Jun 14

“I’m the best goddamned lay in the world.” – Virginia Hill at the Kefauver hearings 1951

When your life is as fleeting as that of a Capo in the Italian/Jewish underworld, one of the sweetest distractions is that of a woman that can rock your world. The most popular moll of the Mafia saga has been and will always be miss Virginia Hill, the ex-girlfriend of many gangsters and the woman that ultimately seduced and killed the infamous Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel…. Remember that famous hotel he got shot in at Las Vegas? Its name “The Flamingo” was Virginia’s nickname… go figure…  Miss Hill had Bugsy and many other gangsters whipped beyond measure. Virginia Hill (Born in 1916) started her career at 17 as a prostitute after leaving a fractured household in Marietta Georgia for the big city of Chicago. As a prostitute she also waited tables and eventually met and slept with Joe Epstein, an important Chicago gangster that fell in love with her and took care of her his entire life (more details to come).

A Shining Example of The Perfect Gun Moll

Known for wearing the latest fashions, spending $100 like nothing and throwing champagne parties, Virginia didn’t just spread her legs and blow money like a princess with an expiration date; she was a jewel amongst molls – depositing illegal money into Swiss bank accounts, hiding items for the boys, transporting money overseas, you name it Virginia did it and she was Ride-or-Die to a fault. In the famous Kefauver hearings, a trial made to indict a thousand gangsters, the mistress was questioned heavily and became one of the most entertaining and dramatic witnesses to not give out any real information. Plus she decked Marjorie Farnsworth of the New York Journal American with a strong right after the hearings with the famous words “You goddamn bastards! I hope an atom bomb falls on all of you!” How gangster is that?

When Lucky Luciano was deported and living lavishly in Italy, part of his retirement fund was due to Virginia supplying him money from Switzerland via those very banks she was made to open up and handle. Her track record with being a man’s delicious drug caused Joe Epstein (Capone’s money man and one of her first gangster loves) to say about Virginia: “Once that girl is under your skin, it’s like a cancer. It’s uncurable.” Even after they separated Joe continued to send Virginia money on a monthly basis. I’ll let that part settle in and ask this: Damn Virginia what is it that you do to these boys!?

A Line-up of Virginia “The Man-Eater” Hill’s Loves

We already mentioned Joe Epstein but some other memorable names for you gangster history fans are: Frank Nitti, Frank Costello, Joe Adonis (who had a beef with Bugsy for being Virginia’s true love), Murray Humphreys, the Fischetti brothers and of course the man who was her heart – Benjamin Siegel.

The popular thought about Virginia and Siegel is that she got in his head hardcore about the hotel thing and Benjamin being whipped and star-struck (he hobnobbed with Hollywood types constantly) built Vegas as we know it by pouring millions of Mob dollars into his Flamingo’s hotel. Ironically when Meyer Lansky, Luciano and the boys started to see no return on investment, they sent the very catalyst Miss Virginia Hill to set her man up and conveniently disappear to Europe while he took a million bullets while hanging out in her living room back in the United States. Although this is hard to believe given the strength that love has over reason – Virginia was a survivor and a woman the Mob trusted implicitly. This leads to many believing that she was asked to invite Bugsy to her house, and take a trip so that they could rub him out effectively.

The End of The Queen

After the dramatics of the Kefauver hearing, the death of “Bugsy” and life making way for age, the beauty took a husband and travelled Europe for a time before taking her own life. In March of 1966 Virginia took a bottle of sleeping pills, laid out in the snow atop a mountain in Salzburg, Austria and fell asleep to join her man in the afterlife. She will always be remembered affectionately in the underworld as “The mistress of the Mob” or “The Queen of the Mob”, you would be loathe to disagree with either. She was quite a remarkable woman that knew how to play hard in a man’s world without ever being tamed. Virginia Hill is truly a Hottie of History.

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  • Terry

    Good article but the picture of actor Gary Cooper (third pic) seems a little out of place somehow and has no reference to it within the text.

    • Good catch Terry and thanks for the kudos. I thought the bird in the background was Virginia but on close inspection it may not be – so rather than being wrong I am swapping it out for another picture of the Mol.

  • Terry

    Good call Greg. Thanks for replying.