On June 20, 1947, one of the most notorious gangsters of the twentieth century, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, was murdered in the Beverly Hills mansion of his mistress, Virginia Hill. While there have been numerous theories in regard to who actually killed “the father of Las Vegas,” the fact remains, the Siegel murder case is still officially unsolved…until now.
In 1941, when Bob MacDonald married Betty Ann Rockwell, it appeared as though their relationship was the start of a very majestic affair. The teens were from the upper class of Southern California society, exceptionally good looking, and by all accounts it seemed to be foreordained that they would live a full and happy life. MacDonald’s father, Archibald, was the right-hand man of billionaire Howard Hughes, Jr., while Betty Ann’s mother, Gaynell Rockwell-Applegate, was a woman of “new money”. At a glance, it seemed as if the couple should have lived a life with a storybook ending. Sadly, in 1947, the life of splendor expected for the couple turned into a family nightmare with horrendous consequences.
On September 13, 1947, without apparent reason or motive, Bob MacDonald, age 27, shot his wife, Betty Ann, age 24, with his army rifle. He then turned the weapon on himself.
What possessed MacDonald, the son of a millionaire, a decorated war hero, and the father of two children, to commit such a gruesome act?
And, how was this murder-suicide related to the recent killing of mobster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel?
In the hours following the MacDonald tragedy, the couple’s parents, using their financial capital, political ties and social contacts, formed a consortium of secrecy to ensure the public would never find the answer to those questions. It became a…Family Secret.
The shroud of secrecy was finally lifted in 1996, when one of the “family insiders” made a dramatic deathbed confession to Family Secret author, Warren Hull.
Honoring his father’s request to tell the world the secret behind the Siegel killing, Hull, with Michael B. Druxman, provides an incredible explanation as to who murdered Benjamin Siegel, and more importantly, how and why the murder was never solved by the police.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Warren Robert Hull
Warren Robert Hull was born in Tacoma, Washington, to Marion and Robert Hull. In the early sixties, his family moved to the greater Los Angeles area. After graduating from High School, Warren went on to earn his bachelor’s degree from the California State University at Fullerton and his master’s degree from Adams State College. In the early 1980s, Warren served with the Naval Security Group and was attached to the National Security Agency (NSA). After a long career in education, in 2007, Warren accepted a position with the Clark County School District Police Department, where he currently serves as an Executive Assistant to the Chief of Police.
Warren and his wife Annette reside in Las Vegas, Nevada, and are the founders of AnnWar Productions and the Las Vegas International Film and Screenplay Festival. The couple has three documentary films to their credit; A Band To Honor- The Story Of The USS Arizona Band, From USS Arizona Survivor To Unsung American Hero – The Lou Conter Story and The Man In The Middle, which details the unlikely friendship of an immigrant from India (Sonny Jani) and a retired professional football player (Mike Webster) and their journey into the unknown world of the disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Michael B. Druxman
Show business veteran Michael B. Druxman has written the screenplays for seven motion pictures, including Cheyenne Warrior with Kelly Preston, Keaton’s Cop with Lee Majors, Abe Vigoda and Don Rickles, Dillinger and Capone starring Martin Sheen and F. Murray Abraham and The Doorway with Roy Scheider, which he also directed.
He is also a prolific playwright with five produced works to his credit. His one-person musical play, Jolson, has had productions in several U.S. cities. Additionally, he is the author of ten published books, including The Art of Storytelling, a “how to” book on writing that is used as a text in several colleges, plus mystery/suspense novels, Nobody Drowns in Mineral Lake, Jackie Goes to Dixie and Dark Chasm.