Skip to main content

Interview with Al Capone

Interview with Al Capone – Public Enemy #1

You may have noticed that I have been using my phenomenal, supernatural interviewing skills to communicate with infamous dead people who could be viewed as “celebrity criminals” – Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Dracula (Vlad the Impaler), Cleopatra, Bonnie and Clyde, Jack the Ripper. It is more than morbid curiosity. It is a desire to learn more about their behavioral motivations and extraordinary lifestyles. Wait a minute. Who am I kidding? It IS morbid curiosity

Now I would like to introduce you to the celebrity criminal who led a crime syndicate during the Prohibition era – the man who made Chicago and Cicero, Illinois famous in the 1920s and 30s – “Scarface Al” Capone.

me – I appreciate your taking the time to give this interview, Mr. Capone.

Al Capone – No problem. I don’t do much else these days besides push-ups – pushing up daisies. Get it? Push ups? Pushing up daisies?

And forget the “Mr. Capone.” Just call me Al. But lose the “Scarface.”

me – Whatever you say, Al. Thank you. Would you tell us a little about your early background?

Little Al and his mother, Teresina

Little Al and his mother, Teresina

Early Years in Brooklyn

Al – Yeah. my father, Gabriele Capone came to America in 1894 with my mother, Teresina, from Castellammare di Stabia, on the bay of Naples, Italy. They settled in Brooklyn, NY where I was born in 1899. My father had a barbershop. My mother had babies. I had six brothers and two sisters. My real name is Alphonse Gabriel Capone.

me – I understand you were a good student in grade school, Al.

Al – Yeah, I had all ‘Bs’ until I got to the sixth grade. Then I didn’t do so well in school; I began to have a lot of outside interests, if you know what I mean. When I was 14, the teacher hit me so I hit her back – hard. I was expelled and never went back.

me – Were your parents upset?

Al – Naw, many parents in those days expected their kids to leave school as soon as they were old enough to earn a living. I had some really boring jobs: in a candy store (although there were fringe benefits); in a bowling alley; as a paper cutter, and at a munitions factory – that could have been an omen of my future.

Al Capone mug shot

Al Capone mug shot

Lucky Luciano

Lucky Luciano

   Frankie Yale nee Francisco Ioele

Frankie Yale nee Francisco Ioele

me – Do you have any special talents?

Al –I’m a pretty good fighter and I’ve always been a great dancer. And I was a good son. I went home every night to my family.

me – I heard from your gang of siblings, Al, that you always had a big heart. Speaking of gangs, were you ever a gang member?

Al – As a kid, I belonged to a small-time street gang called The Junior Forty Thieves. Then we became The Bowery Boys. My closest friends called me “Snorky.” Keep that to yourself.

Finally as a teen, I became a member of the notorious Five Points Gang. The leader was Johnny Torrio, an already famous tough gangster. He was seventeen years older but took a liking to me and became my friend and mentor. Another member was Lucky Luciano. You may have heard of him.

Scroll to Continue

When I was 18, I began working as a waiter, and then a bartender and bouncer for a big racketeer named Frankie Yale in a classy dance hall/saloon in Coney Island. It was called the Harvard Inn. The name was the classy part. Yale was the owner of the Harvard – get it?

Fascinating Al Capone Books

Me – Got it. Is that where you got your, er, your . . .

Al – Yeah, I got the scars that gave me the nickname, “Scarface.” I inadvertently insulted a female customer and provoked a fight with her brother, Frank Gallucio.

Me – What did you do that upset her brother so?

Al – This girl was absolutely beautiful. I just had to tell her that. I leaned over her and all I said was, maybe a little too loudly, “Honey, you have a nice ass and I mean that as a compliment.”

Her brother took that as an insult and punched me. I flew into a rage and he took out a knife to defend himself and cut the left side of my face – three deep long slashes.

Frankie Yale made me apologize and funny thing, later on I hired Gallucio, the brother, as a bodyguard. He was good with a knife. (Laughs) I did learn something from this though – to hold my temper . . . sometimes.

Note: When photographed later in life, Capone hid the scarred left side of his face and would often misrepresent his injuries as war wounds.

Al and Sonny at the ballpark

Al and Sonny at the ballpark


me – How did you meet your future wife, Al?

Al – When I was nineteen I met the love of my life, a very pretty, blond Irish girl who lived in the neighborhood, Mae Josephine Coughlin. Mae was two years older than me; I always had a thing for older women. We had a baby boy and were married the same month – December 1918.

