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Egged by the mob

19 Nov

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Dear fellow Flynn fans,

on April the 24th in 1944 at the Mocambo Nightclub Errol narrowly escaped an assassination attempt by the mafia. But it was not his life that was in danger, but rather his fair hair.

He became involved in a ladies`wrestling match between casino society member Virginia Hill and showgirl singer Toby Tuttle. It is not entirely clear what and who started the socialte scuffle, but somehow Flynn got between the lines of fire. An egg was thrown at our Hollywood hero and hit him bullseye on the head. Later one of them ready to hitwomen would say that was because he wasn´t galantly stepping up for her after a crude remark from the other fighting hen. Another source stated it was for his grinning and watching appreciatively while sport commentating the scene to his pest pal Freddie McEvoy.
Now while some papers spotted Miss Tuttle as the perpetratorette, others held Miss Hill responsible. She of course was “Bugsy`s girl”. Not Bugsy Malone, mind you, but Benjamin Siegel, jewish mobster debonaire, the founder of Murder Inc. and the builder of the Las Vegas Flamingo Casino Hotel.

Born and raised like kettle in Lipscomb (Alabama) Virginia ran away to Chicago at age 17.

“Where I lived was prison. There were ten kids in the family and no money. My father worked in a livery stable as a horse and mule trader while my mother ran a boarding house. My grandmother at eighty was still chopping cotton for a living. I swore the same wouldn`t happen to me.”

Starting out as waitress, she was always looking over her shoulder for police detectives coming to drag her back home.

“I had a story all figured out in case they found me. I was going to tell them I got married and had the wedding annulled. If they wanted to know in what court all that took place, I would tell them to find out for themselves, because I was under no legal obligation to tell them. I died a million deaths before I reached 18. All my life I have been afraid, maybe that`s why I do so many crazy things, just to prove myself that I´m not scared.”

Fatherfigure Joe Epstein made her a figurehead for his bookie joint. Soon the resolute redhead made so much money, she had trouble to account for her incredible income. She`d always claim her good fortunes resulted from the horse track. Her cross my heart hope to die tongue in cheek reference promptly got her summoned to Senator Kefauver`s crime- investigating comittee.

“Winning bets does only account for $15.000. Where does the rest of your money come from?”
“Men give it to me.”
“Why should they give you such large sums of money?”
“I`d rather not say.”
“You`ve got to answer or face up to three years imprisonment for contempt of court.”
“Alright, then, if you must know, it`s because I am the best goddamn lay in the country!”

She was a two time divorcée before settling in California, where she threw lavish parties for the Hollywood Community. The road to the Bug lead via Joey Adonis and over George Raft, who got introduced to her by Pat DiCicco. Her stalksy legs lent the Flamingo Club its name. The most modern and ornate gambling house opened on Dec. 26th, 1946. Night after night it came out $20000 in the red. Local townsfolk boycotted the temple of doom. Bugsy swore he would bury them all before he got out. It never came to that. Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel got shot and killed in Virginia`s monumental mansion at 810 Linden Drive in Beverly Hills on Errol`s birthday, June 20th of 1947. When Virgina got the news in Paris, her statements somehow varied.

“Please get that straight. People are saying I was his mistress and such stuff. That`s nonsense. I never spent much time with him.”

“The death of my friend Benjamin Siegel has caused me immense chagrin and I am seeking solitude because of my suffering.”

“Ben was the only man I loved. I could kill myself.”

She indeed attempted suicide at least four times with sleeping pills but walked away unfazed every time. That is what being used to downing 15 sundowners before noon will do for you. When she met the Austrian world class skier Hans Hauser (instructor of Ernest Hemingway amongst others) at Sun Valley, she knew time had come to get away from Inc. all. Using marriage as an exit strategy they settled near Salzburg, where she penned her 600 page boudoir memoir. In 1966 she finally succeeded with another suicide attempt. Her husband hanged himself years later. Their son Peter, a Vietnam veteran, died in a crazy car crash in France. Rumors in Europe never seized that the long strongarm of organized crime had gotten to all of them at last.

Virgie for sure was no vigilante, but “let (s)he who is without sin cast the first egg…”

Enjoy,

— shangheinz

 

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  1. twinarchers

    November 21, 2016 at 12:23 am

    Great story, thanks for sharing.

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    • shangheinz

      November 21, 2016 at 11:43 am

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      My pleasure, Twains! Errol always ran with a rough`n`ready rowdy crowd.

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      • rswilltell

        November 21, 2016 at 2:01 pm

        Heinz; Thanks for that great gangster, true crime story! A couple of things about Bugsy Siegel. One he took dancing lessons from his movie idol George Raft. Real-life gangsters loved Raft’s dapper, soft-spoken portrayals of tough guy killers. I visited the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas in 1988. Near the pool behind the landmark casino hotel, was “Bugsy Siegel’s Rose Garden”. A plaque pointed out the tallest, reddest, most beautiful rose bushes one ever saw growing out of the sand. The inscription on the plaque said that red roses never grow in the desert except in this spot! Why? Did Bugsy plant something below the sand that allowed the roses to bloom? Many somethings? The hotel was since razed and then rebuilt bigger than ever. I have no idea if Bugsy’s rose garden is there or just another part of gangster folklore! Ralph Dchiller

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        • shangheinz

          November 21, 2016 at 2:55 pm

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          What lays in Vegas, stays in Vegas…thanks for adding the desert rose angle, Ralph Chiller.!

