Joe Bruno on the Mob – Virginia Hill – Part One

Virginia Hill was a rough and tumble broad, and people said she was devastated when her mobster/boyfriend – Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel – was shot to death at Hill’s swank Beverly Hills home. However, that was a fantasy perpetrated by the gullible press. Hill could have cared less about Siegel; she only cared about where her next buck was coming from, and with Siegel dead, it certainly wasn’t coming from him.

Hill, an aspiring actress (but not good enough to earn a living doing so in nearby Hollywood), was not only indifferent to Siegel’s demise, but, in fact, she knew about the hit in advance and thought she was next on the mob’s list of people to die.

After Hill was tipped off by a mob pal that Siegel was being fit for a casket, she hightailed it to France, just days before “Bugsy,” sitting comfortably on Hill’s couch reading the newspaper, was blasted in the face with four .30 caliber bullets, shot from a rifle through an open window. When the police arrived at Hill’s digs, Siegel was quite dead; his right eye lying on the floor 15 feet from his blood-stained body.

Hill, one of ten children, was born on August 26, 1916 in Bessemer, Ala. Her father, Mack Hill, was a horse trader and he told the press that Hill was not given much attention by her siblings, so she made plenty of friends of both sexes; friendships she bought with cold hard cash not honorably earned.

George Hill said, “I remember one year I bought Tabby (we called Virginia ‘Tabby’ after a cat in the comic section) four different sets of books while she stayed in the same grade. It seemed that she would sell the books and spend the money for presents for her little friends. She had a lot of them around her all the time.”

When Hill was already famous for running around with a string of mobsters, George Hill told a newspaper reporter, “One time Tabby charged several alarm clocks to my account and then gave them away to the playmates who looked up to her, just as her frequent guests of

‘The Nightclub World’ were to do later for Tabby’s generosity.”

In the early 1930’s, when Virginia was 14-years-old, Hill’s mother and father separated. Hill moved to Marietta, Ga. with her mother, grandmother – Mrs. J. P. Reid-  and two brothers. By this time, Hill’s body had filed out considerably. She was already 5-feet-two-inches tall, with long legs, dark hair and an olive complexion.

Despite the objections of her mother and grandmother, Hill rode horses bareback and barelegged, and she also swam in the nude in public lakes and streams. This caught the attention of several young men, and soon Hill became sexually active. 21-year-old George Rodgers became enamored with Hill, and in 1933, the two married. The newlyweds left Marietta for the big city of Chicago, where Hill hopped to gain fame and fortune as a dancer.

Unfortunately for Rodgers, he was not included in Hill’s plans.

In Chicago, Hill, after dying her brown hair bright red, dumped Rodgers and got a job as a waitress at the San Carlo Italian Village, a mob-run exhibit at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Hill was paid only $20 a week by the mob, so to supplement her income, Hill worked as a prostitute; and she didn’t work cheap. While toiling mostly on her back, Hill became pals with several Chicago mobsters, including Joey Epstein, who was Jake “Greasy Thumb” Guzik’s chief accountant. Guzik was the money man for the Chicago Outfit, and Epstein helped Guzik launder the Outfit’s illegal cash and he invested it in legal businesses like the San Carlo Italian Village.

By 1934, it was accepted around town that Hill was Joey Epstein’s gal. However, those in the know knew that was a canard, since Epstein was a quiet but confirmed homosexual. Epstein was basically a “beard” for Hill, and he liberally passed Hill around to his mobster pals.

Soon, Hill became so well-known and desired by mobsters; she blatantly performed fellatio on several top Chicago Outfit mobsters at a 1936 Christmas Party thrown by Charlie Fischetti and his wife. Fischetti, Al Capone’s cousin, was an influential Chicago mobster, who was known for fixing elections, in addition to getting friendly judges appointed to the bench.

Fischetti, in fact, owned Hill, and in 1937, he ordered Hill to move to New York City to get her clutches into New York mobster, Joe “Adonis” Doto, whom the Chicago mob thought was keeping substantial amounts of cash that should have been sent to Chicago instead.

While romancing Adonis (Nobody called him by his real name Doto), Hill met degenerate killer Bugsy Siegel in a Brooklyn bar. Siegel had been big in the Big Apple during Prohibition, when he and his long-time partner Meyer Lansky joined up with the Italian mob led by Lucky Luciano and Frank Costello. This alliance made all four men very rich, but Siegel was loose cannon, who enjoyed killing as much as he enjoyed counting money.

On the night they met, Siegel took Hill to a fancy hotel and they spend the night banging the bed sheets.  Hill later says that night was the best sex she ever had.

Soon, Siegel was dispatched to California by his New York partners where he was to supervise and consolidate the gambling, racetrack, and bookmaking rackets in the sunny state. However, mob leaks said Siegel was sent packing because his gratuitous violence was getting in the way of the mob earning money.

Hill’s affair with Adonis lasted two tumultuous years, and in May of 1938, when Hill had garnered all the information on Adonis that Fischetti needed (she could find no evidence Adonis was skimming cash), Hill became a courier for the mob, delivering cash to mobsters all over the country. Hill even traveled as far as Switzerland with bags of cash to deposit in numbered, untraceable mob bank accounts.

Bea Sedway, the wife of mobster Moe Sedway, who was New York mob-mastermind Meyer Lansky’s top lieutenant and a pal of Siegel since they were kids, said of Hill, “She was smart and she knew how to keep her mouth shut.”


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