the letterbox did it

In the late 1940s Benny Binion, mob boss in Dallas, moved his operation to Las Vegas. While in Dallas, he had begun a long-running feud with Herb Noble, a small-time gambler, which continued after the move to Las Vegas. Binion demanded that Noble increase his payoff to Binion from 25 to 40 percent, which Noble refused to do. Binion then posted a reward on Noble’s scalp that eventually reached $25,000 and control of a Dallas crap game.

Benny Binion found here

In six years he survived ten attempts on his life; he was certain that “it was only a matter of time,” and had long since made his own funeral arrangements. He was shot at so often he became known as The Clay Pigeon. He had so many bullet holes and scars that he was sometimes called The Sieve.

image found here

In the spring of 1948, a bushwhacker shattered Noble’s right arm with a shotgun blast. On Valentine’s Day, 1949, dynamite was found wired to the starter of his car. That autumn, a rifleman shot him in the leg on the highway. Two months later, his wife Mildred got into his automobile, stepped on the starter and was killed by an explosion. A month after that, a sniper hit Noble with two bullets as he was leaving his house in Dallas. He was rushed to hospital in a critical condition. A few nights later a marksman pumped bullets into his fifth floor hospital room from a building across the street. Newspapers called Noble “the man with nine lives, The Cat.”

image found here

By now, Noble’s hair was white, his face lined, his arms stiff from old wounds. He drove occasionally to Dallas in an armored Ford to buy groceries and beer, but always in daylight and always with a rifle lying across his lap as he drove. Most of the time he stayed forted up in the stone house at his ranch. He rigged floodlights to the eaves on every side and installed watchdogs (heavy-duty Dalmatians and tiny, yapping Chihuahuas). As an additional alarm system, he kept screaming peacocks and cackling guinea hens near the house. He seldom slept until dawn. He sat up, rifle at hand, night after night, drinking beer out of cans and fiddling with airplane parts.

image found here

The attempts on his life went on. Another shotgun blast was fired at him from the woods, but his car’s armor saved him. In March, the engine of his airplane blew up as he started it. He was saved by a steel plate. Five days later a mechanic found nitroglycerin packed in two cylinders of an engine being overhauled for another of Noble’s planes.

image found here

Last week Herbert Noble drove his automobile up to his mailbox. He failed to notice that the dirt of the driveway had been disturbed. Neither his lights nor his Dalmatians nor his Chihuahuas nor his guinea hens nor his peacocks warned him of what was about to happen. Just as he reached for the letters in the box, an explosive planted in his driveway blew Herbert Noble to bits.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,859260-1,00.html

 

more letterboxes here

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42 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I think I would have paid someone to start my car and get my mail.

  2. Dalmatians,chihuahuas,guinea hens,peacocks and a small time gambler nicknamed The Sieve…how has this story not been turned into a movie?

    • Yeah. What Raymond said!

  3. As many lives as the Yul Brynner gun slinger in Westworld!

    • We love our Yul don’t we Syncy? ;-)

  4. Seems like Noble died for his ‘principles’, I mean a whole other 15% – that’s crazy!

    The King

    • Not as crazy as you thinking you can touch Pippa’s arse

  5. gives a new definition to “going postal”…

    • haha…. yes it does

  6. You’ve convinced me to abandon my plan to become a mob hit woman. If you add up all the bullets, explosives, and assassin-hours that went into killing this one guy, $25,000 and control of a crap game doesn’t seem worth it.

    • Yeah who wants control of a crap game? I want control of a good one

      • Snort! :-)

  7. Those letterboxes do it all the time! Their contents make holes in your wallet or holes in your body!

    • Mine is very well behaved.

  8. He should have just said he was sorry and paid the extra freaking 15%. Stubborn bugger.

    • Some people just like to live on the edge

  9. *eyes postman suspiciously*

    • I never see mine. He always comes while I’m at work. Heck I don’t even know if he’s a he or a she

  10. The only other question I have is why chihuahuas? Are they tiny killing machines or was he just hoping that the yapping would drive away any would-be assailants?

  11. whoa.. i guess it wasnt his time yet each time he was attacked. but when he finally had it coming for real, its quite sad.

  12. What a noble Herb, but perhaps not so sage in angering the taller poppy. PS peacocks make a fantastic sound, great idea for an alarm signal.

  13. “fiddling with airplane parts” I’ve never heard it called that before …

  14. What an existence, constantly waiting for the next attempt on your life and constantly upgrading your security. Who would want to live like that? I’m surprised he didn’t top himself long before someone else managed it.

  15. Ummm. So this is what they call an “ignoble end”?

  16. ‘fiddling with airplane parts’…is that a euphemism? Anyway, it’s a long time since I got anything good in he post either

  17. He drank beer out of cans?!

  18. I know it was you, Noble…
    You broke my heart! :)

  19. That was 1951, though. Today the reach of the Mafia is much less. It’s amazing that Noble lived as long as he did, with Binion’s minions (ar ar ar) after him in concert.

  20. Yegods Noble was lucky… up to a point. As for Binion I she that he was a gangster and a two time murderer.. Still he got a statue, the scumbag

  21. Killed him with a landmine… I guess the mob called in some World War II veteran for that job.

  22. I think, after the first dozen attempts on his life, he should have taken that as a sign and moved to somewhere far away under a different identity.

  23. Heavy duty dalmatians? And was there any mail in the box that day?

  24. Apart from a K-Mart all stock marked down by 17% sale catalogue?

  25. The Cat? He sounds like my kind of man.

  26. It would have been interesting if the mailbox had contained a letter warning him not to open the mailbox.

  27. that first box at the last link, letterbox rider, is a local. the estate owner has shitpiles of lame sculpture scattered all over his property. he thinks he’s Storm King west or something. tasteless, pretentious twit. yes, we don’t like him.

    • It’s a shame Benny Binion’s not still around to take him out

  28. Seems like he had way more than 9 lives right? Either that or the assassins were highly incompetent.

  29. My great grand dad was Herbert nobles neighbor at the farm pictured along Wichita Trail in Flower Mound. Our family has tons of stories about Noble. Its amazing to see all these photos.


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