’Stuart Sobel’s “QUEEN BEE and THE KILLING OF “BUGSY” SIEGEL”… ‘A True Story, A Crime Story, A LOVE STORY’. A Saga of Organized Crime in America!
When Bee Sedway, formerly Bee Kittle, graduated from high school in Elmira, New York, little did she realized that in less than six months she was going to become a gangster. She was courted for three weeks and married at 17 to Mob Boss “Little” Moe Sedway, 41, Chief Lieutenant to top Jewish Mob Boss, Meyer Lansky. Bee Sedway’s closeness to ‘30s and ‘40s era gangster “Bugsy” Siegel is accepted. He was the 'Best Man' at their wedding and the 'Godfather' to their eldest son Dickie. She was able to explain, in detail, the riddle that only she could solve. The one that has mystified the general public as well as organized crime scholars for the past 75 years; Who killed “Bugsy” Siegel? This is the first book on organized crime that is truly female driven. And guess what... and she never pulls a gun.
As a result of her knowledge of the personalities of the era, Bee Sedway was hired as ‘Technical Advisor’ on the multiple Academy-Award-winning film ‘Bugsy. She was specifically hired to train actor Warren Beatty on the speech patterns and mannerisms and quirks of the original “Bugsy” No one ever thought she knew the answer as to who killed Siegel. She never volunteered that information to anyone, until now. In addition to the film 'Bugsy' she has been a guest on several high-end 'True Crime' documentaries.
'Queen Bee and the Killing of “Bugsy” Siegel' is Sobel’s first solo book venture into the genre of “True Crime’. The story was a gift by way of an opportunity from our lead character, Bee Sedway, to Stuart Sobel. This was given specifically because she remembered Sobel back in his grammar school years with her youngest son, Robbie.
Bee wanted to unburden herself from her past, and yet knew that in the wrong hands this story could get her prosecuted for the killing. That knowledge could have also lead to extortion.
The promise that she enlisted from Sobel was not to divulge anything he learned until after her death. He gave his word. Nothing else need be said.
Murder has no 'Statute of Limitations' and after all these many decades she could still have been prosecuted for the killing. She could have been charged as both a 'Co-Conspirator' and an 'Accessory Before and After the Fact'.
Sobel and Sedway’s son Robbie were good friends beginning when they first met back in 1952. They were both still in single digits at the time attending Hawthorne School in Beverly Hills. Sobel knew everyone in the Sedway household, except for his father Moe, aka “Little” Moe who died in 1952, a few months prior to Sobel and his family moving to California. Sobel and Sedway remained close friends throughout their Junior High years at Hawthorne, after which they both began attending high school. Their circle of friends had merely expanded.
In 1992, at her son's and his mother's request, Sobel began conducting interviews with Bee Sedway in secret until her death in 1999. Their initial plan was for Sobel to write a magazine article on the subject. Their hope was a film producer might spot the piece and show interest. There was absolutely no plans on Sobel writing something as daunting as a full-blown account of what actually transpired during that era.
Bee died of natural causes at the age of eighty-one. In 2014, Robbie passed away of throat cancer at the age of seventy-one. Sobel was now left alone, armed with only his notes, research and a determination to create a story without limit. Initially, Sobel was only focusing on the Sedway family and the killing of "Bugsy" Siegel. He came to quickly discover that Moe Sedway was involved in organized crime from its very inception, prior to the start of Prohibition. The year 1919, is where our story begins. These infamous gangsters now, were all gangster-friends stemming from his childhood. The story is truly 'a saga on organized crime in America’.
Before tackling such an enormous project, Sobel wanted to confirm there was genuine interest in the subject. For that he took full advantage of the 70th anniversary of the killing, June 20, 2017. He contacted and hired veteran PR man Bruce Merrin in Las Vegas. He instructed Merrin to book as many interviews on the day of Siegel’s killing and the day after and no more. Ranging from television, radio and newspaper, there were five interviews in all. Everyone he contacted readily said, “Yes”. In fact, no one turned him down. When Merrin asked Sobel to extend the stay for more interviews that were coming in, he responded, “Right now I have nothing to sell. I’ll contact you in a couple of years and we’ll go full-blown.” And so, here we are.
For the next thirty months, Sobel plowed through working continually, three to five hours a day, six days a week.
Armed with his notes from his Sedway interviews, coupled with a tremendous amount of internet research in addition to some carefully chosen books for reference, Sobel went through this project with untold energy and enthusiasm. The more he delved into the subject the more fascinating it became to him. The results include a detailed examination into the killing, who the killer was, why the killing took place and the logical explanation why it is still, and will always remain, unsolvable. It also explains the origin or organized crime, why it spread globally, and why it is still with us today.
Since 1977, Sobel has been the owner of Thriftee Storage Co. in Echo Park, CA. He is also an accomplished journalist and ghost-writer of many well-received martial arts books. In addition, he was the manager, 1980-1990, to world famed kickboxing Champion, Benny “The Jet” Urquidez. This is his first venture into the genre of 'Organized Crime'.
Sobel and his beautiful wife Eleanor currently live in Los Angeles, CA.