Bugsy's Baby: The Secret Life of Mob Queen Virginia Hill

Andy Edmonds, Author Carol Publishing Corporation $19.95 (260p) ISBN 978-1-55972-164-6
Edmonds ( Hot Toddy ) here focuses on one of the more notorious women of mid-century America, who was brought to prominence by the Kefauver Senate crime hearings of 1951-1952. Born into grinding poverty in Alabama, Hill discovered as a teenager that sex brought money. At the age of 17, when she went to Chicago to work at the 1933 World's Fair, she was picked up by the Mafia. The gangsters quickly discovered that she knew how to keep her mouth shut and that she did not skim cash from the large sums she couriered for them. As both the Chicago and New York mobs began to eye California and Nevada for expansion, Hill became a spy of sorts for the Chicago branch, moving to New York City and taking up with Joe Adonis and Bugsy Siegel. Siegel cheated the mob in building the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and was killed in 1947, while Hill was conveniently in Europe. But then her usefulness to the mobs diminished, and she was found dead in Austria in 1966. Edmonds contends that she was murdered because of a diary she threatened to make public. While there are new revelations in the book, much of the material is already known. Nevertheless, the story of the cunning, devious, ruthless Hill should draw a wide readership. Photos not seen by Publishers Weekly. TV rights to Lorimar. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1993
Release date: 03/01/1993
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