"Where you won't be gambling on a good time, but betting on a sure thing!"
Charles "Lucky" Luciano was not so lucky as his nickname would imply on April 1, 1936, as he was detained by the Hot Springs Police Department on orders from Thomas Dewey, New Your State Attorney General. Luciano was discovered walking on federal property in the National Park, therefore, falling under the jurisdiction of the federal government. He was strolling the promenade with none other than Hot Springs chief of detectives Herbert "Dutch" Akers when he was picked up.
Oddly enough, he was listed as prisoner number 13 in the Garland County booking sheet, behind a Milton Attwater. Attwater's son, "Big Ed" Attwater became acquainted with Luciano, after Luciano bonded out and returned to his suite at the Arlington Hotel. Ed Attwater, in a 2008 interview with museum director Robert Raines, stated that he, Attwater, had worked at the Arlington for over 40 years, starting out as a bell boy and making it all the way to bell captain. During this time he met and became friends with Luciano, while discussing the plight of his father, Milton, who remained in jail. The veteran bellman said about Luciano, "The other fellows always asked me if I was scared of Mr. Luciano or any of the other gangsters that I helped in the Arlington, and I'd say they were just like me and you, they just don't take no crap." Luciano was rearrested by New York State Rangers, and transported back to New York charged with running a prostitution racket.
Although Lucky would never return to the spa city, Ben Siegel, Jimmy Blues Eyes, and Frank Costello would continue to visit Hot Springs into the 60's. Albert Anastasia, seeking the advice and counsel of Owen Madden was in Hot Springs just days before he was gunned down at the Park Sheraton Hotel in New York. Meyer Lansky would regularly bring his son, Buddy, for treatment of cerebral palsy at Hot Springs's Levi Hospital. Meyer Lansky II, grandson of the late financial mastermind of the Syndicate, stated in a 2011 interview with director Raines, "My grandfather loved Hot Springs. He and his friends visited often, to enjoy the baths, to enjoy the company of Owen Madden, to conduct a little business, and the town prospered from that. It was a good thing." Some historians contend that Ben
Siegel's vision for the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas came from his many visits to the casinos of Hot Springs. Frank Costello was offered the position of gambling czar by the Hot Springs gambling community, to oversee the $100 million a year illegal gambling business in the city, after his retirement as "Prime Minister of the Underworld". His gracious decline of the offer, which came in the form of a letter, made the statewide news in 1960.
Lucky Luciano Arrested
"For more eye-witness accounts and insight into the role these powerful people played in the life of Hot Springs,
Arkansas, visit the Gangster Museum of America, 510 Central Avenue, or visit the TGMOA Gift Shop on line."
We Bring Bad Things to Life