On Nov. 26, 1996, former Somerset County, N.J., Prosecutor Nicholas Bissell — a onetime scourge of drug dealers and spokesman for law and order — was cornered in the Nevada casino town of Laughlin by federal marshals seeking to arrest him as a felony convict.
The Republican official had been convicted earlier that year of stealing $140,000 from his partner in a gas-station business and abusing his office by shaking down convicts in drug-forfeiture cases. While awaiting sentencing at home in Montgomery Township, he cut off his electronic monitoring bracelet and went on the run.
Eight days later, Bissell was found by the marshals pointing a gun at his head. After several minutes of negotiations, he finally declared: “I can’t do 10 years,” and blew his brains out.