The Life and Crimes of L.A.'s Notorious Mobster
by Tere Tereba
Pub Date 01 May 2012
This biography of celebrity gangster Mickey Cohen digs past the sensational headlines to deliver a remarkable story of a man who captivated, corrupted, and terrorized Los Angeles for a generation.
When Bugsy Siegel was murdered, his henchman Mickey Cohen took over the criminal activity in Los Angeles. Mickey Cohen attained such power and dominance from the late 1940s until 1976 that he was a regular above-the-fold newspaper name, accumulating a remarkable count of more than 1,000 front-pages in Los Angeles papers alone, and was featured in hundreds of articles in national and international periodicals. His story and the history of mid-century L.A. are inextricably intertwined.
Mickey Cohen is a seductive, premium-octane blend of true crime and Hollywood that spins around a wildly eccentric mob boss. Author Tere Tereba delivers tales of high life, high drama, and highly placed politicians, among them RFK and Richard Nixon, as well as revelations about countless icons, including Shirley Temple, Lana Turner, Frank Sinatra, and the Reverend Billy Graham. Meticulously researched, this rich tapestry presents a complete look at the Los Angeles underworld.
“Journalist and fashion designer Tereba’s biography of Los Angeles mobster Mickey Cohen (1913–76) sets out to reveal the true story behind the glitzy legends and traces Cohen’s influence through Tinseltown and beyond. ... Cohen’s personal habits and predilections are given particular attention, and the author channels Cohen’s calm when recounting explosions, beatings, and the burials of bodies in lye. VERDICT For readers who revel in old movies, stories about gangsters in double-breastedsuits, and midcentury Los Angeles. Recommended.”