Thesis:From racketeering, bootlegging, and brotheling, Alphonse Capone is one of the
most well known and influential gangsters in history.
Al Capone, born to Gabriele and Teresina Capone, was born in Brooklyn, New
York. At age 5 he starrted school at Public School no.7 on Adams street. Als school
had outbreaks of violence. Male Students engaged in fist fights with female teachers. At
age 14 he engaged in a fight between himself and a teacher. He was expelled and he
never returned to school again.
One of the biggest impacts on his life was when he and his family moved across
town. This is where he would meet his wife, Mae and gangster Johnny Torrio. Al was
exposed to Johnny Torrio because Johnnys headquarters was only a few blocks away. Al
earned pocket money by running errands for Johnny Torrio. Torrio taught Capone the
importance of leading an outwardly respectiable life to segregate his carreer from his home
life, as if maintaining a peacefull, conventional domestic setting somehow excused or
legitimized the venality of workingin the rackets. I was a form of hypocrisg that was
second nature to Johnny Torrio and that taught Capone to honor (A&E Biography. Al
Capone, Scareface). Like youths of his time he ran in territorial gangs at first he was with
the South Brooklyn Rippers, then the Forty Theives, and lastly the Five Point Juniors.
Capone worked hard at boreing jobs he cut paper and other odd jobs. One of his jobshe
worked at the Harward Inn as a barr tender and a bouncer. He became popular to his
customersand his boss.
One day he waited tables on a young man and his female companion. She was
Beautiful to the young Capone. He leaned over and told her, Honey, you have a nice ass
and I mean that as a compliment. The young man hit Al. Als temper began to rise. The
man pulled a knife and cut him three times in the face. The young man told Lucky
Luciano what happened. Then Luciano went to Frankie Yale. Then Frankie, Luciano and
the young man came together to dispence some justice on Capone. Capone ended up just
appoligising to the man and the young woman. Frankie Yale liked Capone and decided to
take him under his wing. He showed Capone strong arm tactics, bookkeepping, loan
sharking, extortion, exacting tribute from pimps and bookmakers and also how to offer
protection to local busisnesses. Al met Mae Loughlin and didnt marry her until their child
was born. Afterwards focused on a ligetiment carreer. So he moved to Baltimore and
was a bookkeeper for Peter Aiellos construction firm.
After the death of his father in 1920, he rusumed his relationship with Johnny
Torrio and moved to Chicago where Torrio had expanded his rackteering game.The
flesh trade was big at this time and the biggest pimp of them all was Big Jim. Big Jim
brought in Torrio to run his opperation. Big Jim was asssassinated by Yale, so Yale could
take over his outfit but Torrio was able to maintain the multi-million dollar a year
business. When Prohibition came about Johnny had to over see thousands of
whorehouses, gambling joints, and speakeasies. In 1921 Torrio became partners with the
young Al Capone. He made Al the fulltime manager of the Four Deuces in the Levee
Torrio took his mother, who was ill, back to Italy so Al was encharged of all
business. When Johnny left, Capone made it clear that he wanted an all out conquest of
the town. While Johnny was gone Al had to get a loan, he went to Jack Guzik and Guzik
called him a dago pimp. So capone came back and shot him dead. William McSwinggin,
a prosecutor, decided to try to convict Capone but in despite of his diligence he was not
able to convict because eye witnesses developed a false memory. Dion OBanion was a
force to be reckoned with, he set Torrio up with a raid and Torrio vowed revenge to Dion.
So three of Torrios men went to OBanions flowershop and killed him dead. Dions
funeral was a celebration of sorts to Capone and Torrio because they would take over
Dions bootlegging territory.Torrio went down to Hot Springs, Arkansas to chill out
until things blew over. Twelve years later he returned to Chicago and he and his wife
were entering their apartment building and he was shot and wounded 3 times. Four weeks
later he shocked everyone by appearing in court to face charges about the raid and went
to jail for nine months. While he was in prison he decided to retire and leave everything to
Al. Als power increased imeansly because he retired.
Capone and one of his associates planned the murder of Bugs Moran. While Al
was chilling in Florida. Machine Gun McGurn, Fred KillerBurke, James Kay, Jon
Scalise, and Albert Anselmi were to assassinate Bugs. They lured the bootlegger to a
garage by tring to sell some whiskey for real cheap. McGurns men would be waiting for
them dressed in stolen police uniforms and trench coats as if they were staging a raid.
Playin their part as raider the men stormed the Garage and found seven other men
including the Gusenberg brothers who had tried to murder McGurn. They were caught in
the act, so they did what they were instructed to do. They lined up the assians against the
wall, then the four men in police uniforms took the bootleggers guns: 2 machine guns, a
sawed off shotgun, and a .45 and opened fire on the men. They slumped to the floor dead
except for Frnk Gusenburg who was still breathing. It was perfect except for the fact the
man it was planned for didnt show up untill later. Bugs had left so he wouldnt get
caught in the raid. Gusenberg had 22 bullet wounds. Who shot You?, ask Sergent
Sweeney. Nobody shot me, whispered Gusenburg (http://www.crime.com/capone.htm.
Al Capone).He kept refusing to tell who shot him until he died some few minutes later.
The police figured out who the target was and the beneficiary if the execution had been
sucessful, but the police still had no evidence. The police dropped the charges against
McGurn since he had an air tight alibi. It was the most publicity a gang event had ever
recieved. He had glamour and everything. It even got Herbert Hoovers attention. Then
Capone was called infront of a grand jury in Chicago. Al just didnt understand the forces
Hoover sent the IRS and other federal task fources out to get Capone. Capone
tried to turn over his empire to Johnny Torrio, but he refused. Capone was endited for tax
evasion a few weeks later. Finally enough evidence was collected from Als bootlegging
business to convince a grand jury that Capone was violating Prohibition Laws as well as
evadinghis taxes. A movie was made about the ordeal with Michael Malone playing
Capone. Capone rode out all the media harassement at home in Maimi Beach. Capone
even tried to change his image so he started a soup kitchen.
Al was finally convicted and sent to the United States Penitentary in Atlanta. He
quickly became the most famous prisoner. Attorney General Thorne Cummings took over
Alcatraz Island to warehouse dangerous crimminals. In 1934 Capone was sent to
Alcatrez, his days of being famous were over. There would be no more smuggled letters
or messages. All mail of any kind was sensored then retyped by guards with prohibited
subjects ommitted, which included the faintest whiff of business or doings with former
associates. They censored all current events. No newspapers were allowed and magizines
had to be more than seven months old. He lost his popularity fast but he handled it fine.
He had neurosyphilis which he had contracted at a younger age. It went in to a relapse.
He was confused and disorented. So his sentence was lightened because of work credits,
good behavior, and other stuff. He was at his Palm Island home on January 25, 1947,
when he died at the age of 48.
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