Juan Ignacio Blanco  


  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




Murderpedia has thousands of hours of work behind it. To keep creating new content, we kindly appreciate any donation you can give to help the Murderpedia project stay alive. We have many
plans and enthusiasm to keep expanding and making Murderpedia a better site, but we really
need your help for this. Thank you very much in advance.




Robert H. WHITE





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Gamblers using a marked cards scheme - Dispute over payment
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: May 6, 1928
Date of birth: 1889
Victim profile: Louis LaVell (his friend and gambling associate)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Elko, Nevada, USA
Status: Executed by asphyxiation-gas in Nevada on June 2, 1930

Robert H. White was executed in the Nevada State Prison on June 2, 1930 for the crime of murder.

He was convicted of killing Louis LaVell in Elko in eastern Nevada on May 6, 1928. White, LaVell and a third person were all gamblers using a marked cards scheme in Elko. LaVell was supposed to pay White 25% of his earnings, there was a dispute over payment and LaVell was killed by White.

Robert White was 39 having been born in Texas in 1889, his occupation was listed as cafe manager.



The Killer was a Nice Guy

Elko, Nevada - May 6, 1928

By Howard Hickson - 

Around midnight, Mike Connis was looking for his friend and gambling associate, “Louie the Greek.” He had last seen Louis Lavell leave the Commercial Hotel with Bob White a few minutes before eleven p.m. Louie’s second floor room at the hotel was padlocked on the outside. For more than three hours Mike searched various clandestine gambling places in downtown Elko.

In 1928 gambling was not legal in Nevada. That didn’t come until 1931. This fact of law has  never discouraged those who pursue Lady Luck. Elko boasted several dimly lighted places where bets could be made around card tables. 

Mike, Louie, and Bob, weren’t taking any chances when it came to playing poker. They hatched a scheme to tilt the advantage toward them - as one might say, a sure thing for the trio. Bob took marked cards to his friends who worked in some of the joints. The cards were slipped into play. Louie and Mike, if they recognized their crooked cards, sat in on the games and raked in a bundle of money almost every time they played. Mike and Louie were between games that fateful night and sitting in the lobby of the Commercial.

In his early fifties, Lavell was truly the epitome of a successful gambler. The evening of May 6, 1928, he was wearing a custom tailored blue suit, blue knit tie sporting a gold stick pin, gold cuff links, a fashionable light gray hat, and a belt with a fancy monogrammed buckle. His attire was perfect for his profession.

Connis was not nearly as flashy. In fact, he was plain in dress and personality. Totally opposite of Louie, they made an effective team at the poker table. 

Everybody liked White. Bob would do just about anything for a friend or even a stranger in need. With his honest looking face most people tended to accept him at face value. He ran a taxi service from the Mayer Hotel, where the Stockmen’s stands today. He took sick school kids home, even drove the school bus. Bob sure had people fooled. For three months, he and his partners, had been making a darned good living at night with the marked cards. 

While Louis and Mike were at the Commercial, White purchased a flashlight and loaded five cans of gasoline into his car trunk. He then drove to the Commercial where he stood just outside the door and peered in. Lavell saw White and went out to talk with him. After talking for a couple of minutes, the two got into White’s Packard and drove off. It was a few minutes before eleven p.m.

Less than twenty minutes later two married couples were driving up the Hesson Powder House road east of town. Nearing the powder house, they saw the interior light of an automobile glowing just ahead of them. As they passed they saw Bob White, alone, sitting inside his Packard. They continued up the road until they found a turnaround. Starting back down they saw White’s car speeding back toward town.

Early Monday morning White’s wife boarded the eastbound train.

Monday evening, Connis was eating at the Commercial when he saw White walk in. He asked if Bob had seen Louie. White told him he hadn’t. Connis pointed out that he had seen Louie and him talking and then both left in Bob’s car. White turned and stalked out. Mike dropped in at the Sheriff’s office around eight p.m. and reported that Lavell was missing and he feared that something awful had happened to his poker partner.

Bob and Mike had another confrontation Tuesday morning in front of the Mayer Garage. Connis accused White of doing something to Louie. The cab driver angrily denied seeing Louis, claiming he had been home all night.

After the incident, Bob headed for Secret Pass. He stopped at the 71 Ranch and talked with William Wright for a while. On his way again he spotted a car with a flat tire and pulled over to help the people change it. He continued his drive up Secret Pass to the Ryan Place where he was leasing a cabin.

During the night the structure had burned to the ground. It was an extremely hot fire scorching poplar trees fifty feet away. People from Halleck and Ruby Valleys stopped to sightsee. There wasn’t anything anyone could do by now but look. They could see an iron bed, some chicken wire, and five blackened gas cans.

About the same time, three rabbit hunters were out near the powder house east of Elko and saw a light gray hat on the ground. Two areas of dried blood were found nearby. Returning to Elko and learning that a local gambler was missing, one of the hunters called Sheriff Joe Harris. Harris drove out to the powder house, retrieved the hat and saw that it had a bullet hole through it. Powder burns around the hole meant that the gun had been held very close to the hat when fired.

Wednesday morning found Harris and his deputies in Secret Pass at the Ryan cabin. Digging around the cold ashes, they found a cuff link, stick pin, the knot of a blue knit tie, a pocket knife, a glasses case, a tobacco sack, a platinum dental plate, some charred bones, and a belt buckle engraved with “Louis.”



home last updates contact