Introducing: TODAY IN TRUE CRIME, a new Parcast Original!
I'm thrilled to tell you about another incredible podcast original. I'm hosting called today in true crime. It's a new daily podcast cast that takes you back to the biggest events in true crime that happened each day in history and right now. I'm gonna play today's episode for you to hear new episodes roads every day subscribed today in true crime for free on spotify anywhere you listen to podcasts today is monday august twenty sixth two thousand nineteen on this day in nineteen sixteen virginia hill was born born on a horse farm in lipscomb alabama as an adult she would go on to become one of america's most infamous mob queens welcome to today and true crime apar- cast original original every day. We flip back the calendar to this date years ago and recount one event from true crime history. I'm vanessa richardson and today today we're going back to the birth of virginia hill who eventually became one of the most towering figures in the national criminal underworld she he was arguably the most powerful female mob boss of her era wielding wealth glamour and sex like deadly weapons but she rose rose from humble beginnings before we unpack the ramifications of virginia hills life. Let's go back to the evening of her birth. On august twenty-sixth nineteen sixteen a little after supper as another day on the farm came to a close margaret hill sat at the dining table worrying. One of the kids massaged her bloated feet another wash. The dishes a third dried where the other three had gotten to goodness new margaret could only hope they were staying out of have trouble as far as their father went. She didn't even bother to hope she knew. Mack was getting into trouble. He'd earned a bit bit of cash this past week that would go towards drink. Not the grocery bills on top of it all this baby he. He wouldn't stop kicking. He would be a strong one. Maybe he ended up better stud farmer than his father. Maybe she'd managed to keep him from the drink. Shrink make him a standup type. The kind who'd care for his woman treat her tenderly set aside every penny for his family or it could be a girl but god forbid a woman this strong the world treated strong girls harshly well men. Did they beat them down. Sometimes they just flat out beat them. She concluded thinking of her husband. Margaret gasped and and clutched her ballooning stomach. She'd known it was coming and soon but tonight. This baby was wasting no time her son with margaret's feed in his lap looked at her with concern. She smiled at him weekly whispering softly. Don't don't worry little one. It'll be over soon. I should know it's the seven-time around. Margaret looked around the room room with a sigh. Mac wasn't here but she'd handle it herself. She had before kids. Come over to your momma. She gasped as is another contraction hit. You sweetie pie. Go around to the neighbors and ask if anyone is free to come help with a birth over here and you honey girl you go find any of your brothers and sisters you can muster margaret glanced at a framed photo of her with mac and their firstborn sitting at a picnic and laughing another kind of pain passed over her face for a moment not a contraction this time after after a moment of hesitation she looked back at her daughter and added and once you found the other kids go look for your daddy down at the tavern to the two children's scattered running through the hill families ramshackle four room house the little foot rubber sat still and asked softly. We mama what should i do. It took margaret a moment to reply her mouth was busy twisting in pain but but then she swung her legs to the floor patted his little knee and explained that she needed him here with her to help her with the pain her eyes blinked quickly to clear away the water then focused on his silky head of hair hair so shiny and beautiful that hair but it wouldn't be for long if he didn't get enough to eat every train of thought led her back here to the question of how she'd feed her six six little ones and now this new baby on the way money she so desperately needed money winter was coming ming. They'd need to keep warm to eat that cost money. A shiver ran down her back. She'd lived through to cold winters before winters where every day hunger gnawed at her belly so had her children. The kids were smart and strong. They could look out for themselves and each other while she was gone. They'd be fine alone but with their father if he was home alone with them after drinking. She wasn't as sure they'd be all right. Margaret shivered again harder this time another contraction hit. She gritted her teeth. The door bursts open interrupting her pain. It was the the anti from next door with two of the kids. The neighbor took charge margaret leaned against her as they limped into the bedroom the children pod at their mother's wrists and ankles until they were ordered off to boil the water and collect clean rags. Margaret shut her eyes for the first time since before sunup worry as always flashed across her mind she could almost hear the elusive clink of coins in somewhere far away but this