We named the kid Albert Francis Capone. His nickname was Sonny. Know who his godfather was? My best friend, the racketeer, Johnny Torrio.

Note: Sonny seemed okay at birth but he was a victim of congenital syphilis. Years later, Al confessed to doctors that he had been infected before he was married but believed the infection was cured.

Johnny Torrio

Johnny Torrio

Big Jim Colosimo

Big Jim Colosimo

Colosimo Cafe and Speakeasy

Colosimo Cafe and Speakeasy

Not your Three Musketeers

Not your Three Musketeers

Big Al

Big Al

Bye Bye Brooklyn

me – How did you happen to move from Brooklyn to Chicago, Al?

Al – In 1920, Johnny Torrio invited me to join him in Chicago. I was happy to leave Brooklyn – I was a suspect in two murders there even though I was innocent of course.

me – Of course.

Al – Do you wanna know the whole story how I came to hook up with Johnny in Chi?

me – Does a bear use Charmin tissue in the woods? Of course.

Al – Well, the “capo di capos” (boss) in Chicago was a guy named “Big Jim” Colosimo. Together with his wife, Victoria Moresco, a very successful madam, their brothels were earning about $50,000 a month, a large amount of money in the 1920s.

Big Jim also owned the Colosimo Cafe, one of the most popular nightclubs in the city. Nobody cared that he was a pimp. He threw extravagant parties for the rich and famous in Chicago society. Enrico Caruso, the famous tenor, was a regular. So was the distinguished lawyer, Clarence Darrow. Big Jim was a large man – you wouldn’t call him fat to his face – who wore diamond-studded belts and buckles and huge diamond rings on every one of his fingers.

As his flesh trade business (prostitution) grew, Big Jim brought in Johnny Torrio from Brooklyn to operate and enlarge the family operations. Johnny was a discreet guy who knew how to manage the business without attracting attention – just the opposite of Big Jim. He was a serious businessman who didn’t smoke, drink, swear or cheat on his wife, Ann.

me – What were your responsibilities, Al, when you joined Torrio in Chicago?

Al – Johnny needed me to help him take advantage of all the new rackets that sprung up when the Prohibition Amendment was enacted – the illegal brewing, distilling and distribution of liquor and beer. We either manufactured booze or stole it and sold it at tremendous profit. We had an endless supply of customers. There was big money to be made by bootlegging (smuggling alcohol). Warren Buffet would have called it a growth industry.

Most people don’t know that we also had many interests in businesses that were legit – like the cleaning and dyeing field. I was good at “shmoosing” – you know, cultivating alliances with public officials and labor unions – like Obumma.

me – You mean Obama?

Al – Yeah. We had a real crime syndicate going with money rolling in from bootlegging and other illegal activities like prostitution. In those days I had the pleasure of "interviewing" all the new prostitutes for the club myself.

For the first time, I was able to enjoy the luxurious lifestyle I had always dreamed of: expensive custom-made suits, diamond jewelry, hand-rolled cigars, gourmet food and drink – I preferred Templeton Rye imported from Iowa – and beautiful female companionship. I attracted media attention to which my favorite response was, "I am just a businessman, giving the people what they want."

But I’m the one who started some charitable stuff, too using some of our profits. I established the first soup kitchens in Chicago offering food to the homeless and people who had lost their jobs because of the Depression. Some guys used to stand on street corners selling apples to make a buck. We called them "Apple Annies." We served three free meals a day to those folks. This made me very visible and some people saw me as a modern-day Robin Hood.

Fascinating Al Capone Films

Bye Bye Big Jim

me – What happened to Big Jim Colosimo?

Al – Well, you remember Frankie Yale, the violent gangster who took me under his wing and taught me to use strong-arm tactics to succeed?

Frankie decided to take over Colosimo’s huge empire. On May 11, 1920, Big Jim was assassinated in his own nightclub. Frankie was arrested when he went back to New York but a waiter, the only witness, refused to testify against him. No surprise, yeah? So legal proceedings against him had to be dropped due to a lack of evidence.

Funny thing. Big Jim’s secretary, Frank Camilla, described the fleeing killer as a heavyset man with scars on the left side of his face. I know what you’re thinking but I was never arrested.

Frankie’s takeover attempt failed and Johnny Torrio kept his hold on the multimillion dollar business he had built for Big Jim. We oversaw literally thousands of whorehouses, speakeasies (bars and clubs where liquor was sold), and gambling parlors. I was Frankie’s strong right arm.

