Uncovering a mobster’s human side

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On June 9, 2009

He was a notorious mobster and killer, but Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel was also an affectionate father and a charming ladies’ man, says Amanda Kamps, a senior in history at Missouri S&T.

Under the guidance of Larry Gragg, chair and Curators’ Teaching Professor of history and political science, Kamps has been studying recently declassified FBI documents about Siegel. She says he was generally liked by people in Las Vegas in the 1940s.

“People were willing to ignore things about him – like being a murderer,” Kamps says. “Women were charmed by him and people just tried to avoid angering him.”

Through her research, Kamps hopes to demonstrate that Siegel moved to Vegas to become legitimate. Among the documents she studied are transcripts from bugged telephone calls and FBI agents’ notes.

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On June 9, 2009. Posted in Research, Summer 2009