LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — What Hank Greenspun shared with his son on the Roxie scandal is pretty much on the pages of “Where I Stand: The Record of a Reckless Man.”

In his 1966 memoir, the elder Greenspun says he knew the fallout from the raid and his Las Vegas Sun newspaper’s investigative pieces on the brothel would generate criticism. “But some began to understand the paper’s chosen role as watchdog for the rights of the people,” Greenspun wrote in his book.

Many were implicated in the 1954 FBI raid and subsequent closing of the brothel on Boulder Highway, including Lt. Gov. Clifford Jones, who was known as a kind of a fixer for the powerful Patrick McCarran, Nevada’s Democratic U.S. senator.

“These were McCarran’s guys,” Brian Greenspun said this week recalling the collateral damage from the Roxie scandal. When anything pushed at McCarran and his machine, often there was “serious opposition.”

Brian Greenspun said his father was known as a “great storyteller.” While Roxie related anecdotes didn’t immediately come to mind, Greenspun did recall a couple of moments from his childhood and his father’s reputation for rubbing elbows with all kinds of characters.

Hank Greenspun and wife Barbara, October 1976. (UNLV Special Collections)

“I’m guessing I’m 10 or 11 years old when I let a man in the house to see my Dad,” Greenspun, 76, said, remembering one encounter. Brian recalled ushering a man to a comfortable chair in the Greenspun home, then going out back to get his father.

“My father came out and saw who it was,” Brian Greenspun said. “He sent me back outside. Told me to go play or something like that.”

The visitor was a hit man, hired to do away with the newspaper publisher whose latest target via Sun seemed to be Las Vegas mobsters. “There always had been an agreement that they [mob] weren’t going to touch him,” Brian said. In this case, though, someone didn’t see the memo.

Many years later, Hank asked his son if he remembered that day, letting the man inside.

“He tells me the guy who came into the house, ‘he came to kill me,’ ” Brian remembered. He admits when his father confided in him, it was alarming.

Apparently, Hank Greenspun talked his way out of a hit, at least for the time being.

“Look,” he told the visitor. “You know I’m here, where I live. I just don’t want this in front of my kids.”

“Fair enough,” the hit man said. “I can get you anytime I want.”

Brian said his father told him he made a couple of phone calls, messages got sent to the right people and the hit was called off.

“Imagine me, an adult, hearing something like this that happened 30 years earlier,” Brian Greenspun said. “Now it’s just a good story.”

Another time, Hank Greenspun was asked by authorities to fetch a man, living or hiding in Florida, wanted in a bombing in Las Vegas. The man told authorities he didn’t trust them. He was ready to surrender but he said he didn’t think he’d get to Las Vegas alive if he gave himself up to law enforcement. “I’ll give myself up to Greenspun,” he said.

“He’d surrender to my Dad because he knew he’d at least get to jail,” Brian Greenspun said.

So his father went to Florida and the two boarded a plane to travel back to the desert.

On the flight back to Las Vegas, the man tells Greenspun he once was hired to kidnap his youngest daughter, Susan.

“What do you mean?” Greenspun asks, stunned by the revelation.

Brian Greenspun said the bombing suspect told his father the plan was to ransom the daughter.

“He tells my Dad he and another guy followed Susan with my mother and older sister to a shoe store downtown on Fremont Street,” Brian said “They were going to snatch her when they all came out of the store.”

In the store, though, young Susan was involved in a shouting match, so all the attention goes to Greenspun’s wife and their two daughters. People milling around them, watching them.

The two would-be kidnappers, waiting in a car outside the store, decided to abort. Too many people with eyes on the Greenspuns.

“If not for my youngest sister Susan throwing one of her tantrums,” Brian Greenspun said.

Brian said his father later got a phone call, telling him until things could be smoothed over “to keep the kid under wraps, which he did.”

Note: Hank Greenpun, along with some investors, founded KLAS, Channel 8, on July 22, 1953. It is the city of Las Vegas’ first commercial television station. He started the Las Vegas Sun in 1950 as the Morning Sun.