Nevada brothel owner died of heart attack, autopsy shows

RENO, Nev. – Authorities released the autopsy report Thursday for Nevada brothel owner and politician Dennis Hof, who died in his sleep last October after his 72nd birthday party. 

The report, released by the Nye County Sheriff’s Office in full, says Hof died of a heart attack caused by heart disease. 

A toxicology report revealed Hof also had THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, and sildenafil, a generic erectile dysfunction drug, in his system. 

The cause of death was ruled natural. 

The Clark County coroner handled Hof’s autopsy and post-death medical examinations as Nye County does not have a coroner. 

Hof, who described himself as the “P.T. Barnum of the sex industry” to the Reno Gazette Journal in 2015, owned several brothels in Nevada and made the national spotlight while starring in the HBO series “Cathouse.” 

He also was a budding politician who dubbed himself the “Trump of Pahrump.” 

Hof was a Republican running for the Nevada Assembly at the time of his death and was posthumously elected to the seat during the Nov. 6 general election. 

Gregory Hafen, general manager of Pahrump Utility Co., was appointed to fill Hof’s seat at the Legislature. 

On Oct. 15, the night before his death, Hof celebrated his 72nd birthday with a guest list that included former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio and tax opponent Grover Norquist. There was also a special call-in from Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson. 

Hof was discovered at around 11 a.m. the next day by adult film star Ron Jeremy in a bedroom at his Love Ranch brothel in Crystal, Nevada. 

In September 2018, the Nevada Department of Public Safety said it was investigating Hof at the request of the Carson City Sheriff’s office.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that three former prostitutes accused Hof of sexual assault in 2005, 2009 and 2011 at his Bunny Ranch brothel near Carson City and Love Ranch brothel outside Las Vegas. Hof denied the allegations. Prosecutors declined to file, citing the expired statute of limitations.

 

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