Thursday, November 15, 2018

1115 Case #9: Al Capone

(by Student #9 AMH 2010)
Note: This student did not follow instructions to start their research with one of the Casefiles I assigned.


One of the most interesting stories of the early 1900s has to be the one of Al (Scarface) Capone who I have heard his name before but never really knew what exactly he did or why he was so famous and looking at his name for so long I finally got the opportunity to really research and find out everything about him. Since I only know the basics of Al Capones life I hope to find out more about his criminal activity and how he was able to be such an infamous criminal for so long and how he was caught or died. I also want to know what happen to him to make him choose the life of a criminal and how he was able to grow so much.
            According to www.fbi.gov Al Capone was born on 1899 in Brooklyn New York and got his first exposure to criminal life and gangs in the 6th grade when he dropped out to join a notorious street gang. Al Capone would end up growing up in the gang and becoming one of the most notorious members and in 1920 would become a very influential member in the Colosimo mob. The Prohibition act is what apparently skyrocketed Al Capone and his mob into a lucrative market of selling alcohol and other drugs for massive amounts of profit and giving them massive amounts of power. In 1925 Capones long time partner and leader of the gang Torrio who was wounded in an assassination attempt. Once Capone took over the mob things changed really quickly in Chicago because other mobs and gangs were being silenced or nullified by the Capone mob so after about a year or less there was a complete monopoly and was ruled by
Capone. One of the most famous moments in Al Capones life comes in 1929 February 14, which is Valentine’s day known as the Valentine’s day massacre in which 7 members of a rival gang known as the bugs mob were machine gunned down by Al Capones members that were dressed as police officers to surprise them. All of this was happening and Al Capone was in his home in Miami running the gang from a far away land so he couldn’t really be physically linked to any of the crimes but still be able to run his organization.
Once I saw so many things to do with the Capone mob I decided to look more into and some of the people who were involved with it and I found a list of his friends and the things they did for him. Pretty much he had had 7 or so lieutenants that would do his most secret and undercover jobs, and they have criminal records that are extremely long that range from petty stealing to murders. And most of his men like Claude Maddox who in 1931 was public enemy number 3 which means he was doing so much crime that all of the united states needed to watch for him. So the more I looked on http://www.myalcaponemuseum.com/id193.htm the more i wondered how many of these people were killed and how they were going to get replaced and I saw whenever any of the 7 lieutenant’s died then the next most notorious members would be nominated and picked by Al Capone himself and he would be moved up to the highest level underneath obviously Al Capone himself. So as well as Al Capone and his mob was
 able to get to the top of the world it wouldn’t last forever and was only at its peak for 7 years. When I think of empires I think of civilizations that last for hundreds and that compared to just the 7 years Al Capone had made me think of how other criminal empires lasted to see if maybe this was a long time to be on top. I didn’t find to many things on different eras but on https://www.therichest.com/rich-list/world/the-10-most-successful-gangsters-of-all-time/ Al Capone was ranked as the 6th most successful gangster of all time and topping the list is Columbian gangster Pablo Escobar. It was also said that Al Capone made about 1.3 billion dollars during his lifetime which is pretty crazy to think about since the majority of it came in those 7 years where prohibition was a thing and he was only able to grow so much in that short amount of time. From there I noticed one common thing from the list of notorious gangsters and that thing was they all started off poor and started at an extremely young age usually before they are teens or early teens. This is just one of so many signs that just show us how susceptible people are to influential people and really unable to think about the decisions they make and pretty much are brain washed these kids into becoming ruthless monsters. I think because a lot of these people started out poor most of them like Al Capone were considered modern day robin hoods because of how much they would give back to the community by opening shelters and sending kids to college and just helping families that were struggling financially.
 In the 1930s Al Capone had pretty much the entire government under his payroll and was able to do what he wanted there in Chicago. But
 like I said before his rein wouldn’t last forever because after that valentines massacre the president at the time Herbert Hoover noticed and personally pushed to get Capone arrested So the government had a 2 step plan on getting their hands on him and the first was shutting down his businesses so they could slow him down and the second was collecting tax documents on all his massive incomes that he wasn’t paying the income tax on and when he was convicted on October 17, 1931 of 5 counts of tax evasion he was completely shocked. He thought he was able to pay off the jury and get away for these petty crimes but he was wrong and the judge used the maximum sentence of 11 years and that would be the end of the Capone era. When in jail according to https://www.thoughtco.com/al-capone-1779788 he was receiving special treatment  in federal prison in Atlanta and the government heard about this and to make an example out of him they sent him to a maximum prison and island called Alcatraz near san Francisco and he was one of their first inmates. Some other famous inmates that were at Alcatraz include George “machine gun” Kelly, And Alvin Karpis who was the very first Public Enemy number 1 in history. When Capone got there in 1934 people would want to challenge him because he was the biggest name there and such a notorious figure. But along with that Capone had been carrying a curable STD called syphilis and at this time it had started to mess with his mind and quickly deteriorated his health while  being incarcerated. Over the next few years he became more and more disoriented, had slurred speech, and a shuffle walk because of the disease. So after a 4 year stay in Alcatraz Capone was transferred to a hospital in Los Angeles where after a few months
was released on parole. At this point the disease is incurable and Capones wife Mae took him to many doctors but all of them said he was set to die very soon because of how fast the disease was spreading and advancing in his head. Al Capone spent the next 7 years of his life with deteriorating health in a mansion he had in Miami until he finally died In 1947 of cardiac arrest. One of the things I wondered while looking up his death is if at Alcatraz there were conspiracies of experiments they would do on inmates and because Al didn’t really have those problems until he got there it makes you think if maybe that is why his brain was that of a 12 year old boy when he was released but was pretty fine going into it. So I guess you can say Al Capone was not only one of the biggest gangsters in history he also gave back and had a very high peak that came crashing down as fast as it rose.