Friday, March 24, 2017


  You may have just recently heard of a woman named SUSAN BERMAN, because a man named Robert Durst's on trial for her murder, years after it happened.  The new evidence that was revealed in a documentary called THE JINX, involves a secretly recorded confession as well as letters sent in the U.S. Mail.  Durst comes from a very wealthy New York City real estate fortune family, like Ivanka Trump, and like Ivanka's husband, Jared Kushner.  The Durst family has avoided the controversy.  Durst's money provides him the lawyers.

Reading some news articles about the trial, after having watched The Jinx, I learned that Susan Berman supposedly took a loan from Robert, who she had been good friends with since they met as students at UCLA.  She was an author who was perhaps not able to depend on her income as a writer to pay her bills.  So I wondered if she was a good writer.  I read her book LADY LAS VEGAS and thought she was an excellent, creative non-fiction author.  She managed to have a bit of her and her family's story, since her father was instrumental in the development of Las Vegas, woven through later chapters about the development of the town famous for "What goes on in Vegas, stays in Vegas." 

Here at Mistress Manifesto BlogSpot, Virginia Hill, who was the mistress of Ben Siegel, the subject of the Warren Beatty film, Bugsy, credited with building the Flamingo Hotel in the middle of nowhere, was covered in March 2013.  Well, Susan's father and associates took over the Flamingo when Siegel was gunned down in Los Angeles while Virginia was out of town.

Susan, may she be resting in peace, left Vegas as a child, after her father died young of natural but stress related cause, and then her mother had a mental breakdown and eventually commited suicide.  Because of her family's participation in Organized Crime, her murder has been blamed on the Mob, rather than Durst. Was she really a woman who knew too much for her own good?  The Susan in this book was not associated with Organized Crime herself.  On the other hand it has been claimed that because of her family background, Durst was able to confess to her that he killed his wife, Kathy, also a long missing person that there is likely a murder mystery that may involve Durst.  After she was left an orphan, her guardian became her dad's brother, her uncle with a big gambling problem.  She left Vegas and eventually lived in Los Angeles.

As an adult, gone from Vegas for 40 years, and distanced from it though the years and therapy, though with very fond memories of her childhood there as the only child and daughter of Davie Berman, credited as a builder of the town, she went back.  The part about going to the family home in a suburb that had been turned into a law office, her old playhouse in the back yard still there but used for storage, was a bit of a heartbreaker.  Always in her memory as a good time in her life, proud of the achievements that her dad had made, Vegas had changed so significantly it was hardly what she'd remembered as an insider behind "American's Neon Oasis."

There are other books by and about Susan Berman, but I thought my readers might be interested in this one because of some of the people she mentions in the book who have been mentioned here at Mistress Manifesto BlogSpot.  Besides Ben Siegel and Virginia Hill, she mentions Elvis Presley (who sang happy birthday to her), Liberace, and Howard Hughes, who bought hotels and had a mistress in each of them.  We covered Scott Thorson, who Liberace Kept, here in October 2012, and Howard Hughes's Mistress Faith Domergue in May of 2014.  (The Mistresses mentioned here do not include Faith!)

To find these people in this blog, try running a search for their names in the search feature on the sidebar.


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