Newspaper Page Text
Al Capone, Gangster,
Dies in Private Villa At Miami Beach (Continued From First Page.) of one-way rides with which his name could be connected. The stroke on Tuesday'swept Ca pone close to death—but he stopped just short of its portal. More than 16 hours later the one time gang overlord rallied unex pectedly and came out of his coma so quickly that he attempted to talk with his wife, and son, Alfred, (Sonny). He was out of danger for a time, then pneumonia developed and with this complication his heart weak ened. The one group that will mourn the scarfaced gangster gathered once more to await the end. They in cluded his wife, and son, His aged mother, Theresa; his father, Ermio; a sister, Mrs. Mafaida Mariotote, and two brothers, Ralph and Matthew. Gangdom's original Public Enemy No. 1, Capone built a multimillion dollar racket based on the deter mination of people to have liquor and to gamble, no matter how the law read. Consequently, he became the pro hibition era’s synonym for all that was lawless—gang wars, beer k li ning, machine-gun murders, gam bling payoffs. He became as much a reason for the demise of prohibi tion as Andrew J. Volstead was for the unhappy dry-up experiment. So vicious was his mob rule in Chicago’s “turbulent 20s“ that 701 gang deaths were counted during the 12 years his name spelled dread and awe to what was then the crime capital of the world. And when the Government finally found a way to shackle him, it was not for murder or for racketeering or for subjecting a metropolis to a reign of terror. It was simply for tax evasion, a law in which Capone's sharpest “mouthpieces" could find no loopholes. Sentenced to 11 Years. His number was up on October 23, 1931, when a Federal judge looked down on his chubby, anxious face and meted out sentences total ing 11 years. With “good time” allowed all model prisoners, “Scar face Al”? came out into the world again after only seven years, six months and two weeks. But prohibition was over, order ruled in Chicago, and his once feared name now was only a mem ory to link with spasmodic gang outbursts. Al Capone, the under world king, was dead. And Al Ca Ah CAPONE. pone, the man, was an incurable mental case, a victim of paresis— softening of the brain. The director of a bootleg syndi cate with a reputed "take” of $25, 000,000 a year in its cushiest days, had gone up the river on an item of $215,080 he failed to pay on a $1,038,654 income for the years 1925-29. When they happily put him away, Federal agents estimated Capone was worth $200,000,000 or more and that he had squandered $7,500,000 in eight years of lush living and gambling, mostly crap shooting. Released to Family. Capone was in three prisons be fore he was secretly taken to Lewis burg (Pa.) Federal Prison and re leased to his family November 16, 1939. It was in one of these insti tutions—grim Alcatraz on the “rock” in San Francisco Bay—that his mind began slipping and for one week in every four he lapsed into a state of helplessness. When finally he was released, he entered a Baltimore hospital for treatment by an eminent syphllol ogist, and it was not until March, 1940, that he returned to his white walled maw^ion on Palm Island in Bascayne Bay near Miami Beach, Fla., there to fritter away the re maining years of his life under close surveillance of his family. Physicians said the mind that had directed Chicago's sanguinary syn dicate had been reduced to that of a 12-year-old. Sometimes he made semipublic appearances, but more often he lolled on tfie sand, paddled in his swimming pool, fished from a pier or hit a few golf balls on a driving range. These were the declining years of a still young man who had come with his family from Naples. Italy, to sell papers and learn gangsterism on the streets of New York. He served his apprenticeship with the “Five Points” gang of Johnny Tor rio. a contemporary of “Lefty Louie,” “Gyp the Blood" and others of the gang hired in 1912 by Charles Becker, a police lieutenant, to kill Gambler Herman Rosenthal. Fell Down on Assignment. Chicago's notorious South Side vice called Torrio there as a lieu tenant to “Big Jim” Colosimo, a former street cleaner, elevated by shady politics to kingpin of the rackets. Brought to Chicago in 1919 as a bodyguard for Colosimo, Capone fell down on the job. Colosimo was " “rubbed out” in his garish cafe, and Torrio promoted himself to boss, with Capone as his right-hand man. Chicago .had been comparatively peaceful up to then. Now the New York importations began showing REMEMBER WEDNESDAY? — The mercury slipped down to 12 degrees, automobiles froze, and a brisk wind whistled around street corners. Among Washington’s shivering citizens that day were, left to right, Collette Smith, 118 F street S.E.; Mary Newheiser, £41 E street S.E., and Margaret Sturgeon, 89 Darrington street S.W. It was January’s coldest day. AND THEN CAME SATURDAY—Up went the mercury to a balmy 62 degrees. There was picnicking in the park and people strolled coatless down F street. Taking advantage of sudden spring, Dr. and Mrs. Enos Ray, Ontario Apartments, took their two-year-Old son, Enos, jr., to sail his boat in Rock Creek. It was January’s hottest day. —Star Staff Photos. ---—-- , ♦— the town “how to run a racket.” They