Sandy Murphy and Rick Tabish, former Las Vegas lovers who were convicted and later acquitted in the death of casino magnate Ted Binion, will have their case presented on Oxygen’s Snapped: Killer Couples. According to the latest listing at TVGuide, Killer Couples will chronicle the death of a Las Vegas casino businessman who is found dead at his ranch home and the investigation that led to the arrest of his girlfriend, Sandy Murphy and her lover, Rick Tabish. In the episode titled, Sandy Murphy/Rick Tabish, police detectives and other legal experts will weigh in on the infamous case. Note: Though, Rich Tabish and Sandy Murphy were initially convicted of the murder of Ted Binion, a jury later overturned their cases.
In September 1998, 911 dispatchers received a frantic 911 call from a woman who said that her husband (that’s what she called him) was not breathing. When officers arrived, Binion was found in a sleeping bag on the floor of his den with drug paraphernalia nearby. He was later pronounced dead. The medical examiner quickly ruled his death an accident caused by an overdose of drugs, a determination that family members of Ted Binion beloved was wrong. Adamant that Binion was most likely murdered, they hired a Las Vegas private detective, who had years of experience working in homicide, to take a look at the case. His finding eventually led police to Sandy Murphy, Ted Binion’s girlfriend, and Sandy’s side lover, Rick Tabish, who was a friend of Binion’s.
The initial investigation was prompted in part by statements Ted Binion allegedly made shortly before his death. His attorney told police that the night before he died, Ted called him demanding that Sandy Murphy be completely cut out of his will. Others said that Ted was convinced that someone was out to kill him and stated that if anything ever happened to him, they needed to dig up the silver coins that he had buried.
In the weeks leading up to his death, Ted Binion’s life was spiraling out of control. He had been accused of pointing a shotgun at a man who was later arrested for murder. Then, he lost his gaming license and was connected to big shots in the organized crime underworld. Also, the night before his mysterious death, Ted bought a large amount of heroin.
Throughout the investigation, there were several people who did not believe that Sandy Murphy and Rick Tabish had killed Ted Binion. Some alleged that the entire case was built on lies. One lie that was often told, they say, was that Sandy Murphy was a stripper, something that those close to her say was not true. It was also alleged that Rick Tabish was caught digging up the silver, not because he was stealing from Ted Binion, but because the casino mogul had told him to retrieve it if he was ever found dead.
Prosecutors painted Sandy Murphy as a sexy stripper, who wanted to cash in on Binion’s millions so that she could live it up with her lover, Rick. They also believed that when the blonde beauty learned that she would be kicked out of the will, Murphy and Tabish drugged the Horseshoe executive and suffocated him to death. Deputy District Attorney David Roger made the following statement, according to Orange Coast Magazine.
“When it looked like he was going to cut her out of his will, she and Tabish sedated him with heroin and his prescription anti-anxiety drug, then suffocated him. “They did it for greed. They did it for lust. They did it for money.”
The first jury found Sandy Murphy and Rick Tabish guilty of murder and sentenced them to prison. Those convictions were both thrown out and Sandy Murphy was freed, while Rick Tabish stayed in prison on an extortion charge. Tabish was released in 2010, Orange Coast Magazine reported. The case of Ted Binion, Sandy Murphy, and Rick Tabish airs on Snapped: Killer Couples tonight at 9/8 p.m. Central on Oxygen.
[Photo by Laura Rauch/AP]