If you’re driving along Interstate 80 at the Utah-Nevada border, or as its commonly called “cowboy corridor,” your eyes will be drawn towards a massive neon cowboy, waving suggestively into the sun. This cowboy’s name is Wendover Will and he has been welcoming gamblers to West Wendover, Nevada, for almost 7 decades.
West Wendover is a small city that has thrived under a lucrative gambling industry in Nevada. In addition, it’s also known for it’s legal brothels and the air force base where Enola Gay took off, heading for Hiroshima. In fact, scenes from the movie, Independence Day, were filmed here.
Amidst these tales, however, is a story so shocking that is still wends through the deserts of West Wendover. A story about a tragic night where three local families lost their teenage children.
The Salt Lake Tribune, 18 April, 2012 – “W. Wendover Teen Sentenced to up to Life for Killing Schoolmate”
Elko Daily Free Press, 14 July, 2011 – “Fratto Hearing Begins DA Presents Evidence in Teen Murder”
The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 May, 2011 – “West Wendover Teen Charged in Classmate’s Murder”
Reno Gazette Journal, 17 July, 2011 – “Woman to Stand Trial in Student’s Murder”
Reno Gazette Journal, 10 March, 2011 – “Nevada Student Charged in Slaying”
Elko Daily Free Press, 8 March, 2011 – “Wendover Grieves: Friends Gather to Remember Micaela Costanzo”
Dateline NBC, 30 August, 2014 – “A High School Beauty Found Dead in the Desert”
Dateline: The Story of 16-Year-Old Micaela Costanzo