MOB CITY & juicy nuggets…

Yes, I wrote Mickey Cohen, the book on the Los Angeles underworld that reveals the REAL STORIES of  LA’s mob bosses, BUGSY SIEGEL and MICKEY COHEN. And, yes, I do plan to watch TNT’s  MOB CITY beginning on Wed., Dec. 4. I’m curious! It’s more cops chasing gangsters in LA. It was really FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover himself who was at war with Benny Siegel in the year before the Bug’s execution in June 1947. That story is amazing — and you can only read it in my book.
After the poorly received Gangster Squad movie, in the summer of 2013 Mob City was granted a shooting schedule that essentially gave them a chance to rework whatever they had already shot the year before. The kid playing Mickey Cohen looks like decent casting. Ed Burns as Benny Siegel? He’s married to supe Christy Turlington so he has something going on. Burns may be good; we shall see. To be correct, the actor should be OUTRAGEOUSLY handsome — not just good looking. Dressed like a duke, Ben Siegel was extremely charismatic and could be devastatingly charming. He had huge crystal blue eyes and he flashed a giant grin. Burt Lancaster-ish, no? Tony Curtis worked for years trying to play him and would have been great. I reveal here for the first time that Siegel had affairs with both Golden Age screen goddesses, Ava Gardner, and Lana Turner, when each was very young. AND Mae West!!!
I don’t know what to expect, but I hope the Zombie guy, Frank Darabont, will  deliver something historically correct. Remember: Truth is stranger than fiction. Particularly in this case.

UPDATE: This show was not picked up. My favorite thing: Ed Burns. He was terrific as Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel.


I love the cover of the Italian edition of my book, Mickey Cohen. They’re calling it Il Gangster ! The back jacket translates to “more famous than a movie star, more powerful than the law, the most feared criminal in America.”

Il Gangster
La vera storia di Mickey Cohen
Il Criminale dei criminali




And who’s the featured macher??? MICKEY COHEN!!!

Historically speaking, they’re chowing down with the LA mob boss at EATER LA.  Since he really understood L.A. real estate, particularly when it came to the lines between the city and county (and, yes, HE DID KNOW HIS MODEST BRENTWOOD HOUSE , which sold in 2011 for $3mil+, WAS IN CITY TERRITORY — the LAPD was juiced, too, you know), you can see more whale action at  CURBED L.A.

Note: Mickey Cohen’s original bookie joint was in the Stratford Coffee shop, which does still exist intact, signage and all, on South Rampart Blvd., near the building they show at Curbed L.A. It’s on the east side of the street, look for the sign on a 1920’s brown-brick, multi-story strip mall.