The mansion where infamous mobster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel was shot and killed 75 years ago has come on the market in Beverly Hills, Calif. The asking price for the 7-bedroom Spanish Colonial-style home at 810 N. Linden Drive is $17 million. It’s not clear whether that includes a discount for what’s known in the real-estate business as being a “stigmatized property.”
On the night of June 20, 1947, Siegel, 42, was sitting on a couch in his house’s living room next to an associate, Allen Smiley, when a hail of bullets from an M1 carbine flew through the window. Siegel was hit twice in the face and twice in the chest. He died instantly. Smiley suffered only a bullet hole through his suit jacket.
Siegel’s murder was never solved and remains an open case.
Who was Bugsy Siegel?
Siegel was a charismatic but ruthless gangster whose nickname – which he hated, by the way – reflected the unpredictable fits of rage he was known to fly into. He operated the Flamingo for his mafia boss and childhood friend, Meyer Lansky. The mob took control of the casino hotel from Billy Wilkerson when the Hollywood Reporter founder went bust before construction was completed.
Under pressure to produce revenue, Siegel opened the Flamingo early — before even guest rooms were completed — the day after Christmas 1946. He ran into some bad luck, though. Heavy rains grounded the planes of some of his celebrity guests and the casino’s early gamblers won a fortune against the house. He had to close the place until March 1947 so more of it could be completed.
“He told his mob handlers to give it a chance, that the place would turn a profit — and it did for months in 1947,” former Mob Museum content developer and current Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jeff Burbank told Casino.org. “But it did not matter. It appears his mobster handlers decided he must be killed and replaced. Siegel caused too many problems and was not to be trusted with their money anymore. There were rumors Siegel was skimming. Even while owing so much money to so many other people, he was fundamentally deceitful.”
Siegel never owned the Beverly Hills house he was killed in. He rented it for his girlfriend, Virginia Hill, who was out of town on the night of her lover’s murder – fueling later speculation that she had been tipped off by the mob to the hit. The property has had many different owners before last changing hands in 2003.
“It really has such a big presence,” real-estate agent Myra Nourmand, whose Normand & Associates has the listing, told the Hollywood Reporter. “It sits on a knoll and is on half an acre. You walk in the entry with the staircase and the balcony and all of that has been completely maintained just the way it was done in 1928. Even the bathrooms are the original.”
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