01/11/2013 03:17 pm ET Updated Mar 13, 2013

Mickey Cohen: Memoirs Of The Good Days - Features - Los Angeles Magazine

Late author and screenwriter Ben Hecht wrote this account as part of an unfinished biography of Mickey Cohen in 1958-9. It is published here by permission of his widow, Rose Hecht.

I am full of hair-raising information told me by an ex-underworld king-pin named Mickey Cohen. How he shot, slugged, gouged and swindled his way from rags to riches. How he preyed on society as a stick-up man and crooked gambler, how he corrupted its guardians and strutted for a long time in the nation's headlines. In addition to facts, I have a knowledge of this disorderly man that may be a deep one. I feel I know him as well as I know Macbeth or the blonde Borgia.