Title

Relationships? I’ve Had a Few: A Brief Look at Benjamin Siegel’s Reputation in Las Vegas

Presenter Information

Amanda Kamps

Department

History and Political Science

Major

History

Research Advisor

Gragg, Larry Dale, 1950-

Advisor's Department

History and Political Science

Abstract

Images of car chases, code words, and cold-hearted killers quickly spring to mind when discussing the mobsters of the 1930s and ‘40s. But, in looking at one particularly ruthless killer, Benjamin Siegel, the evidence suggests that perhaps these mobsters are mythologized into darker men then they really were. Focusing on the latter half of Siegel’s life, when he spent his time in Las Vegas, one can evaluate his relationships with the community, and discern that perhaps the gambling town served as a respite, a place for once evil-men to start over. Legitimacy was, no doubt, difficult to obtain after a life of breaking the law, but in the case of Siegel, Las Vegas became a safe haven, where men could be judged for their actions while in the town, not their past.

Biography

Amanda Kamps is currently a senior and is completing her B.A. in History. She graduated from Waynesville High School in 2005 as Valedictorian. Her research at Missouri S&T has included primary source reviews of Moe Dalitz and Bugsy Siegel and their involvement in Las Vegas, as well as George Mivart’s role in Darwinian Evolution. In the future she hopes to pursue a career in the military museums as a Collections Manager.

Research Category

Arts and Humanities

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Document Type

Presentation

Award

Arts and humanities oral presentation, First place

Location

Carver Room

Presentation Date

08 Apr 2009, 1:30 pm - 2:00 pm

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Apr 8th, 1:30 PM Apr 8th, 2:00 PM

Relationships? I’ve Had a Few: A Brief Look at Benjamin Siegel’s Reputation in Las Vegas

Carver Room

Images of car chases, code words, and cold-hearted killers quickly spring to mind when discussing the mobsters of the 1930s and ‘40s. But, in looking at one particularly ruthless killer, Benjamin Siegel, the evidence suggests that perhaps these mobsters are mythologized into darker men then they really were. Focusing on the latter half of Siegel’s life, when he spent his time in Las Vegas, one can evaluate his relationships with the community, and discern that perhaps the gambling town served as a respite, a place for once evil-men to start over. Legitimacy was, no doubt, difficult to obtain after a life of breaking the law, but in the case of Siegel, Las Vegas became a safe haven, where men could be judged for their actions while in the town, not their past.