Cradle of Crime: A Daughter's Tribute

Cradle of Crime: A Daughter's Tribute

by Luellen Smiley


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781537456034
Publisher: Luellen Smiley
Publication date: 11/19/2016
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.55(d)

About the Author

Luellen Smiley was the daughter of Allen Smiley-Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel's best friend and business partner. Her upbringing within the Mafia family breaks through a long-standing stigma about the organization and its members. She wants the world to know that they started as defenders of their neighborhoods-not trigger-happy murderers.

Ten years after her father's death, she evolved into a gangster authority through researching thousands of classified FBI and Department of Justice documents and interviews and conversations with relatives, ex-mob guys, and authors.

Luellen is an award-winning newspaper columnist who has written for publications such as the NY Post and MORE Magazine.

Table of Contents


  1. My Father is Not a Gangster
  2. I Still Don’t Believe He was a Gangster
  3. He Didn’t Want me to Have a Boyfriend
  4. Shoveling for Crimes
  5. My Muscle on the Department of Justice
  6. Hallelujah Houston
  7. “Smiley is Armed & Dangerous”
  8. Revisions Inside and Out
  9. Siegel & Smiley
  10. Discovering Al Smiley
  11. The Eye of the FBI
  12. West to East
  13. The Mob Experience
  14. My Father was a Gangster

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Cradle of Crime: A Daughter's Tribute 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Jessica Barbosa for Readers' Favorite Luellen Smiley’s Cradle of Crime: A Daughter's Tribute is a narrative account of a hidden family history. The narrator of the story is hounded by her fear of her father, but after watching the documentary of Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegel’s life, her father’s best friend, hearing comments from friends and acquaintances hinting at her father’s ‘other life’, and her inability to answer questions regarding her father’s past pique her curiosity and direct her to a path she never imagined she would take. Eventually she is driven to search for the hidden part of her father’s past that he tried so hard to hide from her and deny. She is thrust into a journey she never expected. This a refreshing, wonderful story in the fact that I got to see the unfolding of Allen Smiley and Ben Siegel’s story through the eyes of Allen Smiley’s daughter. I got to see the point of view of someone who personally knew Allen Smiley, the other side of him: the family man and her reactions to discovering her father’s past, secrets, and how people viewed her father and the Mafia. To my delight, the author also included journals and files relating to the criminal speculations of Ben Siegel’s murder which helped shape the book’s framework. I felt like a detective myself as I read through the story and found out more and more about her father’s other life. I learned a lot through her journey and admired how she pursued knowledge despite how difficult and hurtful it must have been to uncover her father’s secrets. Through her journey of denial, curiosity, and disbelief, she managed to find people who understood her history and accepted her. Eventually she found the final destination of her search; she found family, acceptance, and belonging, and in her own way she became the connection her newfound family needed.