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Episode 23: The Mustang Ranch: Money, Women and Murder

Case File

The Mustang Ranch: Money, Women and Murder

  • The World's Oldest Profession
  • Prostitution. In Nevada, brothels are a $50 million industry where girls can easily pull in a thousand dollars a night. In the U.S. such a job is possible in large part thanks to one man... Joe Conforte, America's father of legalized prostitution.
  • America's Brothel King & His Madam
  • There's money to be made and Joe Conforte wants in on the brothel business. The young entrepreneur begins to build his empire in the 1950's. He quickly hooks up with brothel owner Sally Burgess. The two marry in a union based on business.
  • Trouble in Paradise
  • The brothel boss is taking in millions. But, Joe Conforte wants more. He decides to back a boxing heavyweight named Oscar Bonavena. But the fighter is after more than a shot at the title... he's after Joe's wife. Joe warns Oscar to get out of town. Oscar stays and is murdered.
  • The Law
  • Joe Conforte likes to keep the local lawmen happy with what he calls "favors" that might include free sex with his girls. In return, the officials help keep the brothel open for business. Joe's might be King in Stoney County, Nevada where local officials toe the line. But, the feds are not as friendly. The IRS is after Joe for $18 million in back taxes, fines and penalties.

Web Extras

  • The Mustang Ranch: Sex for Sale Wednesday, 18 Feb 2009 | 1:14 PM ET
    The Mustang Ranch where sex is always for sale. Under Nevada state law, certain counties are allowed to license and regulate brothels. It's a booming $50 million business.

    The Mustang Ranch - where sex is always for sale. Under Nevada state law, certain counties are allowed to license and regulate brothels. It's a booming $50 million business.

  • Mustang Ranch Tour     Wednesday, 18 Feb 2009 | 12:00 AM ET

    Madam Susan Austin gives a tour of Nevada¿s Mustang Ranch. Upcoming Show: Mustang Ranch: Money, Women and Murder.

  • The Mustang Ranch/American Greed     Tuesday, 3 Mar 2009 | 12:00 AM ET

    Joe Conforte, Americaâ??s father of legalized prostitution made millions selling sex at his word-famous Mustang Ranch. It's a story of sex, money and murder.

  • How Sex is Sold at the Mustang Ranch     Wednesday, 18 Feb 2009 | 12:01 AM ET

    Former Madam Sharnel Silvey describes the process of buying a prostitute at the Mustang Ranch.

  • Joe Conforte: America's Father of Legalized Prostitution Wednesday, 18 Feb 2009 | 5:42 PM ET
    The Mustang Ranch. It's the famous brothel where sex is always for sale. Joe Conforte is the pioneering pimp who makes millions peddling sex at the Nevada Ranch. He creates a brothel empire and defies the law. But his thirst for power and influence ultimately bring him down.American Greed profiles the story of a sex, power and death.

    Joe Conforte is the pioneering pimp who makes millions peddling sex at the Nevada Ranch. He’s creates a brothel empire and defies the law. But his thirst for power and influence ultimately bring him down.

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