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Luellen Smiley
Luellen Smiley

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AIR DATE: May 12, 2011

Luellen Smiley is the daughter of reputed mobster, Allen Smiley. Smiley's dad was a close friend and confidant of famous Las Vegas mobster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel and he was sitting on the couch just feet away from Siegel the night he was murdered. While Luellen Smiley hadn't been born at the time of the shooting, she's conducted research on her father's life and the events leading up to the shooting and wants to dispel the common belief that her father might have been involved in the shooting. Luellen Smiley has contributed artifacts to the Las Vegas Mob Experience and she joins us to discuss her family history.

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Luellen Smiley

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    COMMENTS:
    John the Baptist: Woman, is not your cup of abominations full enough? Holly: You talk about him as if he had occasional bad manners.
    matineeDec 25, 2012 14:58:54 PM
    I did not listen to the interview so I am not going to comment on it but I am so sick and disgusted with people looking up to people involved in organized crime or any other kind of crime. These monsters ruin peoples lives. They are drug pushers, pimps, thieves, murderers, extortionists, and live off the sweat of other peoples hard work. They should be eradicate just like the other low life street gangs and pestilence of the world.
    DennisAug 10, 2011 03:58:32 AM
    Just listened to this, and I agree Luellen is terrific! Great story about DeMille and "The Godless Girl", which I happened to watch on Turner Classics a few months ago. Pretty amazing movie, actually. I liked the notion of Ben Siegel being a protector of his people in Hell's Kitchen (Tony Curtis would have been a more appropriate actor than Warren Beatty, don't you think?). "The Green Felt Jungle" made a big impression on me too, when I was about the same age. Glad to hear Luellen's father didn't really cut off Ramar of the Jungle's nose. And if it's any consolation, Ben Siegel is today remembered as a controversial, charismatic figure, while Hoover is regarded as a hypocritical asshole in a dress. Best, thanks for sending the interview, Bennett
    Bennett TramerMay 14, 2011 08:11:33 AM
    Wonderful interview which sheds light on the mob, Allen Smiley, that time in America we've all heard about.
    steven crosbyMay 12, 2011 16:04:10 PM
    Thanks so much for sharing, Luellen. Great to hear your voice and especially fascinating to hear your take on those intriguing events. Can't wait to read your book. As you suggest: The real story has yet to be told.
    Stone WallaceMay 12, 2011 13:24:43 PM
    Stone, hope you are okay, been thinking about you. Vegas was great, I brought Uncle Myron through the exhibit! He was stunned, especially with Meyer's room, whom he knew very well. When you are going to Vegas let me know. Thanks for the comments. Luellen
    Luellen May 13, 2011 11:17:51 AM
    Great interview. I think there are many misconceptions about some of those who were tied to the "gangsters" of that era of the 1940's! I have not gone to the mob experience yet but hope to this weekend. Several months ago there was an interview on one of our Las Vegas television stations that also talked of someone out to solve the Siegel murder, I hope one day that will happen if for no other reason than for some closure for those the murder has clearly impacted. Thank KNPR for providing such an interesting topic. The mob and those involved, no matter what level, will always interest old timers such as myself!
    frankGMay 11, 2011 18:06:11 PM
    Frank: It is rewarding to read comments like yours, as it is a topic that needs new insight. Louis is a superb interviewer Thank you for listening. You will be amazed at the scope of the Mob Experience! Best regards, Luellen
    Luellen Smiley May 12, 2011 07:06:58 AM
    As you stated, your father was no boy scout, but he was not a monster either. Best of luck on clearing up the misconceptions
    FrankGMay 12, 2011 09:35:41 AM
    Anyone suggesting that Smiley was involved in the murder of his close friend doesn't no anything about Smiley, or the evidence. He was a man of honor who would've gladly given his life to protect his friend. And the shots went right by Smiley, and two of the bullets pierced his jacket!
    mobhistorianMay 10, 2011 12:42:49 PM
    One of the many urban myths and legends that arose after the murder of Ben Siegel was that his best friend Allen Smiley was involved. Nothing could have been further from the truth. I met Mr. Smiley at George Raft's funeral in 1980 and it demonstrated to me that he never forgot a friend or someone who stood by him in times thin or flush, down or up. I'm glad one of the pioneers of Las Vegas is getting his due.
    RJMay 9, 2011 21:07:54 PM
    I find always found it hard to believe Allen Smiley was "in on" the Siegel murder. Anyone ever shoot an automatic weapon? If he was "in on" the murder why would he be sitting next to Siegel on the couch? I am looking forward to hearing Ms. Smiley's take on things!
    DiggerMay 9, 2011 12:11:08 PM
    I HAVE always found it hard to believe Allen Smiley was "in on" the Siegel murder. Anyone ever shoot an automatic weapon? If he was "in on" the murder why would he be sitting next to Siegel on the couch? I am looking forward to hearing Ms. Smiley's take on things!
    DiggerMay 9, 2011 13:48:40 PM
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