Benjamin Siegel as he liked to be called, was probably one of the more famous mobsters of the 1930’s and 1940’s. Whether that was partly down to his striking movie star look, or charisma, or a bit of both.
Behind the camera and limelight he was a violent and ruthless mobster who was the main driving force behind the development of the Las Vegas Strip, which now serves as a tourist destination for millions around the world.
Jumping to the time of his death, Siegel was excessively spending Mafia money, and after being warned many times by Meyer Lansky, he just ignored it. It was also thought that Siegel was stealing some of the money.
In 1946, a meeting was held with the commission, as Lucky Luciano was in exile in Sicily at the time the meeting was held in Havana, Cuba so he could attend. This is where the decision to place a contract on Bugsy came about, although his long-time friend Meyer Lansky reluctantly agreed to the decision.
On the night of June 20, 1947, Ben Siegel sat with his associate Allen Smiley in Virginia Hills Beverly Hills home. As the famous photos show, he was reading a copy of the Los Angeles Times – which fell to the floor after the hit.
He was hit with .30-caliber military M1 carbine, which sprayed the house and hit him numerous times including twice in the head. He wasn’t shot in the eye, contrary to popular belief, if you grab a copy of the coroners report you will see that he was his on the right side of his head, and then again on the right bridge of his nose.
Why it looks like he was hit in the eye, was because the pressure of the bullet that hit him on the bridge of the nose actually blew his left eye out of the socket. Nice huh?
The other bullet as I say, entered his head from the right and left through the left side of his neck. Other bullets hit him in the lungs, and another 4 destroyed a white marble statue sitting on a grand piano, and ended up in a back wall.
There were a total of 9 shots fired into the house that night.