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      • rswilltell

        November 21, 2016 at 2:01 pm

        Heinz; Thanks for that great gangster, true crime story! A couple of things about Bugsy Siegel. One he took dancing lessons from his movie idol George Raft. Real-life gangsters loved Raft’s dapper, soft-spoken portrayals of tough guy killers. I visited the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas in 1988. Near the pool behind the landmark casino hotel, was “Bugsy Siegel’s Rose Garden”. A plaque pointed out the tallest, reddest, most beautiful rose bushes one ever saw growing out of the sand. The inscription on the plaque said that red roses never grow in the desert except in this spot! Why? Did Bugsy plant something below the sand that allowed the roses to bloom? Many somethings? The hotel was since razed and then rebuilt bigger than ever. I have no idea if Bugsy’s rose garden is there or just another part of gangster folklore! Ralph Schiller

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        • Gentleman Tim

          November 22, 2016 at 6:38 am

          Thanks Ralph, I’ve been to the Flamingo, but didn’t know about this great Bugsy monument or history. I just read that three of Bugsy’s rivals were whacked just before his rose garden was planted. Perhaps it was fertilized by the Forgetaboutit Fertilizer Outfit of Cicero, Illinois. If true, this gives a whole new meaning to the otherwise wonderful good fortune of being promised a rose garden.

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          • Gentleman Tim

            November 22, 2016 at 6:44 am

            Here’s Mickey Cohen tending to his flower garden. He may have used some special fertilizer of his own.

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          • shangheinz

            November 22, 2016 at 2:41 pm

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            The Bug had another flynntimo in his corner once he got accused of foul play/odeur. Top devil’s advocat Jerry Giesler would later on defend Lana Turner & daughter when Mickey Cohen’s henchman Johnny Stompanato fell into a kitchen knife.

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    • Gentleman Tim

      November 22, 2016 at 3:38 am

      thanks to shangsterheinz for another shangland hit.

      Rumor is Virile Errol flynned around some with the not so Virginal Virginia when she first arrived in Hollywood, with a rendezvous or two at her place at the Garden of Allah. I imagine however that Cohen & Siegel (the mobsters, not the law firm) put a big chill on that.

      At least two curious things about this melee at the Mocambo. How did that raw egg show up in the dining room the way it did, and how was Hill the Moll’s name kept out of the news reports?? … The Mocambo was backed by and frequented by LA mob figures. So that may explain why Bugsy’s Babe’s name was held back.

      Despite my greatly enjoying this shangland shantie, I am very disappointed that I will now have to throw out all my Toby Tuttle albums.

      I don’t see raw egg any where on the menu, but I suppose it was more dignified and apropos than having the Mocambo Cream of Tomato or Prince de Monaco Lobster Thermidor poured over the Baron of Mulholland’s illustrious head.

      mocambo-menu.jpg

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  2. shangheinz

    November 24, 2016 at 1:12 pm

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    Virginia Hill first went down the slopes and then the aisle with celebrity skiing instructor Hans Hauser in Sun Valley.

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    • Gentleman Tim

      November 24, 2016 at 7:09 pm

      As you know, slipperyheinz, those were some extremely fast but very well traveled slopes.

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  3. Gentleman Tim

    November 24, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    thanks to shangsterheinz for another shangland hit.

    Rumor is Virile Errol flynned around some with the not so Virginal Virginia when she first arrived in Hollywood, with a rendezvous or two at her place at the Garden of Allah. I imagine however that Cohen & Siegel (the mobsters, not the law firm) put a big chill on that.

    At least two curious things about this melee at the Mocambo. How did that raw egg show up in the dining room the way it did, and how was Hill the Moll’s name kept out of the news reports?? … The Mocambo was backed by and frequented by LA mob figures. So that may explain why Bugsy’s Babe’s name was held back.

    Despite my greatly enjoying this shangland shantie, I am very disappointed that I will now have to throw out all my Toby Tuttle albums.

    www.youtube.com…

    I don’t see raw egg any where on the menu, but I suppose it was more dignified and apropos than having the Cherry Jubilee, Cream of Tomato or Prince de Monaco Lobster Thermidor poured over the Baron of Mulholland’s illustrious head.

    mocambo-menu.jpg

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    • shangheinz

      November 30, 2016 at 11:40 am

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      Hollywood stars not only came to the Mocambo to dine and dish out, Gentlemenu Tim, but also for getting lectured on the matrix of mating by Miss Julie Wilson. Errol would take the stick to Europe years later.

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      • Gentleman Tim

        December 1, 2016 at 11:32 pm

        Julie obviously liked very big books, mocamboheinz. Here’s Errol lecturing on the human female to a group of Frankfurters, who reportedly relished having world authority Don Flynn explain the Kinkey Report to them.

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