Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel


Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel

June 20th, 1947 Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel was gunned down while relaxing at Virginia Hill’s house and reading the New York Times. The assailant shot at him through the window with a .30-caliber military M1 carbine, leaving his body riddled with holes, including two shots that hit him in the head. Bugsy was one of the first to be recruited by mob boss Meyer Lanksy, who wanted to be able to compete in the crime world against the Italians and Irish mobs that had gained power around the New York areas. Bugsy started as a bootlegger and soon dipped into leading hits on crime bosses and more.  As time went on, Bugsy was sent to Hollywood to conduct business when he fell into the lifestyles of the rich and famous, soon becoming friends with well known actors and Hollywood producers. He asked the mob for money to build a casino and hotel in Vegas, before there was a Vegas. It was his dream that Vegas would one day become the booming casino destination that we know it as today.

During the build of the Flamingo, he went on a spending spree and overshot the budget several times, constantly having to ask his mob investors for more cash to make the dream work. He was also holding cash back for himself along the way and they found out about it. The opening night of the casino was a disaster, and it appeared to the investors that his dream was a bad deal. Like most decisions in the mob world, a meeting was held and Bugsy Siegel was history. But the Flamingo soon flourished with visitors and it wasn’t long before buildings and casinos were built all around it, bringing more money to their investment than they could have ever imagined.

Bugsy never lived to see his dream come true, the lights, the casino, the hotel that became such a popular location. Some people believe that they have caught a glimpse of an apparition that looks like him hanging out around the wedding chapel and near a monument that was dedicated to him for his vision of Vegas


~ William C. Raustler