introduced, the “typewriter,” or portable machine gun, backing Bp their commands with a chatter ing of bullets. One of the first to challenge the new reign was Dion “Danny” O’Ban ion, swaggering ex-jackroller and safecracker. O’Banion came out such a poor second best that he furnished the corpse for the first of Chicago’s fabulous gangland funerals of bronze coffins and ex quisite flowers. Capone Became “Top Man.” The O’Banion killing occurred November 10, 1924, in the victim’s flower shop across the street from Holy Name Cathedral. Torrio didn’t know it, but his decision to eliminate O’Banion set Capone up in business as top man. A short time later O’Banion’s henchmen nailed Torrio to his door step with a hail of lead, and the former New York bad man retreated to retirement on Long Island. At 26 Capone moved in as “the big fellow” and from 1925 until he lost his immunity to the law there was perpetual gang war, and when ever another perforated body was found the name of Capone inevit ably came up. Only twice was he called up to answer in the courts for murder and then, as in all other charges brought against him, suave attorneys talked him out of trouble. In 1925 he was charged with the murder of William H. McSwiggin, an assistant State’s attorney of Cook County, and two companions known as rivals for Capone’s beer business. The case was dismissed for lack of evidence. The other time that Capone was accused of being the trigger man was when a . derelict named Joe Howard paid off for hi-jacking Ca pone beer and whisky trucks. Be fore he died, Howard said a “young fellow named Al” shot him. But like a later Federal liquor conspiracy in dictment and charges of election fraud in a Chicago suburb, this case died aborning. Entered New Fields. The syndicate grew as Capone grew, operating from suburbs like Cicero and Burnham, and eliminat ing gangs that dared test his strength. He pushed into new fields, gambling, dog racing, politics and even into the bloody feud for su premacy in the "Unione Sicilana”— a vendetta that had claimed 45 lives since 1924. Guns cut down Hymie Weiss and Vincent Drucci, successors to O’Banion. Another threat to Ca pone supremacy ended when Spike O’Donnell got out of the rackets. Joe Saltis retired to a Wisconsin farm, where it was healthier. The Weiss assassination in 1926 was one of Chicago’s most spectacu lar. Pointing machine guns from a window opposite Holy Nahie Cathe dral. the killers sprayed the streets, slaying Weiss, a lieutenant named Paddy Murray and wounding three others. When the smoke had cleared away, bullets had chipped the cathe dral cornerstone which carried these words: •‘At. the name of Jesus every knee should bow in Heaven and on earth.” Flashing expensive jewelry, Ca pone later casually talked to report ers. In his hand he held the picture of a 7-year-old boy, his son. Calling for a truce in the war for vice con trol. he said: “i don’t want to break the hearts of people who love me. Maybe I can make them think of their mothers and sisters and if they think of‘ them they’ll put away their guns and treat their business like any one else. After working Mercury Hits 62, Month's High Three Days After Dipping to 12 With yesterday the wannest day this month and last Wednesday the coldest, the Weather Bureau is hav ing its ups and downs but insists the situation is not unusual. The high yesterday was a balmy 62 degrees at 2:20 p.m., and a low of 44 was registered at 6:08 a.m. On Wednesday the high was 25 and the low 12. “It doesn’t happen every week, this high and low business within so short a period,” the forecaster explained, “but we frequently get hours they will go home where they belong.” Surrounded by thin-lipped young men, foppishly attired, Capone strutted in night clubs, always on the alert for chatter guns. His steel-reinforced automobile with bulletproof glass never failed to at tract attention. He needed all the protection pos sible. Shortly after the McSwiggin killing, he was seated at a Cicero hotel tab.'e when eight automobiles slowly circ’ec. the block, spraying the hotel with bullets. Capone ducked to safety: three innocent bystanders were injured. Most violent crime charged against Capone occurred while he was in Philadelphia, about to serve a year’s sentence for carrying a gun. St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. On St. Valentine’s Day, 1929, seven holdovers of the old O’Banion gang were lined up in a North Side* garage and mowed down with machine gun bullets. Said George (Bugs) Moran, then leader of the mob: “Only the Capone gang kills like that.” Capone denied the massacre from the Philadelphia jail, where it was said he had invited legal interven tion as a matter of self-preservation. The story was that Capone and other gang leaders had failed to effect a truce in the hot war for liquor control, *and that “Scarface” regarded jail as a ganctuary. Credibility was attached to the tale when, a few hours before his term was to expire, Capone was nustled away from the jail with great secrecy. *He next bobbed up in his 25-room Florida villa, where he was quoted as saying: "I like it down here. It's warm— but not too warm.” Jbsut it was getting notter tnan Ca pone realized. It was about this time that the United States Attorney in Chicago called for him to appear before a Federal grand jury. In stead, Capone sent an affidavit that he was too ill to risk a trip to Chi cago at that time. Two years later, on February 27, 1931, the myth of Capone immunity CAPITOL Rock Wool Insulation Makes Your Heme Warmer YOU SAVE FUEL Asbestos Covering & Roofing Co. Dependable Insulation Since 1907 4101 Georti* Art._TA, 3337 VQfty. - "t»Tf" tr* rr vrr Original, genuine Leica* cameras, made at the Leitz Works in Germany, are once again available for discriminating camera fans. 