Casino Bombing Figure Held on Probation Charge

A woman convicted in the 1980 bombing of a Lake Tahoe casino was arrested Tuesday for violation of probation, authorities said.

Ella Jean Williams, 56, was arrested at her Temple City home by Sheriff's deputies, Deputy Mary Landreth said. Williams was serving a five-year term of probation for her 1985 conviction as an accessory to extortion in the bombing of Harvey's Casino in Stateline, Nev.

Williams was the girlfriend of John Birges Sr., leader of a group that tried to extort $3 million from the casino in 1980. Birges and others planted a bomb in the hotel and demanded the money, which was never paid. The bomb caused $17 million in damage, but injured no one.

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