We saw the mob museum and the story of Virgina Hill transfixed me all over again. She made her living simply being fabulous. She was a courier for the mob and Bugsy Seigal's girlfriend. She had dated mafia kingpin Joe Adonis before Bugsy. The gangster world was not new to her.
Contemporaries described her as having an uncanny ability to meld into the criminal element. Where most people would wait months and even years to be trusted and ingratied into the culture, Virgina seemed to instantly fit in.
She knew how to keep her mouth shut and be inconspicuous.
In 1951, Hill was subpoenaed to testify before the Kefauver hearings, where she denied having any knowledge of organized crime despite being described by Time magazine in March of that year as the "queen of the gangsters' molls."
At the Vegas Mobster Museum, there is an exhibit where you sit in the actual courtroom of those days and watch holographic figures portray the Kefauver hearings in front of your very eyes. Virginia is strong, fearless even and funny in the face of devastation.
She sat in the courtroom covered in furs with her legs crossed and a jaunty smile. When the Attorney General asked how she made a living she batted her eyelashes and said "People give me things." Time magazine reported in its obituary of Hill on April 1, 1966, that she spent her time on the witness stand "boggling Senators with her full-grown curves and succinct explanation of just why men would lavish money on a hospitable girl from Bessemer, Ala."
Ahhhhh, the life.
While Virginia was abroad, her beloved Bugsy was shot in her home.
After Hill was indicted for income tax evasion in 1954, she moved to Europe, where she lived for the rest of her life, supported in her later years by her only child, Peter Hauser. She died of an overdose of sleeping pills in Koppl, near Salzburg, Austria on March 24, 1966 at the age of 49.
Bugsy's Baby: The Secret Life of Mob Queen Virginia Hill, is a book by Andy Edmonds that "reveals the real Virginia Hill, mob mistress and crafty gangster, examining the extent of her mob connections, her role in "Bugsy" Siegel's murder, her part in the Mob's expansion westward, and the mystery surrounding her death."
|Me and Bugsy Siegal at the wax museum in Las Vegas|