The year that Bugsy Siegel arrived in Los Angeles to be the New York mob’s man on the West Coast varies from source to source. Siegel himself claimed in a legal document that he had been a resident since 1935. It’s known a that he visited at least twice before that, starting in 1932.
Like thousands of other tourists, Siegel, wife Estelle (“Esta”) and their baby daughter came to Los Angeles in June 1932, as the city was hosting the Summer Olympic Games. They made the trip by sea, traveling on the Panama-Pacific liner S. S. Virginia.
Siegel, who had become wealthy through bootlegging, would later say that after Repeal in December 1933 he tried to go legitimate, but lost his money in the stock market crash. His timing is slightly off, however, as the Crash was in 1929 while Prohibition was still in effect. In any case, he may have been scoping out the rackets when the Siegels, now a family of four, visited Los Angeles again in the summer of 1934 with their young daughters. They departed for New York on September 3 on the Panama Pacific Line’s S.S. California.
In February 1935, Siegel arrived in Los Angeles on a solo visit, again via the Panama Pacific line. His official home address was the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York City.
In May 1936, Siegel (his name misspelled Sagel) made another trip to Los Angeles from New York. His home address is listed as 190 Old Army Rd., Scarsdale, NY.
By October 1937, Siegel had decided to put down roots in Los Angeles, purchasing a lot on Delfern Drive in exclusive the Holmby Hills section of Beverly Hills, where he would build a home.
*Siegel made the claim in an affidavit in 1941 while awaiting trial, requesting permission to leave the country “on business” (which was granted).