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Wilkerson sentenced “Scarfacc Al” to six months in the County jail for contempt of court. Instead of the illness that two physicians and two nurses testified to, Capone had visited race tracks and had taken a trip to Bermuda at the time the grand jury was con vened, the court declared. While they were still bandying this one around in the appeal courts, the real bombshell fell. On June 5, 1931, a Federal grand jury indicted him mi 22 counts of income tax evasion. Seven days later the jury indicted him for con spiracy to violate prohibition laws. The Federal Government had struck, and its evidence was to be backed up by a hard-hitting prose cutor and a straight-thinking judge. In the careful preparation of the case, the Government had sent its best men into the field. In the liquor violation case, six prohibition en forcement agents mingled with Ca pone’s “alky cookers” and gathered irrefutable evidence. Irey Led Case Against Capone. The man most responsible for put ting Capone away was Elmer L. Irey, chief ef the Internal Revenue Bureau's Intelligence Unit, who re tired last year. Mr. Irey master minded the fieldwork incidental to the evidence that Capone was beat ing the Government out of tax mosey. For more than a year he WATER HEATERS 'SKOAUSTS FOR OFF* JO YEARS" John 0. i___ 627 F St. N.W. NA. 4163, WO. 2220 I VENOSTONE Primer II) ( TNE SAFEST SURFACE SEALER ) \ for Masonry Walls and Floors / The perfect priming coat for cement floors—concrete, brick, 1 \ stucco and piaster walls, inside and out. VENOSTONE seals J / the surface—prevents lime reaction—arrests dampness—closes / / the pares—INSURES FINISH COAT. Comes in powder form \ ready far mixing with water. Black, white and 8 popular colors. j \ Made by makers of Bondex Waterproof Cement Paint. J / Phone your order—WE DELIVER GLADLY \ ) BUngR-FMHi j ^ I* 40» CItTN. w. . 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(hetwien 13th 9 14th Sts.) phone REpublic 6212 and his assistants patiently gath ered the kind of material that would stand up in court. They set up offices in Chicago's old Post Office Building. They tapped telephones and worked their way into the gang’s inner circle. Eventually, Mr. Irey’s agents spotted two Capone bookkeepers, tracing them to a Miami race track. They were spirited back to Chicago and it was their testimony before the grand jury that buttressed the case. Strangely enough, on June 1$, Capone pleaded guilty to both charges. It was understood he had traded out for a two and one-half year sentence. But when he ap peared for sentencing on July 1 it was Judge Wilkerson who stared back at him and said: ‘'Parties to a criminal case may not stipulate as to the judgment” Capone quickly changed his mind; about being guilty and on October 6 went to trial on the tax evasion charges. On October 23 ‘‘the big fellow” heard the Jury foreman in tone: ‘‘Guilty." Judge Wilkercon sentenced him to five years and $10,000 on each of three counts, one year in jail and $20,000 on a combination of two others, the first two sentences to run concurrently, the others to be "consecutive and cumulative." The defense immediately began a fight to reverse or lighten the sen tence, and it still was trying more than seven years later when a bro ken Capone was liberated. Capone rode down to Atlanta Federal Prison on the same train he often boarded for his Miami jaunts. A day's growth of beard offset the dapper effect of his rich blue suit, shiny black shoes and blue silk tie. Detested His Nickname. He wore his hat at a jaunty angle more to cover the scar that made! him "Scarface Al” than to strike a cocky air. He had always detested that nickname. But he toldjnquir ers that the jagged mark on his left forehead and cheek was a World War wound. Gangland legend said, however, the scar was inflicted by a minor hoodlum in a Brooklyn dance hail during Capone’s “Five Points” gang days. The knife-weilder, “Little! Frankie-' Galluccio, cut him, the story goes, because Capone insulted Frankie’s sister. With the exception of a rumor denied on the floor of Congress— that the criminal was getting special favors in the prison, not much was heard of him until August, 1934. it was then that a specially barbed railroad car took Capone and 52 other dangerous criminals to newly completed, foolproof Alcatraz Prison. Announcing NEW STORE HOURS for Fannie May CANDIES V “Made Fresh Today and Every Day Effective Immediately TIVOLI STORE, 1 P.M. TO 9 P.M. All Other Stores, 11 A.M. to 6 P.M. 6 STORES ALL OVER WASHINGTON THI MANUT STOM • TNI MANUT *TO«l • TMI PIANOT STOIC 1 KKP!*5 i 2 f all TIGHT CANS gP : » IN Aw*llw - & 5 «M * O * ■ • Keep Several Cant . 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