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The memoir began as a compass to my father’s secret and disreputable criminal history. It pointed to a young girl whose survival was wedged between shameless love and immobilizing fear of her father.DAD IN WING TIPS

As Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel’s best friend and business partner from 1937 until his death in 1947, Dad acclaimed Ben Siegel. “He was the best friend I ever had.”

Dad sat inches from Ben the night he was murdered. Why did he survive? He ducked!  After convincing Meyer Lansky and Frank Costello he would not accept  immunity from deportation, and five counts of   claiming false citizenship, the Mob honored and protected him.

Faced with an identity meltdown ten years after Dad died I implored his friends, associates, historians, the Freedom of Information & Privacy Act, the Immigration and Naturalization Services,  and the Archives of the Department of Justice, to build the branches of my family tree. Along this irreversible journey I suffered disgrace, rage, and Dad’s ghostly disapproval as I delved into the FBI files and discovered the family secrets. Most startling was not his gambling addiction, criminal activities, or imprisonment.  I learned my father’s attempt at reformation was thwarted by the FBI.  A  vendetta  by Hoover for not cooperating as an informant. I  expose what I’ve learned because I’ve made the family history mine.

Incorporated within stories of discovery are government surveillance records, newspaper articles, court testimony, and criminal activities that defamed his reputation and our family. As the discoveries occur the reader is taken inside the transformation of my identity.  Once liberated from Dad’s paranormal disapproval of my investigation, the book was written.

This is a startling, yet inspirational look inside the struggle of a gangster’s daughter to understand her father’s allegiance to the Mob.


There was this one bookstore in Del Mar that I browsed every week.  The owner was a sweet New England woman. Her collection and arrangement likened to  going into a candy shop as a little girl.  Over stuffed chairs, benches and a roundtable for readings and workshops were not unused. People spent hours in her salon of literature. Right next door was the Pannikin Coffee House that catered to loyalists of aromatic coffee, pastries and slouching.  I ordered coffee, sat outside on the walkway and read the book I had just bought.  Almost every time I bought a book the cashier commented, ‘ I love that book, or that looks interesting. ‘

At that time I was working on one of the first drafts of my book.  I  browsed  every new display title, imagining someday my book would be sitting upright on a table. I remember the day I drew up enough courage to tell the owner about my book.  She raised her brows and smiled, ” Well, you’ll have to do a book signing when it’s published.”

After a year or two, she quit asking how my book was coming along, and I quit going into the bookshop.

Today twenty-three later, I am signing my book at La Posada Hotel.  This is why I am remembering those days in Del Mar, when the dream of completion seemed light years away. ‘You have to dream baby’ Carlitos Way.