“When I sell liquor, it's called bootlegging; when my patrons serve it on Lake Shore Drive, it's called hospitality. – Al Capone

Note: Capone purchased a modest house at 7244 South Prairie Avenue in the Park Manor neighborhood on the city's south side in 1923 for the magnificent sum of $5,500.

Neighbors believed that Al was a respectable dealer in second-hand furniture.

I'm famous now.

I'm famous now.

Dion O'Bannion

Dion O'Bannion

Bugs Moran nee Adelard Cunin

Bugs Moran nee Adelard Cunin

Does Danny DeVito resemble Al Capone?

Does Danny DeVito resemble Al Capone?

Bye Bye Johnny

me - What happened to Johnny Torrio?

Al – Johnny wasn’t killed but he was shot four times and seriously wounded in an assassination attempt in 1925 by the North Side Gang, and decided to retire (for the sake of his health) and return to Italy. I became the boss of the Capone Outfit. I have to admit I had already acquired a certain reputation for ruthlessness in Chicago. Rival gangs were generally eliminated and the suburb of Cicero practically belonged to us. We put many of our operations there because we were able to buy just about the entire city government and police department.

The Capone Outfit

me – I read, Al, that the mob, I mean “outfit” as you called it, was taking in about $100 million a year. Is that accurate?

Al – Yeah, gambling and prostitution brought in lots of dough but the biggest moneymaker was the sale of liquor. Prohibition was the greatest thing that ever happened for us.

“I am like any other man. All I do is supply a demand. – Al Capone

me – Who was your biggest rival when you took over?

Al – The North Side Gang which tried to assassinate Johnny Torrio wanted to control all of Chicago. Dion O’Bannion, their leader, was assassinated in 1924 and Bugs Moran took over. Do you know how he got that name?

me – No. How?

Al – He called himself George Clarence Moran but he was Polish and his real name was Adelard Cunin. He had a fierce temper – worse than me – and his friends (?) started calling him. “Bugs,” which was gang slang for completely crazy. Bugs was the first guy who drove by a rival gang’s headquarters and had his men spray it with gunfire. He invented the drive-by shooting.

And I heard that one time he ordered a suit from a tailor shop and when he came to pick it up and was told the cost, he became so enraged he broke the tailor’s arms and legs.

me – That sounds a little drastic.

Al – Yeah. I think he only broke the tailor’s arms.

Capone's Cadillac town car

Capone's Cadillac town car

Hawthorne Hotel - Cicero HQ

Hawthorne Hotel - Cicero HQ

Lexington Hotel - Chicago HQ

Lexington Hotel - Chicago HQ

Jake "Machine Gun" McGurn

Jake "Machine Gun" McGurn


Saint Valentine’s Day massacre

me – Tell me about the famous Saint Valentine’s Day massacre.

Al – More than once my car was riddled with bullets. One time the North Side gang used submachine guns and shotguns to shoot up my restaurant in the Hawthorne Hotel in Cicero in broad daylight while I was having lunch inside. I put bullet-proof glass and run-while-flat tires on my car – even a police siren. Every attempt on my life by Bugs Moran left me shaken. The guy was really crazy. He refused to negotiate.

Bugs kept hijacking our booze trucks and his gang tried several times to kill my top enforcer, Jake McGurn. I had to put fifteen armed bodyguards around the clock at my headquarters at the Lexington Hotel in Chicago.

me – I understand. But what about the massacre?

Al - In 1928, I had bought a 14-room mansion retreat on Palm Island, an island in Biscayne Bay between Miami and Miami Beach, Florida. I was there when the massacre took place on February 14, 1929. So what I am telling you is all hearsay. You understand?

me – Yes, I understand. Hearsay!

Al – Okay. The way I heard it, Jake “Machine-Gun” McGurn was in charge of the whole operation to assassinate Bugs Moran. He put together a squad of four trusted henchmen (like the guys in the Jack the Ripper case). He paid a bootlegger to lure Moran and his gang to a garage to buy some whiskey at a very good price.

The delivery of the booze was to be made at 10:30 a.m. on Valentine’s Day. McGurn’s four killers were wearing stolen police uniforms as though they were coppers staging a raid. McGurn wanted to have an airtight alibi so he checked into a hotel with his girlfriend.

The assassination squad in their police uniforms drove to the garage in a stolen police car. Seven men were there. The killers, who looked like genuine policemen, took away the gang’s guns, lined them up against a wall and opened fire with two machine guns, a sawed-off shotgun and a .45. Then they drove away. Easy as pie.

