Women in Organized Crime in the United States

  • Clare Longrigg
Part of the STUDIES IN ORGANIZED CRIME book series (SOOC, volume 5)


A woman described in the press in the 1940s as “the most successful woman in America” was not a Hollywood star or a novelist: she was a “gangster’s moll.” Virginia Hill, mistress and accomplice of gangster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, was, even by today’s standards, a celebrity. The difference between her and other gangsters’ mistresses was that she was not merely decorative, she actually worked for U.S. crime bosses Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano and, later, for Siegel. Hill’s “success” says much about the American attitude toward organized crime. Popular mythology celebrates the outlaws who escaped from poverty and made fabulous amounts of money by beating the system. Even though Virginia Hill’s life ended in suicide, the American public saw only glamour in a beautiful woman living a life of crime.


Organize Crime Criminal Enterprise Criminal Gang Italian Immigrant Lower East Side 
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© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clare Longrigg

There are no affiliations available

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