I don’t know how much Showtime paid when they bought the rights to Shaun Assael’s book alleging Sonny Liston was murdered, but the cable TV network got taken if it was looking for a true story. Assael, who claims to be a journalist and has won non-fiction awards for The Murder of Sonny Liston, appears to have failed to perform even the most basic fact-checking before offering up a ridiculous scenario implicating my father, Ash Resnick, in Liston’s “murder.”
Assael offers the theory that my father had Sonny rubbed out by former Las Vegas cop Larry Gandy, who supposedly first shot at my father’s moving car, then was rewarded for his murder attempt with a contract on Liston, courtesy of my dad.
Never mind the twisted logic – a quick review of the timeline reveals Assael’s reckless disregard for the pesky facts, which fail to conform to his fake narrative.
Sonny Liston died on or about December 30, 1970. My father was shot at on his way home from Caesars Palace in October of 1971, ten months after Liston’s death. It’s not the only error in the book, but certainly the most critical, at least as far as my father’s reputation is concerned and one that could have easily been fact-checked.
I’ve asked Assael to document the story he tells in his book, which lacks any sourcing, but so far he’s failed to respond. Thankfully, the Showtime documentary, due out next year, will not be based entirely on Assael’s error-riddled work. I spent most of Friday afternoon being interviewed for the project.