Al Capone (Alphonse Gabriel Capone) (January 17, 1899 – January 25, 1947) — american gangster of Italian origin, who operated in the 1920s and 1930s on the territory of Chicago. Under the guise of the furniture business and dry cleaners, the former bootlegging, gambling and pimping, as well as charity (the opening of a network of free canteens for unemployed fellow citizens). A prominent representative of organized crime in the era of the Prohibition Era and the Great Depression, which originated and is observed there under the threat of the Italian mafia, as well as the head of its Chicago branch.
Capone was born in Brooklyn, the fourth child of Gabriele Capone (1865–1920) and Teresa Raiol (1867–1952). The parents were Italian immigrants (both Angri natives) who came to the United States in 1894 from the Austro-Hungarian Rijeka (where they emigrated the year before) and settled on Navy Street 95 in the suburban New York Navy Yard area. Brooklyn, New York. Father was a hairdresser, mother was a seamstress. They had 9 children in total: sons James Vincenzo (1892-1952), Rafaelle James (1894-1974), Salvatore (1895-1924), Alfonse, daughter Ermine (1901-1902), sons Hermino John (1903-1985), Alberto Umberto (1905-1980), Matthew Nicholas (1908-1967) and daughter Mafalda (1912-1988).
When Alphonse was 11 years old, Capone moved to Brooklyn's Park Slope at 38 Garfield Place. From an early age, Alfonse showed signs of a clear excitable psychopath. Ultimately, at the age of 14, he attacked his school teacher, after which he left school and worked odd jobs for some time, after which he fell under the influence of the gangster Johnny Torrio and joined his James Street gang, which then merged into the famous the Five Points gang of Paolo Vaccarelli, better known as Paul Kelly.
The oversized teenager Alphonse got a job as a bouncer in a billiards club, which was the de facto hideout of the gang and served as a cover for the true cases (mainly illegal gambling and extortion). Addicted to playing billiards, he won absolutely every tournament held in Brooklyn during the year. Due to his physical strength and size, Capone enjoyed doing this job in his boss Yale's squalid and shabby institution, the Harvard Inn. It is to this period of life that historians attribute the stabbing of Capone with the felon Frank Galluccio. It is to this period of life that historians attribute the stabbing of Capone with the felon Frank Galluccio. The quarrel occurred because of the sister (according to some reports, wife) Galluccio, against whom Capone released a cheeky remark. Alluccio slashed the young Alfonso in the face with a knife, leaving him with the famous scar on his left cheek, which earned Capone the nickname "Scarface" in the chronicles and pop culture. Alfonso was ashamed of this story and explained the origin of the scar by participation in the “Lost Battalion”, the offensive operation of the Entente troops in the Argonne forest in World War I, due to the incompetence of the command, which ended tragically for the infantry battalion of American troops. In fact, Alfonso never served in the army.
On December 4, 1918, Capone's girlfriend, Irish Catholic Mary Josephine Coughlin (1897–1986), gave birth to his son, Albert Francis "Sonny" Capone (1918–2004). On December 30, Capone and Coughlin were married at St Mary the Star of the Sea in Brooklyn. Since Capone was not yet 21 years old at the time, written consent to the marriage was required from his parents.
Albert was born with congenital syphilis and a severe mastoid infection. He underwent emergency brain surgery and remained partially deaf for the rest of his life. Albert was the only child of Al and Mary, which Lawrence Bergreen explained in his book Capone: the man and the era by the fact that Al infected Mary with syphilis, which in turn led to the fact that her subsequent pregnancies ended in miscarriage and stillbirth. Al's great-niece Deidra Capone (the granddaughter of his brother Rafaelle) in her book "Uncle Al Capone: The Untold Story from Inside His Family" even expressed doubts that. Albert could be the biological son of Al and Mary - in her words, Al was barren, and Mary certainly wasn't Albert's mother.
In 1941, Albert married Diana Ruth Casey (1919–1989) and they had four daughters, Veronica Francis (1943–2007), Diana Patricia, Barbara May, and Terry Hall.
In 1959, the television series The Untouchables premiered, telling a little fictional about the activities of Eliot Ness, who arrested Capone. Although Capone himself appears in the series for only two episodes, the series was very popular, because of which interest in the person of Capone increased again. In 1960, Albert, Mary, and sister Al Mafalda Maritote sued CBS (which aired the series) and its affiliates for $6 million, accusing them of invading their privacy - Albert stated that he had to take his family and move to another city because his daughters began to be harassed at school. The federal district court and the Chicago District Court dismissed the lawsuit, and when Capone turned to the US Supreme Court, the lawsuit was also dismissed there on the grounds that the rights to privacy in this case apply only to Al himself, deceased by that time.
In 1965, Albert was caught shoplifting, for which he received a two-year suspended sentence, after which he officially changed his name to Albert Francis Brown in 1966 (Brown often used Al himself as a pseudonym). In July 1964, Albert divorced his wife, after which he was married twice more.
