Love story, with mpbsters, money and Hollywood stars and the appearance of a famous casino, on Sunday Readings.
Among machine guns, drugs and black money and a drum cut or a love affair, or a true love story.
Gangster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel and the beautiful Virginia Hill nicknamed “Flamingo”.
Here is the story of the most famous and heartbreaking love story in the world of gangsters in America, but also the history of one of the most famous casinos in Las Vegas.
The most charismatic and attractive mobster of all time was, without a doubt, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, a Jewish gangster by birth, born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1906. Blue eyes, a long figure, a smile on his face and the elegant suits made him irresistible. He looked like a real businessman, not a mobster.
He was furious when he was called Bugsy.
He claimed to be called Ben, from Benjamin, but the nickname under which he was known in the underworld was Bugsy. He was annoyed at the top when he was called that, so no one in his entourage had the courage to mention the nickname in his presence.
His childhood was truly fascinating. It was then that he met Al Capone and two of America’s greatest future mobsters: Mayer Lansky and Salvatore “Lucky” Luciano. With the last two he formed a famous trio of illegalities. Later, Lucky Luciano became the first mob boss of all American families, “Cappo di tutti cappi.” Unlike the other mobsters, who had a fierce attitude, Bugsy Siegel was charming, conquering and adored by women. At the age of 23, he married Esta Krakower, his childhood sweetheart, with whom he had two daughters. Nothing foretold then what would happen in his life…
“Flamingo” caught his mind at first sight.
In 1933, Siegel became head of the mafia in Los Angeles, California. He made contact with Hollywood stars, including Clark Gable, Gary Cooper and Cary Grant. Everyone said he looked even better than movie stars. At the same time, he met the one who would turn his life upside down and would exert the greatest influence on him: Virginia Hill, nicknamed “Flamingo”, because she had long, thin legs. She was, when Siegel met her, the girlfriend of another mob boss, Joe Adonis. It was an irresistible attraction on both sides, at first sight, a kind of magnetism that blocked their reason and generated a devastating relationship, in which the physical and the emotional reached levels of intensity unknown to either of them until that moment. Passion, jealousy, orgasm, addiction were intertwined in a “madness” of soul feelings.Virginia became Bugsy’s slave, and he became her slave.
He divorced and gave up all his wealth.
Virginia Hill broke off her relationship with Joe Adonis immediately after meeting Bugsy, but not without resentment from him. It was more complicated for Bugsy, who had a wife and two children in New York. Despite the mistress’s insistence not to break up her family, the mobster filed for divorce and settled permanently in Los Angeles, while his ex-wife remained in New York with their two daughters. Generously, he left Esther all the wealth he had amassed up to that point.
Bugsy Siegel and Virginia Hill were always seen at restaurants and parties together. As a mobster, he spent exorbitant sums of money, the origin of which was never known. When he entered a restaurant, everyone, from waiters to customers, almost bowed. Famous actors, smaller mobsters or cops were almost polishing Bugsy Siegel’s shoes.
“Flamingo” was, in turn, a very beautiful woman. Her dark hair, brown eyes, olive skin, long, thin legs made her irresistible. A psychological explanation for the image success of this couple is the combined look of the two, far above that of the movie stars of that time.
She inspired him to build up the largest casino.
Virginia inspired Siegel to develop America’s largest casino in the Nevada desert at the time. Suggestively called “Flamingo”, the place was the starting point of today’s full of gambling Las Vegas.
To respect the historical truth, we must say that the idea was not his, but that of a businessman, William Wilkerson, who began construction but ran out of money. Bugsy Siegel took over the project and went to New York to ask for funding from her two childhood friends who became undisputed leaders of the American mafia, Mayer Lansky and Lucky Luciano. They agreed to a $ 1 million total budget. As Siegel did not look at money and wanted luxury at any cost, the rise of the casino began to swallow much over budget. Every 3 months, an extra million dollars was needed. Soon, the mafia bosses came to despair and concluded that Siegel had lost his mind. But he was only blinded by his love for Virginia Hill, to which he dedicated his impressive construction.
His death plunged his beloved one into a severe depression.
When “Flamingo” spending exceeded $ 5 million, mafia bosses decided to liquidate Bugsy. With their souls destroyed, Mayer Lansky and Lucky Luciano voted in Havana, Cuba, to kill him. He was shot in the head and died immediately.
Virginia Hill was devastated to learn of the news and suffered severe depression for a year. Then he left for Europe, hoping she could forget everything. She married an Austrian skier, Hans Hauser, with whom she had a child.
She died at the age of 49, in her sleep, her relatives saying that, exactly the night before, she had dreamed of Bugsy…