It was a nifty plan if I have to say so myself. The only problem was that Bugs Moran was late for the meeting and when he saw the police car pull up, he took off, not wanting to be caught in what he thought was a raid.

me – That was a nifty plan but as the poet, Robert Burns wrote, “… the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley”. He meant “often go wrong.”

Al – Yeah, you ain't just whistling "Dixie". Even though I was in Florida and McGurn had an airtight alibi, everyone in Chicago knew who was responsible. McGurn even married his girlfriend, Louise Rolfe, so she couldn’t testify against her new husband. No one was ever charged with those seven killings.

Note: Photos of the notorious massacre outraged the public and greatly harmed Capone since federal law enforcement now began to focus more closely on investigating his criminal activities.

Al's cell in the Atlanta federal prison

Al's cell in the Atlanta federal prison

Ralph "Bottles" Capone

Ralph "Bottles" Capone

Jake "Greasy Thumb" Guzik

Jake "Greasy Thumb" Guzik

Frank "The Enforcer" Nitti

Frank "The Enforcer" Nitti

Beginning of the End

me – What happened next?

Al – That negative publicity about the massacre never really died down. Get it? Massacre? Died down? J. Edgar Hoover of the F.B.I. named me “Public Enemy Number One.” I was humiliated and insulted. I was mad as hell. But I had become a national celebrity and writers all over the U.S. were writing articles and books about me and all the gangland murders.

The federal government was determined to put me in jail. They planned a two-prong approach to get evidence for both Prohibition violations and income tax evasion. Eliot Ness was the agent in charge. He had all the phones tapped and he and his “untouchable” agents kept shutting down our breweries.

In 1931, I was indicted for income tax evasion and some violations of the Volstead (Prohibition) Act.

me – Were you worried you would have to serve time in prison?

Al – Nah. The fix was in and the jurors were all taken care of. But that %@%&$#+ Ness discovered my plan and told the judge. My jury pool was then switched with one from another case. Some other lucky sucker got my paid-off jurors and I got his.

me – That was tough luck, Al.

Al – You can say that again. On November 24, 1931, I was sentenced to eleven years in federal prison, fined $50,000 and charged $7,692 for court costs, in addition to $215,000 plus interest due on back taxes. I went from Robin Hood to Public Enemy #1 in just a few years.

They put me in the Cook County, Illinois jail while I was waiting for the results of my appeals. Saw a lot of my old buddies there. When my appeals were denied, I was sent to the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta which was a tough federal prison.

me – Who was running the store, your criminal syndicate, while you were gone?

Al – I put three guys in charge: my brother Ralph “Bottles” Capone, my long-time buddy, Jake “Greasy Thumb” Guzik, and my main man, Frank “The Enforcer” Nitti. All three were also facing tax evasion charges.

Robert De Niro as Capone 1987

The End

me - Did you get special privileges while you were in the Atlanta penitentiary?

Al - Yeah, the newspapers said that I was living “like a king.” That ain’t true. But I was living like a prince! (Laughs)

I had more socks, underwear, and clean sheets than any other prisoner in the joint. And I had my own soft bed and furniture. I kept several thousand dollars in the handle of my tennis racket to pay for all the extras. But that all ended in August 1934 when I was transferred to Alcatraz.

me – I have heard that Alcatraz had very tight security and a rigid warden. Is that true?

Al – Yeah, It was no picnic. I had very little contact with the outside world. All letters were censored; no newspapers were allowed; magazines had to be more than seven months old. Only immediate family could visit, two of them each month, and they had to write the warden for permission each time.

And to make matters even worse, Prohibition had been repealed in December 1933 and there went the “speakos” (speakeasies) business.

me – Was your eleven-year prison sentence reduced?

Al – Yeah – for good behavior. Ain’t that a laugh? I was released on November 16, 1939 after serving seven years, six months and fifteen days – but who’s counting?

I had paid all the fines and back taxes but there was one very large problem.

me – What was the problem, Al?

Al – My health had deteriorated due to the syphilis I caught when I was young. I became easily confused and disoriented. I couldn’t go back to running the crime syndicate in Chicago and had to retire at my Florida estate. The docs told my wife I had the mental capacity of a 12-year old child.

Note: Al Capone did not return publicly to Chicago and lived quietly in his Palm Island, Florida home with his wife, Mae, until he died from cardiac arrest on January 25, 1947. He was 48 years old.

