Benjamin “don't call me Bugsy” Siegel, the man who brought organized crime to the West Coast, is shot and killed at his mistress Virginia Hill’s home in Beverly Hills, California. Siegel had been talking to his associate Allen Smiley when three bullets were fired through the window and into his head, killing him instantly.

In 1945, Siegel had a brilliant idea. Just hours away from Los Angeles sat the sleepy desert town of Las Vegas, Nevada. It had nothing going for it except for a compliant local government and legal gambling. Siegel decided to build the Flamingo Hotel in the middle of the desert with $6,000,000, a chunk of which came from the New York syndicate.

Ben Siegel center in blue suit

On June 20, 1947, Siegel was killed while reading newspaper at the Beverly Hills home of his girlfriend, Virginia Hill. He was shot through the windows six times with a .30-caliber military M1 carbine.

Autopsy revealed that one bullet entered the back of Bugsy’s skull, exiting through an eye (police later found the eyeball across the room) His killer was never positively identified and no one was charged with the murder.

Virginia Hill

Making matters even worse for Bugsy, his squeeze Hill had once been the moll of top New York mob boss Joey Adonis. "Adonis hated Bugsy Siegel because of the Virginia Hill thing, and they thought, 'OK, the Flamingo is up and running, get rid of him,'" Bugsy Siegel Author Andy Edmonds said.

Edmonds believes the actual order came not from Siegel's New York crime family associates, but from the Chicago Outfit, and that Hill cooperated.
"They left it up to Virginia Hill, who was closest to him, to get him in place to make sure the hit would go down," Edmonds said.

Eddie Cannizzaro was long known to law enforcement as a hired gun. In his later years, after retiring to Agoura and devoting himself to cats, he began to talk of his younger days. He copped to a newspaper reporter and two federal investigators it was he who killed Siegel and several others.

Cannizzaro died in 1987 without ever being charged for the Siegel homicide. Nor was Hill, who Edmonds sees as transforming from Bugsy's baby to Bugsy's betrayer. READ MORE HERE

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