By Matt Goldstein
Benjamin Bugsy Siegel is being introduced in season 2 of HBO’s prohibition gangster series, Boardwalk Empire. Bugsy was the muscle for Meyer Lansky since they were kids in the streets of New York City. As they grew in power and created a partnership with Lucky Luciano and Frank Costello, Bugsy turned his street muscle into cold blooded killer. Luciano and Lansky were the richest gangsters of all time and Bugsy was the man behind the trigger. Check out the timeline of the legendary gangster, Benjamin Bugsy Siegel.
1910’s: Ben Siegel befriends Al Capone on the streets of Brooklyn.
1918: Ben Siegel and Moe Sideway start a gang in the streets of Brooklyn, stealing, racketeering, extortion and fighting.
1920: Bugsy meets Meyer Lansky and forms a street gang called the Bugs and Meyer gang. The gang was involved in gambling, bootlegging and theft. Lansky makes Bugsy Siegel his number 2. Siegel was a fearless enforcer, never hesitating to muscle anyone that got out of line.
1920: As portrayed on Boardwalk Empire, Joe “the Boss” Masseria finds out that Lansky and Siegal are running a gambling racket in his neighborhood. The consequences are harsh as Masseria’s men raided the game and forced the young thugs to pay tribute.
1920: Siegel responds with force, taking a few men in his gang and putting a full fledged beat down on a couple Masseria lieutenants. As usual, Siegal was fearless. Masseria was the boss of New York and had an army of men.
1920: As portrayed on Boardwalk Empire, Masseria attempts to recruit Luciano, but Lucky holds out and negotiates hard.
1920: Al Capone moves to Chicago to work for Johnny Torrio, and attempting to avoid a murder charge from a nightclub beating. Capone remains close with Siegal and Meyer.
1920: At the behest of Torrio and Capone, Lansky and Siegel have Big Jim Colossimo murdered by Frankie Yale in so Torrio and Capone can begin bootlegging.
1920: Meyer and Siegel actually have legitimate businesses that are doing just as well as their criminal activities.
1921: Meyer and Bugsy join forces with Lucky Luciano and Frank Costello and take protection from Arnold Rothstein.
1921: Bugsy murders the son of an Irish cop who put Luciano in jail. This is the first murder at the behest of Lansky. The street thugs are now full on gangsters.
1920s: Bugsy, Meyer and Luciano work under Joe “The Boss” Masseria and are closely affiliated with Albert Anastasia and Vito Genovese.
1920s: Luciano, Lansky, Siegel, Costello and Capone rise in power to become the richest and most feared gangsters in in the country.
1931: Ben Siegel assassinates Joe “the Boss” Masseria in his own restaurant with Luciano as a dinner guest. Siegel leads the way while Vito Genovese and Albert Anastasia are his accomplices. Lansky, Luciano and Siegel now control New York and much of the country.
1934: Bugsy murders long time friend Bo Wienberg for gangland related business.
1935: Waxey Gordon tries to kill Siegel and Lansky with a bomb. Escaping death, Siegel murders Waxey’s New York Lietenant, Tony Farazzo, in fron of Frazzo’s family. Siegel heads west to California because of the heat brought down from the murder.
1935: Moe Sedway heads west with Bugsy.
1936: Bugsy reunites with childhood friend George Raft who had become a famous movie star. Raft introduces Bugsy to many Hollywod stars.
1939: Bugsy kills longtime friend Harry “Big Greenie” Greenberg after Harry threatens to tell the police of all the gangs activities.
1940’s: Bugsy sets up a wire service in which makes the National Syndicate rich with gambling rackets all over the country.
1944: Bugsy has a big vision in turning Las Vegas from a two bit desert town into a gambling mecca in which the mob can make gambling money legitimately. Bugsy begins work on the Flamingo. Bugsy thought Flamingos were good luck.
1946: Lansky figures out Siegel has been stealing money from the mob and Flamingo budget and informs Costello, Luciano, and Genovese. Lansky, although heartbroken, gives the order to kill his childhood friend Benjamin Bugsy Siegel.
1947: Bugsy was at home in Hollywood and gunned down in his living room. Bugsy was hit four times and dead at the age of 42.
1947: That same night, Meyer Lansky’s associates took control of the Flamingo.