On January 5th 1971, former heavyweight champion Sonny Liston was found dead at his Las Vegas home.
Liston's death, labelled an overdose, has long hung over Las Vegas and the boxing world, leaving unanswered questions about his ties to mob kingpins, drug lords, billionaire hoteliers and powerful promoters.
Against the backdrop of the pivotal era in the history of Las Vegas when the mob turned a sleep desert oasis into a gambling paradise, The Murder of Sonny Liston is both a riveting murder hunt and a stunning portrait of a city that was home to the Rat Pack, race riots and glittering high-rises along the strip.
Shaun Assael, who has been with ESPN The Magazine since its launch in 1996, is a member of ESPN's investigations unit and a regular contributor to the prime-time show E:60. He is also the author of three books: Wide Open: Days and Nights on the NASCAR Tour; Sex, Lies, and Headlocks, which was a New York Times bestseller; and Steroid Nation.