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Coroner's office rules suicide in death of music industry insider

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Updated: 11/28/2012 4:22 pm
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- The death of a music dealmaker who helped bring Donald Trump to Las Vegas and attempted to install Michael Jackson as the headline act at a themed casino was a suicide, the Clark County coroner ruled Wednesday.

Jack Wishna, 54, died of carbon monoxide intoxication before he was found Tuesday in a vehicle in the garage of his home in Henderson, Coroner Mike Murphy said.

Wishna was a wheeler and dealer who will be remembered for orchestrating a multimillion-dollar agreement between performer Wayne Newton and the Stardust casino, said Dan Wilinsky, a spokesman for Wishna's latest project.

In a statement Wednesday, Newton called Wishna a longtime friend, and said his death came as a tremendous surprise.

Wishna is credited with bringing Trump and Treasure Island owner Phil Ruffin together to build the Trump International Tower on the Las Vegas Strip, and he was instrumental in persuading Jackson to return from his extended stay abroad in the mid-2000s, said Randall Sullivan, author of "Untouchable: The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson."

Jackson, who had been castle-hopping in Ireland, came straight to Las Vegas from Dublin.

"Michael arrived in a private jet and Wishna and his wife were there to meet him," Sullivan said. "So that tells you that Wishna was the guy in Michael's life at the time."

Wishna wanted to install the singer in a new themed casino with facade of flashing lights and a picture of Michael Jackson, Sullivan said.

Wishna had recently been developing a social media website for musicians and their fans. He billed the site RockCityClub.com as a new way to discover talent and create rock stars.

Wishna is survived by his wife, Donna.

©2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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