In 1917, Capone was closely interested in the New York police: he was suspected of involvement in at least two murders, which served as an excuse for him to move after Torrio to Chicago and join the gang of “Big” Colosimo, the owner of several brothels, Uncle Torrio. During this period, there was a dispute between Colosimo and Torrio about expanding the scope of activities by bootlegging. Torrio was in favor, Colosimo was against. The greedy and unprincipled Torrio, having exhausted all the arguments, decided to eliminate the intractable relative, and Alfonso supported him. The performer was a friend of the Five Points gang - thug Frankie Yale.
In the bootlegging business, the newly minted Torrio gang faced fierce competition. After several years of coexistence, a conflict of interest led to a clash between the Torrio group and the Irish North Side gang of Daon O'Banion, which eventually resulted in the latter's murder. The O'Banion gang did not accept defeat, and the next notable victim of the confrontation was Matthew Nicholas, Alfonso's younger brother. Two attempts on his life and severely wounding Torrio in a shootout forced him to retire and appoint 26-year-old Al Capone as his successor. At that time, the gang consisted of about a thousand fighters and collected 300 thousand dollars of income per week.
Al Capone introduced the concept of racketeering. The mafia began to exploit prostitution, and all this was covered by huge bribes paid by Capone not only to policemen, but also to politicians. The war of bandits under Capone took on unprecedented proportions for that time. Between 1924 and 1929 alone, more than five hundred gunmen were shot dead in Chicago. Capone mercilessly exterminated the Irish gangs of O'Banion, Dougherty and Bill Moran. In skirmishes, they used machine guns, machine guns and hand grenades, explosive devices installed in cars.
Capone is associated with the origin of the expression "money laundering". To hide the origin of his income, he opened a large network of laundries in the United States, and declared his criminal proceeds as income from laundries.
Al Capone moved from Chicago to the suburb of Cicero. The municipal elections there in 1924 were of particular interest to the Mafia and "were marked by shootings, stabbings, kidnappings and other crimes unparalleled in previous elections".
In November 1924, Torrio ordered the assassination of O'Banyon and launched an open war against his associates for leadership in the bootleg alcohol market in Chicago. As a result of the retaliatory actions of the northwestern, Torrio, who had barely escaped reprisal, went on the run, appointing Capone responsible for the operation, who himself almost died in the confrontation in September 1926.
At the appointed hour, members of the Capone gang, dressed as Chicago cops, broke into the garage where Moran's rival Irish gang had set up a contraband whiskey warehouse. Moran's men, taken by surprise, raised their hands in the air, convinced of the authenticity of the policemen. They obediently lined up against the wall, but instead of the expected search, shots rang out. Seven people were killed. However, the main goal for which the crime was planned was not achieved - Bugs Moran was late for the meeting and, seeing the police car parked at the warehouse, fled. Attracted by the shots, passers-by crowded in front of the garage. They were overly surprised by the quickness of the guardians of order, when Capone's guys in a new, as if from a needle, uniform, left the place of the massacre.
No direct evidence of Capone's involvement in the episode was found. Moreover, no one was brought to trial for the crime.
The published images from the crime scene shocked the public and badly ruined Capone's reputation in society, and also forced federal law enforcement agencies to come to grips with the investigation of his activities.
Failing health and death
In July 1931, Capone appeared in federal court and in May 1932 was sentenced to 11 years in prison in the Atlanta Correctional Institution for tax evasion of $388,000. Upon arrival there, during a medical examination, Capone was diagnosed with syphilis and gonorrhea, as well as withdrawal symptoms caused by cocaine addiction, which led to damage to the nasal septum. In prison, Capone worked in a shoe shop for eight hours a day. His poor health led to him being attacked by other prisoners, but he managed to put together a small protection around him from other prisoners - in particular, he was supported by his cellmate Red Rudensky, a petty swindler who already had a connection with the Capone gang and seriously feared for the psyche the last one. This situation eventually gave rise to rumors that Capone had privileges, which is why in 1934 he was transferred to a prison on Alcatraz Island. On June 23, 1936, Capone received a superficial stab wound there from prisoner James Lucas. In Alcatraz, Capone's mental health worsened more and more due to progressive neurosyphilis, and he spent the last year of his imprisonment in a prison hospital - most of the letters he wrote during his imprisonment were completely incoherent. Because of his health, his term was reduced, and on January 6, 1939, he was released from prison and transferred to the California Federal Correctional Institution at Terminal Island to serve his sentence for contempt of court, from where he was released on November 16 of that year.
After his release, Capone was referred to Baltimore's Johns Hopkins Hospital for paresis (caused by advanced syphilis), but they refused to admit him due to his reputation. He was eventually admitted to Union Memorial Hospital, to which Capone later donated two Japanese weeping cherries in gratitude.
After several weeks of inpatient outpatient treatment, Capone, who never recovered, left Baltimore on March 20, 1940, and went to his wife and son at their family mansion on Palm Island, Florida. In 1946, his doctor and psychiatrist from Baltimore conducted an examination and concluded that Capone now has the psyche and mind, like a 12-year-old child. On January 21, 1947, Capone suffered a stroke, from which he got out, but then he was diagnosed with pneumonia. On January 22, he suffered a cardiac arrest, and on January 25, Capone died at his home surrounded by his family. He was originally buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Chicago, but in 1950 Capone's remains, along with those of his father and brother Salvatore, were moved to Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois.