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Al Capone: Haunted By A Vengeful Specter
The inspiration for the movie Scarface: Al Capone is, without a doubt, the single most legendary and badass gangster in American history. He is as iconic as he is infamous, having ran an extremely successful and ruthless criminal syndicate that brutalized the streets of Chicago during the prohibition era (1920s - 1930s). While his reign was cut short (He still technically ran his empire from his cell) when he was arrested on May 17th 1929 on the charges of tax evasion, the campaigns associated with his name will stand the test of time.
Al Capone was born into a large, poor Italian family in 1899. When he was 14, he was kicked out of school for punching a teacher in the face. Immediately after being expelled, he joined two street gangs. One was the Forty Thieves Juniors and the other being the Bowery Boys. Later he would join the Brooklyn Rippers and eventually upgrade into the powerful Five Points Gang in lower Manhattan. Capone would leave New York City to Chicago in 1919 where his career would really take off. This is also where the Valentine's Day Massacre occured, which plugs into the story of how Al Capone was Haunted By A Ghost.
Thursday, February 14th, 1929 10:30 AM. Saint Valentine's Day. It was on this day and at this time that 7 Men from the Mornan Gang were lined up against a brick wall on 2122 North Clark Street by 2 men dressed as police officers being accompanied by 2 more men wearing business attire. When lined up against the wall, they were fired at by the four still unknown assailants with two shotguns and two Thompson Submachine Guns (aka Tommy Guns, aka Chicago Typewriters). This was all because of a struggle over territory and power between they're gang and Al Capone's which resulted in a victory for Capone.
While the four assailants have still never been identified, it is believed the two men dressed in attire belonged to Capone's syndicate and the two other men dressed as police officers were actually police officers, who were getting revenge for the murder of a fellow officer's son. Below are all 7 of the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre Victims:
1.) Albert Kachellek (alias Jimmy Clark), Second in Command & Moran's Brother-In-Law
2.) Adam Heyer, the gang's Bookkeeper and Business Manager
3.) Albert Weinshank, Managed Cleaning Businesses for Moran
4.) Frank Gusenberg, Gang Enforcer
5.) Peter Gusenberg, Gang Enforcer
6.) Reinhardt H. Schwimmer, Collaborator
7.) John May, Collaborator
Albert Kachellek, Moran Gang
Adam Heyer, Moran Gang circa 1929
Albert Weinshank, Moran Gang circa 1929
Frank Gusenberg, Moran Gang
Peter Gusenberg, Moran Gang
Reinhardt Schwimmer, Moran Gang Affiliate
John May, Moran Gang Affiliate
On June 16th, 1931, Al Capone pled guilty to tax evasion and prohibition charges. Later that same year on October 18th he was convicted after trial and finally sentenced to 11 years in federal prison on November 24th. He was also charged with a $50,000 fine and $7,692 for court costs. To top if all off, he was to pay off the $215,000 plus interest on due back taxes. To be fair though, that was nothing, not even a dent into his $100,000,000 fortune he earned, Just over a billion dollars in today's USD amount. He was transferred from Georgia Penitentiary due a variety of reasons (Declining physical and mental health, targetted by other inmates, worries that he was bribing the guards) to the infamous Alcatraz Federal Prison.
While in Alacatraz, it was said Capone would often break the silence in the night; making guards sprint towards his cell to see what was going on; by screaming, telling "Jimmy" (the supposed ghost of Valentine's Day Massacre victim Jimmy Clark) to just leave him alone. Other times, fellow inmates reported hearing Capone having quiet conversations with Jimmy. Al Capone was losing his mind, literally. Advancing Syphilis which he never got treatment for as well as brain damage caused by years of cocaine and other drug abuse was causing him to go insane.
Later in his sentence it even got to a point that the guards didn't even see why he needed to be kept in captivity, he wasn't the terrifying crime boss he used to be anymore and nothing but a mindless shell, a zombie. He would spend his time playing randoms strings on his banjo and rambling to himself. The more his mind faded away, the more and more he kept seeing and hearing Jimmy's ghost.
When Al Capone was finally paroled in 1939, the prohibition era was long over as was his career and World War 2 was about to get it's kick start. Capone was sent for medical treatment before he finally retired to his mansion in Palm Island, Florida. When examined, it was determined his syphilis was in it's final stage and was starting to attack his already damaged brain. Nothing could be done. His torture at the mercy of Jimmy's ghost would not end and still haunt him well into retirement and all the while World War 2 raged on. A psychiatrist had examined the long forgotten Al Capone in 1946 and revealed his remaining mental capacity was that of a twelve year old. A year later at the age of 48 he would have finally died due to a heart attack, finally putting him out of his misery.