was sitting when he was shot to death in 1952 in New York City.
Some keen-eyed observers are claiming the chair undraped March 9 and the chair shown in the photo next to Anastasia’s bloodied, bullet-riddled body are not the same.
Since the column about the chair was published this month, readers have pointed out what appears to be a different footrest on the chair in the Oct. 25, 1957, photo showing a lifeless, bloodied Anastasia, and the photos taken at the mayor’s office in City Hall when the chair was displayed.
They do look different, with the new chair’s footrest appearing to show a flat metal surface. The old photo shows the footrest as padded.
But they are the same. As city of Las Vegas Public Information Officer Jace Radke, the person assigned to lugging the 250-pound chair into the mayor’s office, explains, “The foot rest flips up and down. In the historical photo, the padded side is flipped up. When we displayed the chair, the padded side was flipped down.”
As Radke further noted, the foot rest screws into the base of the chair, and when the pieces arrived, they were not fastened into place. So Radke screwed the piece into place and reports, “I can tell you that looking at a blown-up shot of the historical photo and from handling it, that is exactly the same as it was in the historical photo.”
So it shall be, and another Mob conspiracy theory can be put to rest.