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Wife Masterminded Murder-For-Hire Killing of Las Vegas Entertainer and Club Owner 

After Harry Wham was gunned down in his garage, “bleeding profusely from his face and head,” his wife Peggy dropped a bombshell: he was the victim of another shooting weeks earlier.

By Joe Dziemianowicz

On February 13, 1983, a 911 dispatcher received a call from the Greenbriar Condominium complex situated seven miles from the Las Vegas Strip.

How to Watch

Watch Sin City Murders on Oxygen Sundays at 7/6c and next day on Peacock. 

At the scene, police found Vegas entertainer and club owner Harry Wham gunned down in his car in his garage “bleeding profusely from his face and head,” Tom Roberts, a retired Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department assistant sheriff, told Sin City Murders, airing Sundays at 7/6c p.m. on Oxygen.

After several attempts to save him, Wham succumbed to what appeared to be multiple gunshot wounds.

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What happened to Harry Wham?

Witnesses told police they heard gunshots and saw a Black man in a dark suit running from the crime scene, said John L. Smith, a former Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter and columnist.

Wham, 63, suffered gunshots to his head and neck. The musician and local celebrity lived in the residence with his wife, Peggy Wham, a singer also known as Stormy, NBC-affiliated Las Vegas station KSNV reported. She appeared distraught, so investigators decided to question her later.

In addition to several 22-caliber bullet casings at the scene, investigators found that Wham still had his wallet, rings and watch, according to Tom Dillard, a retired Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department homicide detective.

While a crime scene team sought to collect fingerprints, Wham’s body was taken to the Clark County coroner’s office.

Keyboard Lounge featured on Sin City Murders Episode 105

Who was Harry Wham?

With no apparent motive for the murder, detectives dove into the victim’s background. Wham’s career reached back several decades as a keyboard player and vocalist.

“Harry Wham was a showman,” his grandson, Ed Lance, told Sin City Murders. “He played many lounges in Las Vegas... Everyone liked to be around him.”

While his career clicked along steadily, Wham went through five divorces. On January 1, 1978, Wham, then in his late 50s, married 36-year-old singer Peggy.

They each had children from previous marriages but had none together. They opened a business together — the Keyboard Lounge. Located five miles from the Strip, it was popular with locals.

“Las Vegas has been a good town for me,” Wham had said in a recorded interview.

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Police dig deeper into Harry Wham's killing

Detectives interviewed Wham’s neighbors again. The witnesses said that Wham had expressed fear for his safety and had plans to leave town, said Roberts.

Keyboard Lounge employees said they didn't know about any enemies who’d want to harm Wham. Detectives focused on a possible financial motive for murder. They learned that Wham didn’t carry cash from the business on him and that when he was killed, there was no theft of his property.

Investigators started hearing whispers in the press that a well-known underground figure may have been behind the entertainer’s murder.

According to Lance, his grandfather was as tough as he was generous. Lance said that there was a story of “Harry kicking out a mob enforcer and saying, ‘Your money's no good here.’ That’s the kind of guy that he was."

The mobster angle wasn’t fully compelling to investigators. About 24 hours into the case, detectives spoke with Peggy. She told them that her husband wasn’t fleeing to South America, but going to make use of his new scuba gear.

Peggy Wham featured on Sin City Murders Episode 105

Harry Wham's wife drops a bombshell revelation

Then she dropped a bombshell. Just a few weeks earlier, Wham was the victim of another shooting.

“The previous attempt occurred right there in the same spot and around the garage,” said Dillard, who called it a “carbon copy” of the later shooting.

Paul Figlia, a now retired Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officer, worked the earlier case. Wham said a Black male approached him with a handgun, said it was a robbery and then shot him.

Figlia’s investigative senses tingled. “I took the opportunity to ask Harry if he really thought this was some sort of attempted robbery and he just shrugged his shoulders,” he said.

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When he learned that Wham had been murdered, Figlia was convinced the robbery claim was masking the true motive.

Autopsy results confirmed that Wham had been shot by a 22-caliber handgun. A projectile was recovered from Wham’s body.

John Oliver Snow featured on Sin City Murders Episode 105

Key witness Sally Cook describes a conspiracy

Three days into the case, detectives got a hot tip from a security guard who learned of a plot to kill Wham from his girlfriend, Sally Cook. She’d overhead others talking about the scheme. She was Peggy Wham’s sister.

The guard agreed to wear a wire to get more information from Cook. In this conversation, she revealed that Peggy was part of the conspiracy, said Roberts. Police also learned that Peggy was having an affair with Atlantic City dealer Doug Parker.

Doug’s brother John and his girlfriend Kathy Faltinowski, Peggy’s daughter, were in on the plot, according to police.

Robert Teuton, a former Deputy District Attorney for Clark County, told Sin City Murders that, "The Parker brothers both had a drug background," and were planning to sell cocaine out of the Keyboard Lounge.

Cook said the same group planned the first failed attempt on Wham’s life. She revealed that the shooter was John Oliver Snow, a felon from New Jersey.

Police hustled to track down the hitman as they sought to corroborate the claim that Peggy was behind her husband’s execution.

Police learned that she’d shot him in the arm two years earlier during a domestic disturbance, according to Sin City Murders. Wham didn’t press charges.

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Working with members of the Newark police department in New Jersey, detectives got pictures of Snow, but witnesses to the February 13 shooting failed to identify Snow in a photo array.

Through Cook, detectives learned that Snow holed up at the Golden City motel, a few miles from the crime scene from February 11 to 17.

Through a fingerprint left on a heater in the room he’d signed into, and guests who were able to identify him, police confirmed that Snow had been there.

Cook told police that Peggy stole money from the lounge and gave it to Doug Parker, who handed it over to Snow. “We suspect she paid for both attempts on Harry's life,” said Roberts.

Golden City Motel featured on Sin City Murders Episode 105

Peggy Wham, conspirators, hitman arrested and tried

Through a Western Union money order police turned up, they were able to link Peggy to Snow. She was arrested on February 17 at the Keyboard Lounge, four days after her husband was killed. The Parker brothers and Faltinowski were arrested the same day.

“Upon Kathy's arrest, she completely breaks down and corroborates the entire plot,” said Roberts.

Las Vegas police still needed to apprehend alleged triggerman Snow, who they discovered was being arraigned on an unrelated charge in New Jersey.

Snow was arrested by New Jersey police on the Nevada murder indictment. His belongings included a note with the name and phone number of one of the Parker brothers.

After initially hitting a hurdle because of a fake alibi Snow had manufactured and extradition issues, Vegas police eventually had all the suspects rounded up.

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Peggy was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Though she faced the death penalty, she was hit with two concurrent life sentences without parole. In 1998, Nevada's Pardons Board granted Peggy's request to be freed from prison because her death from cancer was said to be imminent, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

In April of 1984, Snow was convicted. He was sentenced to death. Doug Parker received two consecutive life terms with the possibility of parole after 20 years. John Parker and Kathy Faltinowski got life sentences with the chance of parole for their roles in the murder.

Learn where the conspirators are today and more about this case in the “Last Call at the Keyboard Lounge" episode of Sin City Murders, airing Sundays at 7/6 p.m. on Oxygen.