Tuesday, December 3, 2013

"Bugsy" Siegel

Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel (born Benjamin Siegelbaum February 28, 1906 – June 20, 1947) was an American gangster who was an associate of the Genovese crime family.

Siegel was a driving force behind development of Las Vegas as a gambling mecca.
Bugsy Siegel was a textbook sociopath and murderer many times over. Ruthless and cold blooded, remorse was alien to him. In gangster circles, the nickname "Bugsy" is often a term of endearment or honor. It is given out to those racketeers who show no fear.

Seigel was quoted as saying "My friends call me Ben, strangers call me Mr. Siegel, and guys I don't like call me Bugsy, but not to my face."

In 1937, the East Coast mob sent Siegel to California to develop syndicate gambling rackets with Los Angeles crime family boss, Jack Dragna. Using investments from the mob, he took over the plans to build the first casino resort in Vegas. The project ran far over budget as no expense was spared. The mob was not happy, as they had already put about 5 million dollars into the project.

By early November 1946 The syndicate issued an ultimatum: provide accounting or forfeit ...
On the night of June 20, 1947, as Siegel sat with his associate Allen Smiley in Virginia Hill's Beverly Hills home reading the Los Angeles Times, an unknown assailant fired at him through the window with a .30-caliber military M1 carbine, hitting him many times, including twice in the head.

No one was charged with the murder, and the crime remains officially unsolved.