True Grue: The Bloody Murder of Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel
Welcome to FANGORIA’s first installment of “True Grue,” a weekly article that dives into real life harrowing horrors. For the interest of good taste, this graphic feature aims not to be exploitative, but rather informative, and rest assured, there are many different territories that will be strictly off-limits. But for those with a hungry mind and a strong stomach, read on at your own discretion…
There were few mobsters as notorious as Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel who, alongside Meyer Lansky, became a “celebrity gangster” while riding on a wave of murder, robbery and drug trafficking. Siegel, often described as charismatic and handsome, had affiliations with Al Capone and Charles “Lucky” Luciano, and was a major force in the early development of the Las Vegas Strip.
Besides also being a definitive force in establishing a West Coast Mafia, Siegel’s murder-for-hire ring, informally known as “Murder, Incorporated,” became one of the most sensational organized crime stories in history. His life inspired the Academy Award-winning film BUGSY and he’s been portrayed in projects such as MOB CITY, BOARDWALK EMPIRE and MOBSTERS.
On June 20th, 1947, Siegel was gunned down by an unknown assailant with an .30-caliber military M1 carbine gun through the window of his girlfriend’s apartment. He was hit many times, including in the chest, eye and throat, and died shortly after the attack. The crime scene photographs, as seen below, are legendary in starkly portraying the graphic reality of his injuries.