Truckee writer’s e-book on Harvey’s bombing now available |

Truckee writer’s e-book on Harvey’s bombing now available

Special to the Sun
Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.comCheck out Truckee author Jim Sloanandamp;#8217;s latest publication, an e-book about the Harveyandamp;#8217;s bombing, available at the Kindle store on

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. – Long-time Truckee author Jim Sloan has just published his first e-book, “Render Safe: The Untold Story of the Harvey’s Bombing.” The $1.99 book is available at the Kindle store on, a former Reno Gazette-Journal reporter and investigative journalist, is the author of two previous books, “Nevada: True Tales from the Neon Wilderness,” published by the University of Utah Press, and “Staying Fit After 50: Conditioning for Outdoor Activities,” published by The Mountaineers Books of Seattle. His work has also appeared in two anthologies: “Literary Las Vegas,” from Henry Holt, and “Literary Nevada: Writings from the Silver State,” from the University of Nevada Press.Sloan said “Render Safe” tells the behind-the-scenes story of the extortionists and law enforcement agents who squared off in a war of wills after a massive, homemade bomb was placed in the executive offices of Harvey’s Resort Hotel at Stateline in August 1980.Sloan, who covered the extortion attempt as a reporter for The Sacramento Bee, pieced together the nail-biting narrative through court records, trial transcripts and dozens of interviews and eyewitness accounts of the event. Among those Sloan interviewed was John Birges, the troubled genius who designed the bomb, and his son, who later testified against his father.The book’s introductionIn the early morning hours of Aug. 26, 1980, three men wheeled what looked like a piece of office equipment into the second floor offices of the 11-story Harvey’s Resort Hotel at Stateline, Lake Tahoe. The “machine” – as the men sometimes called it – was actually a homemade bomb filled with 907 pounds of explosives.The bomb, designed with a dizzying array of triggering devices, could never be rendered safe, the bombers said in a letter they left behind that morning. The only thing authorities would be able to do is find out how to move it out of the casino to a safe place in the desert, where it could be detonated without destroying any buildings or killing any people.But the only way to get that information, the bombers said, was to pay them $3 million in unmarked $100 bills. Harvey’s had 24 hours to act. “Any deviation from these conditions will leave your casino in shambles,” the bombers warned.For the next three days, the normally bustling casino district of Lake Tahoe was shut down as bomb experts from around the country tried to disable the device and authorities tried to meet the extortionists’ demands. The bomb squad would later say that they had never seen a homemade bomb so complex and so powerful, and to this day it remains the most bewildering improvised explosive device the FBI has ever encountered.The web address for the book is further information contact Jim Sloan at or 775-303-6213.