In 1983, Tony “The Ant” Spilotro was charged with the 1962 torture-murder of two petty criminals known as the “M&M Boys.” Mr. Spilotro waived his 7th amendment right to a jury of his peers in favor of a bench trial. In a shocking turn of events, Judge Thomas J. Maloney, did not accept Frank Cullotta’s, former friend and member of the “Hole in the Wall” gang, testimony as evidence or as proof “beyond a reasonable doubt”. Maloney, in turn, acquitted Spilotro (in 1992, however, Judge Maloney himself would later be convicted through Operation Greylord of accepting bribes in several related and unrelated cases).

I originally learned about this story from episode 9, “Dirty Laundry” of the podcast, Mobbed Up: The Fight for Las Vegas. Mobbed Up is an 11-part true-crime podcast series produced by the Las Vegas Review-Journal in partnership with The Mob Museum, chronicles the mob’s rise and fall in Las Vegas through the eyes of those who lived it: ex-mobsters, law enforcement officials, politicians and journalists. Special thanks to for his help in providing resources about this story.