Published Monday, April 7, 2008 | noon
Updated Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008 | 5:20 p.m.
“Buffalo” Jim Barrier, a colorful wrestling promoter and auto mechanic who had a running feud with former Crazy Horse Too owner Rick Rizzolo, has died.
Clark County Coroner Mike Murphy says the body of the 55-year-old Barrier was found Sunday afternoon at a Motel 6 on Boulder Highway and positively identified by a family member. Barrier was pronounced dead at 2:30 p.m.
“Foul play is not suspected at this point,” Murphy says. “But we still have a lot of work to do.”
Murphy says a medical examination of the body was planned for today, and the coroner’s office would wait for the results of toxicology tests and an analysis of tissue samples before ruling on the cause of death.
To Barrier’s longtime lawyer and friend, Robert Lueck, his death appears suspicious.
“Nothing is adding up here,” he says. “It makes no sense.”
Lueck says that prior to his death, Barrier was excited about a deal to move his auto repair shop away from Rizzolo’s Crazy Horse Too business mall on Industrial Road. Barrier also had told a reporter that he was close to an agreement to do a reality television series about his chaotic life.
Throughout his long conflict with Rizzolo, his landlord, Barrier had kept in frequent contact with reporters and FBI agents investigating the former strip club operator. He helped attract media interest in the federal racketeering probe, which eventually led to Rizzolo striking a deal with the government and pleading guilty to tax evasion in 2006.
Rizzolo gave up control of the Crazy Horse Too as part of his agreement with the government and recently finished serving 10 months behind bars. He is back in Las Vegas.