Dennis Griffin Eulogized for Accurate, Compelling Books on Las Vegas Mob Figures

Dennis Griffin, the state investigator turned historian of Las Vegas mobsters and casino-related crime, died Monday from lung cancer. He was 75 years old.

Author Dennis Griffin shown here. Griffin died Monday following a prolific career as a writer. He wrote on mob figures and casino-linked crime. (Image: Griffin family via Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Griffin was a prolific author, writing many books, including one work on the true story behind the Martin Scorsese movie “Casino.” That film starred Robert DeNiro, Sharon Stone, and Don Rickles.

He also was the co-author of four books which he wrote with ex-mob figure turned government witness Frank Cullotta.

Remembered as Wonderful Friend

“We just lost a wonderful friend, a great human being, and fantastic author,” Ronald Fino, an FBI undercover operative turned writer, said on the Las Vegas Mafia History group page.

Ron Chepesiuk, an author, journalist, and radio host noted on Facebook how Griffin appeared on his radio show several times.

He was to appear again July 29 to discuss his Sergeant Rust book. Denny was a very smart, likeable, and engaging man,” Chepesiuk said. “We will miss him.”

Griffin also wrote on other law enforcement topics. He also authored fictional mysteries and thrillers.

Griffin was born in 1945 in Rome, N.Y. A Navy veteran, he spent 20 years in law enforcement. In 1994, he retired as director of investigations for the New York State Department of Health. He became a writer two years later.

Well-Documented, Researched Books

Geoff Schumacher, vice president of exhibits and programs at Las Vegas’ Mob Museum, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Griffin’s books are “detailed, they’re well-documented, and they simply are accurate.

There are plenty of people working within the true crime genre for whom facts are optional. But, with Dennis, he has always focused on telling a good story and telling an accurate story,” Schumacher said.

Griffin is survived by his wife, Faith Finster Griffin, two daughters, Margaret Carro and Antoinette Mahoney, and his stepchildren, Pamela Ashley and Robert McAree. Another stepdaughter, Kimberly McAree, predeceased him. He is also survived by grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Ed Silverstein

Gaming Law, Tribal Gaming, Crime, Gaming Research----An award-winning journalist with credits ranging from the Associated Press to American Lawyer Media, Ed joined the news team in 2019 with decades of legal reporting expertise under his belt. His past reporting and editing assignments include Cowles Business Media, Columbia University Press, the Connecticut Post, and Southern Connecticut Newspapers, Inc. Besides the law and its application to the gaming industry, Ed’s areas of expertise span business, courts, crime, politics, education, and state and local government. With an undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut (where he now lives), and master’s degrees from Harvard and Yale, Ed’s professional awards include recognition from the New England Press Association and New England AP News Executives. Email:

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