The letter next to the fake copy machine at Harvey’s Resort Hotel on Aug. 26, 1980, started with a warning.

“Do not move or tilt this bomb, because the mechanism controlling the detonators in it will set it off at a movement of less than .01 of the open end Ricter scale.”

A bomb threat in Tahoe’s casino district was not unchartered territory in 1980. The marriage of money, booze, hope and loss would occasionally birth a third-rate extortion attempt that almost always ended with the discovery of a fake device or no bomb at all. But investigators would soon learn the 1,200-pound device on the second floor of Harvey’s — where about 600 people were staying ahead of Labor Day weekend — was anything but third-rate.

Read more: The Record-Courier