“This American system of ours, call it Americanism, call it capitalism, call it what you will, gives each and every one of us a great opportunity if we only seize it with both hands and make the most of it.: - Al Capone

More Interviews

Note: A week before Al died, Andrew Volstead, author of the Volstead Act that ushered in Prohibition from 1920 to 1933, died at the age of 87.

Note: Bugs Moran died of lung cancer on February 25, 1957. He was estimated to be worth about $100 at his death, and received a pauper's burial in a prison cemetery.

Note: Jack “Machine Gun” McGurn who orchestrated the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre was murdered on February 17, 1936, seven years and one day after the massacre. A valentine was left in the bowling alley where he was murdered.

© Copyright BJ Rakow 2011. All rights reserved.


Bergreen, Laurence. Capone: The Man and the Era. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1994 ...  Kobler, John. Capone. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons. 1971 ... Schoenberg, Robert L. Mr. Capone. New York: William Morrow and Company. 1992

Seven Best of 14 "Capone" Films


Al Capone

Rod Steiger


The George Raft Story

Neville Brand


St. Valentine's Day Massacre

Jason Robards



Ben Gazzara


The Untouchables

Robert De Niro


The Revenge of Al Capone

Ray Sharkey


The Lost Capone

Eric Roberts


If you like to watch television programs about these good old bad days, watch "Boardwalk Empire" and especially, Stephen Graham, the British actor, as a younger Capone. Thanks, Docmo, for reminding me.

Comments for Interview with Al Capone

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on January 11, 2013:

So true, Chris. Al was just expressing his admiration for this particular body part, as you so cleverly stated. He could have been more discreet though and waited to express his compliment when the brother was absent.

carolina muscle from Charlotte, North Carolina on January 10, 2013:

Its funny how a guy can insult a woman when he thinks it's a compliment-- he coulda chosen any other body part (almost) to admire and not got cut up! :-D

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 12, 2012:

Thank you, pras, for liking my explanation of Capone and the photographs. He was a violent man in a violent era but admired by the people nevertheless.

And thank you for the Up. Hope all is well in your part of the world.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 12, 2012:

It's true, Becky, many of the gangsters who survived the Prohibition era retired in suburbs not far from Chicago - Decatur and Cicero, Illinois among them. At that time folks admired them rather than feared them - they had the status of folk heroes.

Thanks for the visit and finding this interesting and well-written.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 12, 2012:

Well, as long as you finally found this, no points will be subtracted, Wayne. Now John Gotti - that's an idea. Will ponder the thought.

However, finding him may be as difficult as finding Jimmy Hoffa. :)

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 12, 2012:

Hi, moonlake. I'm not surprised that your friend's family who lived in Chicago knew Al Capone. He was a very social type of gangster in an era when people supported gangsters more than the police. Thank you for enjoying this and the Up vote.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on November 12, 2012:

Al Capone may have had more police on his payroll than the municipalities they worked for. So tax evasion was the only crime the Feds could find. Al saw himself as a businessman offering his customers during Prohibition what they wanted the most - alcohol!

And the story you relate about his helping the widow of an innocent bystander who was killed is probably true as many people viewed him not as a violent criminal but as a sort of urban Robin Hood.

Thanks for enjoying this interview, Don, and sharing.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on November 05, 2012:

I had never heard about the story of Al-Capone. I saw him through the movie. But from this hub you explain everything well about him with the interview. Nice photographs as well. Voted up!

Best wishes, Prasetio

Becky Katz from Hereford, AZ on November 05, 2012:

This was very interesting. My husband was raised in Decatur, IL; where many of the old gangsters retired. He has said that often, they would have visitors from Chicago and if you looked at the WANTED posters at the post office, you could find out who had been there. This was such interesting information and so well written.

Wayne Brown from Texas on November 05, 2012:

I somehow missed this one before now. I learned a lot. I think you need to do John Gotti....if you can find him! LOL! ~WB

moonlake from America on November 05, 2012:

My friend is from Chicago. She has an old picture of her family standing with Al Capone he was friends with her family. Very interesting hub enjoyed it. Voted up.

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on November 05, 2012:

It is a bit ironic that tax evasion was the only thing they had to get Capone and others on. I took a Criminology course about half a century ago and we had quite a bit of discussion about Capone and such. I kind of think the professor kind of admired Capone. As I recall he told a story about the gangsters killing an innocent bystander. As I recall Capone sent restitution money to the widow. I think he also sent flowers. Gang violence was somewhat rationalized on the basis that the "businees" didn't have police protection. Good interview. sharing.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on August 14, 2011:

Thank you, Victoria Lynn, for finding me thanks to Epigramman and your kind comments. As well as the up and 'awesome.' Yes, do take a look at my other 16 Interviews to date and let me know your thoughts.

