In the third episode of HBO’s “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty,” team owner Jerry Buss and the team must deal with the effects of coach Jerry West’s departure. In their search for a new coach, they choose Jerry Tarkanian, a well-known but controversial college basketball coach.
What killed Vic Weiss?
Victor Weiss was a classmate of Tarkanian’s in high school. He grew up in Pasadena, California, and went to school there. They became friends, and he started negotiating with the coach on the side. Vic also did well in the insurance and real estate businesses before he moved into the sports promotion business. On June 14, 1979, Vic met with Jerry Buss and Jack Kent Cooke to talk about Tarkarian becoming the next coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Vic’s Rolls-Royce was last seen leaving the hotel in Beverly Hills, California, where the conference was held that day. The 51-year-old was supposed to go to dinner with his wife, Rose, but he never returned. She filed a missing person’s report because she was worried, and on June 17, 1979, a security guard in North Hollywood, California, found Vic’s car in the hotel parking lot.
Vic was found in the car’s trunk, wrapped in a blanket and tied with rope. His hands were tied together behind his back, and his body fell apart. Vic was shot twice, once in the temple and the back of the head. This shows that he was killed in an execution-style way. Vic’s watch and diamond ring were still there, but his wallet and briefcase were gone. This confused the police at first. So, stealing was ruled out as the main reason.
Who murdered Vic Weiss?
The police didn’t find any ID on the body, but Vic’s fingerprints helped them figure out who he was. Also, there were no clues or pieces of evidence found in the car that would have helped the police find the killer. More than forty years later, his murder is still unsolved, but that hasn’t prevented some hypotheses from emerging. So, they started to find out about Vic’s friends and family. A terrible picture came up right away. Vic was often seen with well-known businesspeople and athletes in public, but his relationships were much worse. Vic was said to have a few ties to the criminal world.
Vic was thought to own a couple of car dealerships, but he was just a hired consultant with no financial stake in the business. More information that the police got showed that Vic had ties to organised crime in Florida and Nevada. Later, Vic’s friend talked to the police under the guise of not being Vic’s friend. He said Vic owed more than $60,000 in gambling debt in Las Vegas, Nevada. He stole money from California to Las Vegas to make up for it.
One of the men was tall and blonde, but that was all the police knew about him. Detectives who were working on the case at the time didn’t want to talk about it with anyone because they were afraid information would get out. Also, a number of likely suspects in the case died in ways that had nothing to do with the case. Vic’s connections to the mafia became the most likely explanation for why he was killed, but the case has never been solved.