this day in crime history: february 10, 1981

 Phillip Bruce Cline
Phillip Bruce Cline

On this date in 1981, a fire broke out at the Las Vegas Hilton hotel. The fire came 90 days after a fatal fire at the Las Vegas MGM Grand had killed 85 people. As a result of the MGM Grand fire, the Hilton was undergoing a modernization of its fire safety system on the day the fire started.

Eight people were killed in the fire and dozens more were injured. An investigation into the cause of the fire revealed it to be arson. Police quickly zeroed in on a suspect: hotel employee Phillip Cline. Cline eventually confessed to starting the blaze, but claimed it was an accident. The fact that the fire had four apparent points of origin cast serious doubt on Cline’s story. He was tried and convicted on eight counts of murder and was sentenced to eight consecutive life terms in prison. He is currently incarcerated at Nevada’s High Desert State Prison.

Further reading:

Clark County Nevada – Las Vegas Hilton Fire – February 10, 1981

Las Vegas Review JournalKiller says deadly Hilton blaze in 1981 ‘wasn’t meant to hurt anybody’

Wikipedia – Las Vegas Hilton


4 thoughts on “this day in crime history: february 10, 1981

  1. John D.:
    Some folks just cannot be content with being an employee for a decent-paying outfit like a casino…and in Vegas, no less.
    Takes all kinds of sick-os out there.
    (and I sure miss places to properly put such people).

    Good story.

    Roll safe out there.


  2. Reminds me of those idiots who started the deadly hotel fire in Puerto Rico. At least this guy is still locked up (and hopefully will remain so).


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