MUST SEE: Rare Bugsy Siegel Footage

Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel was killed on June 20, 1947, at 10:45 pm West Coast time.

[Watch film footage below, the man wearing the maroon jacket is said to be Bugsy. I don't know...but first see the rare footage that is Bugsy Siegel....)

The gangster often identified as the visionary of Las Vegas was 41 years old. As recounted (here), he was killed around three months after The Flamingo reopened in March 1947, once construction was completed.

This IS rare footage of Bugsy Siegel.....

At least one gunman crept up to a French window with a 30-30 carbine, resting the rifle on the lattice work of a trellis outside the Moorish‐style mansion Siegel shared with Virginia Hill at 810 North Linden Drive in Beverly Hills, California.

Siegel sat on a couch, his back facing the gunman, who was only about 15 feet away, separated by glass. Siegel flipped through a copy of the Los Angeles Times he had picked up after dining at Jack’s on the Beach, when the gunmen squeezed off nine shots, two hitting Siegel in the head and two more tearing through his chest.

He died nearly instantly, and the high-profile murder, subjected to an intensive investigation, remains unsolved to this day.

Is the man in the maroon jacket Bugsy Siegel?

The two most common theories identify the shooters as either Frankie Carbo, a former associate who helped Siegel commit an early murder, or Eddie Cannizzaro, a low‐level operative for LA gangster Jack Dragna, the boss Siegel had squeezed out of the lucrative wire-racing racket.

But is the identity of the shooter as important as who was at the other end, the man who gave the order?

Here's something interesting I learned while researching this story: Bugsy was not alone when he was killed. Trusted friend and associate Allen Smiley was with him that night, sitting on the other end of the couch. Little has been written about Smiley or what he knew about the murder. His daughter, Luellen Smiley, has written a book about the her father. Excerpts and stories about Smiley can be read here, on her blog.

New Bugsy book looks to be authoritative.

Smiley and Siegel had met in Hollywood; Bugsy had begun vising the West Coast city in the 1930s to run rackets for the East Coast Mafia. Smiley's friendly demeanor supposedly served as a soothing balm capable of mitigating Siegel's notorious mercurial outbursts.

Smiley owned a piece of the Flamingo hotel, as did other mobsters (many other mobsters, in fact), and these business partners, according to the prevailing wisdom, are most likely responsible for Siegel's death. Meyer Lansky was part of this group of investors and the man who probably gave the order to whack Bugsy, although a deported Charley "Lucky" Luciano may have originated the order. This is definitely a topic worth taking a closer look at, perhaps in a later article.

The motive, in any case, was quite obvious -- too much cash had disappeared. Construction of the Flamingo had run into huge cost overruns. Girlfriend Hill was allegedly skimming (with or without Bugsy's knowledge).

Allen Smiley, who amazingly escaped injury, is the only eye witness. Luellen attributes her father's escape to luck. "It went right through his jacket, the bullets. The only reason he was saved is that he acted quickly and dove to the floor," she said.

After the murder, Smiley went on the lam for about a year. Some believe he had known about the hit in advance. His daughter doubts that. "Did he know it was coming? No, I don't think he'd be sitting there," she said. Luellen gave the New York Post an interview a few years back.

The original Flamingo, completed by Siegel.

Smiley told police that it was too dark for him to identify the shooter(s).

He told a longtime friend quite a different story, according to said friend, Lem Banker, the Las Vegas sports gambler, who is still at it today, apparently.


Post a Comment