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Al Capone

Essay by   •  September 9, 2010  •  Essay  •  2,642 Words (11 Pages)  •  2,433 Views

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Al Capone is one of the most recognized names in American history. Capone ran the City of Chicago with illegal activities. He appeared many times on newspapers all over the country. Every one of us has heard of Al Capone, but most of us don't k

now the story behind him. What made him to be the most feared gangster in the city of Chicago? How did this kid from a rough neighborhood and no money grow up to have $60,000,000? I've always been fascinated with organized crime but had never been taught anything in school about it. This report gave me the chance to explore something interesting and also educational. The more I researched Al Capone, the more I wanted to learn about him. He may look like an innocent Italian at a glance, but he has done a lot of crime in the city of Chicago.

I knew going into this topic that there would be more than enough information. Going on the Internet I found many web sites that went in detail about certain aspects of Al Capone's life. I found web pages on the St. Valentine's Day Massacre and even a haunting of his ghost. My Grandpa had books that helped me including The Encyclopedia of World Crime and The Mafia Encyclopedia. He also had a great deal of information to tell me.

Most of Al Capone's life seems unreal, but it is true. It all started when he was born on January 17, 1899, in Brooklyn, New York. He was baptized Alphonsus Capone. As the fourth oldest of nine children, he didn't receive much attention. "At birth, Capone's parents never would have believed that their son Alphonse would grow up to be a murderous thug without remorse. (The Encyclopedia of World Crime 603)" Capone was very wise when it came to living on the streets of New York. He was a genius when it came to street smarts. As far as school goes, Capone was almost illiterate. He came from a poverty stricken neighborhood in Brooklyn, so education was not a top priority. Capone was forced to either deal with a low wage job with a hopeless future or make an improvement for himself by committing crime. "Al Capone's philosophy was to the effect that laws only applied to people who had enough money to abide by them. (The Mafia Encyclopedia 603)"

Al Capone became a member of the Bim Booms Gang as a teenager. He learned to defend himself by way of a knife and revolver. By the time Capone reached the sixth grade he had already become a street brawler. Capone never responded well to authority and his schooling would soon come to an end. While attending school, Capone was responsible for beating a female teacher and knocking her to the ground. For this very reason he would never return to school again. After giving up on school, Al Capone took up odd jobs such as working as a pinsetter at a bowling alley, and working behind the counter at a candy store. He also became an expert knife fighter.

Although the Bim Booms Gang was the first gang Capone ever entered, he was quickly picked up by the Five Pointers. The Five Pointers was the most powerful gang in New York City. The gang was headed by Johnny Torrio, and was made up of over 1,500 thugs who specialized in burglary, extortion, robbery, assault, and murder. While working as a strong-arm enforcer under Torrio, Capone learned all the lethal tricks that would turn him from being poor to rich in hardly any time. Capone was very grateful to Torrio and is quoted as saying: "I looked on Johnny as my adviser and father and the party that made it possible for me to get my start. (The Encyclopedia of World Crime 604)"

Torrio first set Capone out to do all of his dirty work. "Capone was sent to beat up loan shark victims behind on their payments, then a pimp, beating up girls who were holding out on their nightly take. (The Mafia Encyclopedia 68)" Torrio finally got Capone a job as a bouncer at the Harvard Inn. By this time Capone was recognized by his gang as being a vicious fighter with both fists and knives. He also became an excellent marksman with both a revolver and automatic weapons. This was due to many months of shooting empty bottles in the basement of the Inn.

Al Capone was later promoted to bartender at the Inn. One night he made a remark about the sister of Frank Galluciano, and Galluciano slashed Capone's face with a pocketknife, leaving three large scars on the left side of his face. For much of his criminal career, newspapers would call Capone by the hated name "Scarface". On December 18, 1918, Capone was wed at the age of 19, to a 21 year old Irish girl named Mae Coughlin. A short time later Albert Francis Capone was born. At the same time this was going on, in New York Johnny Torrio moved his operations to Chicago. Torrio's prospects in New York looked dim because Capone was indicted for two murders. He was released when a witness lost her memory, and evidence suddenly vanished from the court. Al Capone knew that he had Johnny "Papa" Torrio to thank for this. A few days later, Capone got into a scruff with another man and killed him. Rather than being indicted again, Capone called Torrio and received an invitation to move to Chicago. So he packed up his wife and child and did just that.

Upon arrival in Chicago, Capone was given a job as a bartender at Torrio's newest club, The Four Deuces. Capone was known as an aggressive and hospitalized most of the drunks he evicted. Men were hospitalized with broken arms, broken legs, skull fractures, and on one occasion even blood poisoning because Capone bit through the skin directly into the man's artery. Capone was repeatedly arrested for assault, but was always released thanks to Torrio's police connections.

While working at The Four Deuces, Capone strangled at least twelve men with his bare hands. The bodies were dragged to the basement through a trap door that led to the alley behind the club. There was a fast getaway car outside that would always be waiting for Capone to flee in. Chicago at the time was being run by the gangster named "Big Jim" Colosimo. Colosimo dressed lavishly in expensive suits and was covered in diamond jewelry. "He was always seen eating at expensive restaurants, and owned all the whore houses, saloons, and gambling dens in Chicago. (The Encyclopedia of World Crime 606)"

Johnny Torrio grew very jealous of Colosimo and soon sent for his most loyal hit man, Al Capone. "Big Jim" Colosimo was killed on the night of May 11, 1920. The reason for his death was due mostly to the prohibition act to be passed in 1920. "Torrio, the nephew of Colosimo, wanted him to start an underground still that could supply all the bars with beer and liquor. (The Encyclopedia of World Crime 606)" Torrio knew there were thousands of dollars to be made in this racket, but Colosimo never wanted to do it. "In this instance "Big

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