Wynn Daughter Kidnapping
A couple of weeks ago, the ringleader of the plot to kidnap Steve Wynn’s daughter back in 1993 was released from federal prison after serving 21 years of a 24 year sentence. The Bureau of Prisons routinely returns inmates to the District in which they were tried and sentenced, to then be released to U.S. Probation to serve out a period of supervision. Ray Cuddy is therefore temporarily in Las Vegas, pending completion of his halfway house time and the commencement of 3 years of supervised release.
This recently caused quite a stir in Vegas.
Here is a brief summary of the events of the Wynn Daughter Kidnapping in 1993 (*See links to media coverage at the end of this article.)
On Wednesday, July 23, 1993, Steve Wynn’s daughter Kevyn was kidnapped from her high-end armed guard-gated Las Vegas community and held for ransom. Wynn paid a $1.45 million ransom for her safe return.
I arrived at work on the morning of Wednesday, July 28, 1993, at the usual time, about 8:15. I took the elevator to the eighth floor, exited into a small lobby, and approached the entrance door leading into the interior of the U.S. Attorney’s office, visible thorough a large plate of bullet proof glass. After hitting the security code which unlocks the door, I bid the receptionist good morning. Her response was not the anticipated pro forma echo of my greeting; instead, she announced, rather somberly, “Monte needs to see you right away.”
Monte Stewart was the United States Attorney for the Federal Judicial District of Nevada, the top federal law enforcement official in the state. On that morning I had been one of the twenty-five or so Assistant United States Attorneys in the Las Vegas Office for three years, almost to the day. I entered the office suite of the U.S.Attorney, large and luxurious compared to the small, modestly furnished offices of the line assistants. It was then located at the Southeast corner of the Bridger Law Building, across the street from the original Las Vegas High School, which is now a magnet school and a historical sight. A row of large windows ran along both of the office’s outer walls, offering views of Sunrise Mountain to the east and the High School to the south, the Stratosphere Tower lurking behind, a mile or two in the distance.
Monte sat behind an oversized, ornate desk, which he brought with him upon his appointment. This beautiful piece of furniture was obviously not the property of the U.S. Government. Nor were the two leather armchairs which faced him from several feet away manufactured by federal prisoners, as was most of our office furniture.
I was invited to take the empty chair. Monte, a very bright , soft spoken guy, who had once clerked for the United States Supreme Court, had a serious look on his face. I was very curious. Had I done something wrong?
As these thoughts raced through my mind, Monte addressed me in a solemn voice. “I’m assigning you a career case” he said in a grave, but reassuring, tone.
You have to understand something to appreciate my state of mind at that moment. When someone says “career case” to a prosecutor, the implications can be mortal. A “career case” means one which with you will always be identified. One by which you will always be measured. The outcome of which will be indelibly associated with you. Upon which your office will be judged. In short, a case which can make your reputation. Or, alternatively, break it.
Monte broke the tension, and spoke words which would have a major impact on both my professional and personal life for a long time to come. In speech appropriately measured to match the gravity of the situation, Monte Stewart disclosed to me the biggest news to hit Las Vegas in years.
“Last night, Steve Wynn’s daughter was kidnapped.”
Monte went on to explain to me that, although he didn’t have all the details yet, the Wynns’ daughter, Kevyn, had been abducted from her home late last night, then recovered physically unharmed several hours later.
That was the good news. The bad news was the kidnappers had escaped with the ransom, which Wynn and his security people had paid before ever contacting the FBI. The sum delivered to a designated drop was $1,450,000.00; or, to put it more simply, $1.45 million.
There was more bad news. If I had, for the briefest moment, felt lucky to be assigned this “career case”, I quickly re-evaluated my good fortune.
As of 8:00 a.m., some ten hours after the crime had been initiated, the number of leads in the case as to the identity of the perpetrators, who were by now, no doubt, long gone, stood at zero.
The following is a recent, highly promoted report on Cuddy’s release, courtesy of KLAS TV and I-Team Investigative Reporter Glen Meek.
And a Las Vegas Review Journal page one article.