clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bugsy Siegel's Depression-Era Holmby Hills Estate is Full of Secrets

New, 28 comments

[First and last three photos via] This isn't mistress Virginia Hill's famous Beverly Hills house, where Bugsy Siegel was mysteriously shot to death in 1947, it's Siegel's wife-and-kids place, which he had built in 1938 (Siegel also lived in Castillo del Lago in the Hollywood Hills). The five bedroom, seven and a half bathroom house sits on 2.73 acres and has a pool and a tennis court. According to the LA Times, Siegel never actually moved in, but John Buntin writes in "LA Noir" that a raiding party came here in 1940 looking to pick up Siegel for the murder of Harry "Big Greenie" Greenberg:

They were greeted at the front door by Siegel's butler. The men informed him that they were there to see Benjamin Siegel. The butler nodded and asked them to wait. Several minutes later, he returned and opened the door of the mansion onto a lifestyle they could scarcely conceive of. At a time when the country was mired in the seemingly unending misery of the Depression, Bugsy Siegel was living like...a baronet. In the bar and lounge room, eighteen-foot carved divans flanked a deeply recessed fireplace, and a choice selection of whiskeys, cognacs, and cordials was available for guests. There were six "vanity rooms" for the ladies. The dining room table was made of exotic inlaid woods and sat thirty--without extensions. Bugsy's bed was still warm, but there was no sign of him. A member of the raiding party noticed a linen closet door ajar. Atop a pile of fresh sheets, investigators found footprints. The ceiling of the closet had a secret trapdoor that opened into the attic. There the raiding party found Bugsy Siegel in his pajamas, giggling. The gangster coolly informed his captors that he had fled because "I thought it was someone else." The police were not amused. They hauled Siegel downtown and placed him under arrest for murder.

Hm, what other police-evading features await discovery by a new owner? Back in February 2010, the house was listed at $49.5 million, but it's suffered a brutal and (not very) mysterious chop. Its new asking price is $29.5 million.
· 250 DELFERN Dr [Redfin]