wasn't the time for that it was time to pray to pray for a living healthy the. Baby though she wasn't so worried about that this time after those vigorous kicks to pray that the baby would live happy and safe and well to pray that grew up to have more than she had now to pray that it would follow god's path coming up. We'll hear how far from god margaret's baby fell and how far from poverty eighty she rose now back to the story on august twenty sixth nineteen twelve margaret hill gave birth earth to virginia hill on a small horse farm in lipscomb alabama virginia like her mother and her siblings lived through hunger and through her father's violent drunken rages he beat the children as well as their mother but even from an early age virginia resented his treatment at seven years old she threw hot sausage greece on him fighting back against his blows at fourteen eighteen or fifteen she left home and married her first husband her father's treatment however had left. It's mark from the time virginia. It was a little girl. She knew she could never fall in love. Her mother had fallen in love with mac and look where that had gotten her and everywhere around her. Even in more peaceful households virginia saw a different version of the same story playing out. It's long sad narrative women giving men taking she was going to flip that story and use men as stepping stones to fame fortune cheon and power in nineteen thirty three at age seventeen. She made her way to chicago. Worship quickly found her way into a circle of high profile mobsters i as a girlfriend then as a currier and eventually as powerful full keeper of secrets with amel against almost every prominent mobster in chicago and on the east coast she was valued in mob circles circles across america for her good memory her ability to charm and defuse tension and her particular talent for talking up a storm without l. revealing anything she didn't want to ultimately her talents led her to become a powerful mob boss in her own right she sat at tables abel's with al capone and lucky luchino handled millions for the mob and made millions more for herself and that's not uneven the half of it would makes virginia's stories so fascinating is the fact that she used the stereotypes and condescension men applied to her at every turn to her advantage. She was a strong woman. As margaret had worried she he might be but she was able to mold and manipulate her strength into shapes that worked for her in the male dominated criminal underworld after that first pan of hot oil she threw at her abusive father her methods for fighting against male dominance grew more subtle and complicated did they didn't necessarily look like feminism in fact virginia encouraged male assumptions about her frivolous emotional and superficial schol nature but all the while she was playing them and giving as good as she got if not far more margaret didn't need to worry about this baby virginia hill did well for herself but the crime betrayal and mistrust that characterized her lifestyle took their toll eventually she ended up testifying in televised senate mob hearings that captured captured the nation evading i._r._s. charges of tax evasion and fleeing to europe where she lived out the rest of her short life she had attempted suicide many times but in nineteen sixty six at age forty nine a final try killed her however ever her fascinating story exemplifies many of the challenges that face women of her era whatever their profession it also shows one one unique brave and often ingenious approach to achieving enormous goals against all odds. Thanks for listening to today true crime. I'm vanessa richardson for more more information on virginia hill. Check out the episodes of female criminals the dive deeper into her life and crimes and for more stories of mobsters check out the podcast original kingpins today and true crime is a podcast original. You can find more episodes of today in true crime and all other podcast. I originals for free on spotify. Not only does spotify already have all of your favorite music but now specifies making it easy for you to enjoy all of your favorite britt park cast originals like today in true crime for free from your phone desktop or smart speaker to stream today in true crime on spotify. Just just open the app and type today in true crime in the search bar at podcast. Were grateful for you our listeners you allow us to do what we love. Let us no how we're doing. Reach out on facebook and instagram at podcast and twitter at podcast network will be back with a brand new episode tomorrow. Oh in true crime today and true crime was created by max. Cutler is a production of cutler media and part of the podcast network. It's produced by maxon ron cutler sound design by karie murphy with production assistance by ron shapiro paul molitor maggie admire and carly madden this episode of today day in true crime is written by nora patel. I'm vanessa richardson. I hope you liked today's episode. You can hear a new episode every day to hear tomorrow's all new episode followed today in true crime for free on spotify and anywhere you listen to podcasts.