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Bugsy Siegel

Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel was born in 1906 in New York. One of the most famous gangsters in American history, Siegel is credited with the development of Las Vegas gambling and construction of the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in the Nevada desert.

He has been called a textbook sociopath. Bugsy Siegel took what he wanted when he wanted without ever a hint of remorse. To Bugsy, people existed so that they could be used by him. This is difficult to dispute when you look at his long record of robbery, rape and murder throughout his entire life.

Bugsy Siegel was a textbook sociopath. He took what he wanted when he wanted it and the emotion of remorse was alien to him. In his mind, other people were there to be used by him, which was demonstrated by his long record of robbery, rape and murder dating back to his teenage years.

As a young man, he extorted money from peddlers in New York and met up with Meyer Lanksy in 1918 and graduated to car theft, bootlegging and gambling rackets in New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia. The started a murder for hire operation and by 1931 was a hit man for Joe "the Boss" Masseria.

Bugsy Siegel Bugsy Siegel was sent to the west coast in 1937 by his bosses to develop gambling rackets in California. He did that as well as some drug smuggling and blackmail. He developed relationships with many Hollywood celebrities.

In 1945 he established a nationwide bookmaking service. Using funds from organizations back east he built the Flamingo Hotel in Casino in Las Vegas Nevada costing about 6 million dollars. Bugsy Siegel certainly wasn't the first to envision opportunities at this desert site two hours from Los Angeles. But it had one thing going for it - it was legal to gamble in Nevada. During the depression gambling was legalized to raise revenues for the government. In the 1940s the laws were expanded to include off-track betting on horse races. Bugsy was interested in this as a result of his interest in Trans America Wire a service used to establish his nationwide bookmaking service.

Lanksy and other crime bosses back east were growing displeased with Siegel's constant "skimming", cost overruns and bad checks. In 1947, Bugsy Siegel was gunned down by a hail of bullets in the living room of his Beverly Hills home. At almost exactly the same time, Lansky's men marched into the Flamingo announcing they were taking over.