When I was on the street there were two guys I wanted to know about, but I could never get anwsers. One was a man known as Eugene Hale Braden. Braden was picked up outside the Dal-Tex building in Dealey Plaza just after JFK was shot. He claimed he was in town to see oil man Lamar Hunt. Braden had an office in Carlos Marcello’s building and he was known as a courier for the mob. Braden would be picked up 5 years after JFK was killed in Los Angeles when Robert Kennedy was killed. He was less than a mile from the hotel where the assassination went down. I guess he must be the most unlucky criminal to be caught in the same place when not one but two Kennedys were murdered. He then bounced around the country but he was a member of the La Costa Country Club, which was a big mob/teamster place back in the day.
Nobody that I ever ran into knew him. I would ask all the old guys when I could.
The second man was known as Alan Smiley aka Aaron Smehoff. I have an old chart from the Federal Bureau of Narcotics that has Alan Smiley listed in the Los Angeles Family when Dragna was boss. They knew very little about any of the families back then. The LAPD guy who gave it to me laughed because they knew who was who back then.
Alan Smiley was a successful gangster. He had a nice home in the hills where he lived with his daughter. He ran with big money guys and he pulled down the cash. He never went away for a long time. He lived out his life in fear because he had been very close to Benjamin Segal aka Bugsy. They were always together and Alan was sitting right next to Bugsy when he was shot to death.
Bugsy, Alan and Virginia Hill’s brother had been out early in the evening of June 20 1947. Alan Smiley was sitting next to Bugsy when 9 shots were fired from a 30 Cal carbine. They smashed through the side window of 810 N Linden drive where most of them did their job on Bugsy. He was dead before he knew it and one of his eyes was blow across the floor. Alan Smiley escaped the shooting without a scratch. He told police the shots came so fast that someone must have filed down the pin on the carbine because it was almost automatic.
They recovered the rifle in the trellis next to the window. Witnesses saw a small car parked across the street speed away.
There have been many books written about the life and death of Bugsy Siegel but none of them really talk about Alan Smiley.
A lot of them claim to know the identity of the killers. I even sat through a lecture where a guy had a chart and showed how his family member killed Bugsy.
I see others who write it was the over the wire service because he took it from Jack Dragna. None of these talking heads know how the mafia works. Bugsy was not a made guy. He started with Meyer Lansky and he came out to California to get away from New York. He ran the wire service out in Los Angeles. Chicago had their own service that Jack Dragna worked with at the time.
Another claims it was so Mickey Cohen could take over bookmaking in Los Angeles.
Mickey Cohen was a bookie who had no idea what happened to his friend because he was not in on the planning. Jimmy Fratianno was a made guy in the Los Angeles Family. He was at his peak as a killer at the time. He was asked by Jack Dragna to drive for Frankie Carbo. He was told not to get involved with Bugsy in the Flamingo Casino because of money being stolen.
Frankie Carbo worked with Lansky and no matter how close Lansky was to Bugsy if he was told he would have to kill his friend.
No jealous family member killed Bugsy. It was a sanctioned hit. That is why before his body was even removed from the house Gus Greenbaum was in charge at the Flamingo. He had walked in and told everyone he was taking over before anyone knew Bugsy was dead.
The mafia would have looked all over and there would have been bodies if it was not one of their hits.
Alan Smiley still worked with connected guys in Los Angeles. He knew Ray Ryan who flipped on Fratianno and Caifano. Ray Ryan would be blown up after Caifano was released from prison. Alan never went to Las Vegas because he feared that he was a marked man.
Alan Smiley seems to have lived a charmed life. I cannot wait to read his daughter Luellen Smiley’s book. It should shed some light on Alan’s life.