Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel was one of the biggest and most flamboyant mobsters of his time. He’s remembered most famously as the founder of Las Vegas.
Since his youth, he’d been running with small time gangs in his ghetto of a neighborhood, with fellow crooks Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky. He was born on February 28, 1906 to poor Russian Jewish parents in the slums of Brooklyn, and crime was always a part of his life. He and his chums took up racketeering and petty robberies, and soon advanced their way up the gangland ladder.
Bugsy was gangland slang for crazy, and Ben was as nutty as hell. When he suspected a guy of cheating in a poker game, he shot him multiple times then asked him to ante up. When he didn’t, Ben looked at his deck and deemed it nutty that he didn’t bet when he had a full house.
He was extremely volatile and bad tempered, and would violently assault anyone who called him Bugsy. But he was reliable and would always stick up for his friends in a fight. Ben could be a ladies man and a charmer, so it was odd that at the same time he was homicidal and psychopathic, and loved to rape and murder.
In 1946, Siegel moved out to Las Vegas, craving legitimacy and respect. He started up a casino called the ‘Fabulous Flamingo,’ named after his whore of a girlfriend Virginia Hill. He became a huge celebrity, friends with the likes of George Raft, and his sexy good looks could’ve easily got him a movie deal, but he was too timid to ask, believe it or not.
However, not everything was diamonds and roses for dear Benjamin. The mob was getting angry, Ben was losing money through carelessness (his builders were screwing him over), and the costs soon soared up above 4 million. The Fab Flamingo started making profits eventually, but it was too late.
This handsome sociopath was whacked by his own associates and friends on June 20, 1947. He was only 41. They’d shot him in the head and ruined his pretty face.