6/20/1947 - "We only kill each other!" Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel's death proves the validity of his own statement when the mobster is gunned down in Beverly Hills, California, for failing to properly oversee Mob investments in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A shooting star of organized crime, Siegel grows up hard in Brooklyn and parlays the lessons he learns on its violent streets into a career in which bullets from his gun will kill mob boss Joe Masseria and end the Castellammarese War, he will protect his boyhood friend Al Capone from a murder rap by hiding him at a family member's home until charges are dropped as witness after witness lose their memories or vanish, and his muscle helps Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky form a national crime syndicate in which he founds the group of contract killers known as Murder, Inc.
Sent to California to handle the Mob's activities on the West Coast, the move will prove to be Siegel's undoing when he falls under the spell of the Hollywood lifestyle (among others he will be welcomed as a friend of studio heads Louie B. Mayer and Jack Warner, along with stars Jean Harlow, Gary Cooper, George Raft, and Italian Countess Dorothy DiFrasso) and begins an affair with Virginia Hill, a femme fatale known for secretly moving money for the syndicate in Chicago and for teaching sexual tricks to a host of bad boy gangsters.
Dreaming huge dreams that will come true for others, Siegel comes up with the idea of a desert paradise of entertainment and gambling that the mob will control and begins building the first Las Vegas casino, the Flamingo Hotel (Flamingo being his nickname for Hill). Lacking building and management skills however, the project soon becomes a horrible money drain (over $6,000,000 of syndicate money is pumped into the project), and when it is additionally discovered that some of the lost money has been skimmed into the pockets of Siegel and Hill, the die is cast for the killer to be killed and Meyer Lansky okays the execution of his childhood friend as ordered by an extremely upset Lucky Luciano at a meeting of criminal leaders that takes place in Cuba.
Relaxing in Hill's Beverly Hills mansion while his mistress is on a shopping spree in Paris, at 10:30 in the evening as Siegel sits on a sofa talking to associate Allen Smiley and reads the Los Angeles Times, a syndicate murder squad firing from just beyond a living room window makes good on the death contract and three 30.30 rifle bullets to the head turn the once handsome mobster into a dead and very gory mess (one of the rounds takes out the gangster's left eyeball)!
Dead at the young age of only 41, Siegel is buried in an expensive $5,000 silver-plated casket at a funeral attended by only five mourners: his ex-wife Esta, daughters Barbara and Millicent, his brother Maurice, and his sister Bessy. Officially, the murder is never solved!
Rest in Peace