The Mafia Comes To Evansville – The Underbelly of Evansville
On October 18, 1977, businessman, gambler, oilman Ray Ryan went to a health club on East Bellemeade ,which is no longer in that location. After wrapping up his workout, Ryan walked outside to his new Lincoln Mark V coupe. Obviously, he had no idea that someone had connected a bomb to the ignition of the car. As soon as Ryan turned the key, the car exploded violently into flames.
Ryan was killed almost instantly. It took law enforcement two days to track down the pieces of the car. Students at nearby Harrison High School felt their building shake when the car blew apart. One piece of the Lincoln was found nearly 400 feet away. What led up to this Mafia murder in Evansville? Well, in the late 1940's in Vegas he had gifted a top mobster a engraved gold chain, thus his first connection with the Mafia. In the 1960's Ryan had turned informant and testified against members of the mob. That alone will make you "sleep with the fishes." After further fallout he was audited by the IRS and FBI, finding That Ryan had tried to sneak in some illicit deductions in his tax return. Only a few years later, this speck on the Mafia's eye led to Ray Ryan's demise, and one of the most memorable events in Evansville Criminal History.
Hope you've enjoyed this installment of the "Underbelly OF Evansville:. More sub culture and oddities to come!