The Slatest

Los Angeles Magazine Has a Plausible Theory About the Unsolved Murder of Bugsy Siegel

Siegel 19 years before his death.

Public domain via Wikipedia

Bugsy Siegel is one of the most epic American gangsters—born in Brooklyn, trained in crime on the Lower East Side, made legendary by Las Vegas, and shot to death in Beverly Hills. His murder has never been solved, and befitting someone who spent his life committing violence and theft, there are a number of credible theories about who killed him and why. Los Angeles magazine proposes one in an excellent new piece about the late Bee Sedway—the wife of Bugsy’s best friend, Moe—and her son Robbie, who kept their own explanation of Bugsy’s death in the family for decades. I won’t spoil it here, but should say that the piece is worth reading not just for its contribution to Bugsy-ology and its noir details of gangster L.A. but because of its account of Bee and Robbie and her second husband, “Moose”—of what happens after the gangster movie is over and real life, as it were, continues for those who survived. How the most unusual of lives fade into normalcy, and maybe fade out altogether:

His brother, Johnny—the one who introduced Moose to Bee—died in 1995. After some searching, I find Johnny’s son, John Steven Pandza Jr., who lives in Yucaipa. Steve, as he’s known, buys and sells used construction equipment now, but he spent many of his 63 years in the same profession that his father and uncle mastered before him: crane operator…

He’s long suspected his family had secrets, he says, adding that his father once told him, “One of these days we’re gonna have to sit down and talk about your family history, because there are some interesting things that went on in L.A. that your family was involved in.” That conversation never happened, Steve says, but “I took it as dark history.”

Read the whole piece here.