LAS VEGAS -- The Mob Museum in downtown Las Vegas opened Tuesday with fireworks and fanfare. There are more than 600 artifacts inside the museum. It is the largest collection of mob related law enforcement memorabilia under one roof.
Many of the VIP guests were family members of infamous Mob bosses. One attendee was Moe Dalitz's daughter, Suzanne.
Moe Dalitz was a bootlegger from Cleveland who wanted to start fresh running the Desert Inn Hotel and Casino. He also became a real estate developer and philanthropist but his daughter said he could never shake his mob ties.
"It was clear he was powerful. It was clear he was rich. It was clear everything moved for him," said Suzanne Dalitz.
She was the only child of Moe and Averill Dalitz. Suzanne was sheltered from her father's mob associations. However, when she was 12-years-old, she read about Murder Inc. and saw her father's name.
"So, I said, 'did you know these people?' He said, 'I'm no angel, I did know these people but I made a point of walking between the raindrops. I think I've been a good citizen and a good man and a good father.'"
Moe Dalitz tried to go clean. He developed the Las Vegas Country Club and Sunrise Hospital.
Suzanne's life was far from Hollywood sagas like the movie Casino and the television shows The Sopranos and Mob Wives.
"My father was a racket man, he was in legitimate businesses. He was a licensed holder for gaming, my father didn't carry a gun, he didn't whack people, he was a gentleman," she said.
Still, Dalitz's Mob past and friends like Meyer Lansky followed him into retirement.
"He hadn't committed a crime in 30 years," Suzanne Dalitz said. She added that her father felt hounded and pursued up until his death because of his past.
She donated many pictures and artifacts about her father to the Mob Museum because she feels the history needs to be told.
"Would it be Las Vegas without that? It's really hard to say."
Suzanne Dalitz said many of her father's associates weren't thrilled about the Mob Museum documenting their businesses. She's writing a memoir about her father's life and how he helped shape Las Vegas.
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