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on August 13, 2011:

drbj, you made Capone come alive, as I'm sure is the truth about your other interviews. Will have to follow. Epi recommended you! Vote up! Awesome!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 17, 2011:

How nice to see you again. Thank you for visiting, the gracious comment and no thanks are necessary. It was entirely my pleasure.

Emma from Houston TX on March 17, 2011:

Excellent interview and thanks for sharing.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 14, 2011:

How nice to meet you, RJH, and thank you for finding this hub on Al. For someone only 13, you have an awesome grasp on making significant as well as succinct comments. Thank you for the 'awesomely awesome' - two of my favorite words.

Yes, I did read that untold story and it was awesome, too. Thanks again for your visit. Do take a look at my other 11 hubs of supernatural Interviews and let me know what you think. :)

RJH on March 14, 2011:

wow that was awesomely awesome :)

Im very intrigued with Al Capone and the roaring 20s Prohibiton era and im only 13! Im interested in things most kids my kids aren't. But have you read Uncle Al Capone-The Untold Story From Inside His Family? Its really good and its written by his Grand Niece.

Good work once again!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on March 08, 2011:

Hi, Radioguy, thanks for the A+ - it's always been my favorite grade. And thanks for loving my sense of humor speaking in Al's voice. Providing information with humor is what I like to do. Take a look at the other supernatural interviews and let me know what you think.

Radioguy from Maine on March 08, 2011:

Absolutely an A+! You've given us a unique look at a mean but colorful character and I love your "speaking" in Al's voice but I think you have a better sense of humor!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on February 11, 2011:

Welcome back, adidaspat, nice to see you here.

Yes, in his later years, Al was in the newspapers frequently offering to help solve crimes including the infamous Lindbergh kidnapping. But those in authority dismissed him as mentally incapable. Who knows? Maybe he did have some of the answers.

Thank you for enjoying this hub.

adidaspat on February 10, 2011:

Hi drbj,

Took your advice and checked out some of your other "afterlife" interviews. Don't know much about Capone but I remember reading something about him regarding the Limberg kidnapping. Big Al was in prison then and offered to help find the culprit. He just might have succeeded but I can guess what his condition would have been. Another great hub.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on February 09, 2011:

Hi, Ken. It's great to have you visit here. You grew up in a rather frightening environment - given an authentic pistol to play with and a genuine bank robber for a dad. Seems you have lived through some frightening times and have first-hand experience you could fill a book with. I can't even begin to imagine what it must have been like. The verbal abuse alone could have warped you and your siblings.

It's fortunate that your mentor entered your life and provided a healthy role model for you to emulate.

I have heard about those caves in Saskatoon and have always wanted to visit there - perhaps one day I will.

Yes, Al was a Casanova and he spent his money freely on his favorites. He was also a good friend to many of the poor in his neighborhood. Like an Italian Robin Hood. :)

saddlerider1 on February 09, 2011:

When my dad got back from the war in 47 I was born in 48 and he resumed his crime spree in Montreal, we rarely saw him except when the "Dicks" showed up at the door, I say this because that's what I would hear my mother yelling to Dad letting him know they were at the door, then they took him away in handcuffs.

He finally was put away for some time when I was just 10 I didn't see him again till I was 24 when he was paroled.

I remember him carrying a pistol shoulder holster, he would empty the bullets out of the barrel and give me the gun to play with, I would run around our flat like I was playing cowboys and Indian or bank robber like he was.

Yup I sure had an interesting upbringing, the strange part is, even though he abused my mother he never abused us kids not physically anyways, sure yelled at us a lot though:0)

It was her boyfriend she brought into our lives after my dad was sent to prison, he was the mental and physical abuser. I never turned to crime, nor did my brother. Kept my nose clean and thankfully found my mentor who taught me how to live well and respect others property and souls.

Great write drbj as usual, loved the videos, Old Al sure was a ladies man and it eventually did him in. He also use to hideout in Canada in Saskatoon, there are some caves that he used to hide some of his treasures, there is a big billboard up when you enter that town about Al Capone caves and tourists stop to visit them.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on February 01, 2011:

How nice to see you here, Will. Thanks for the visit. Appreciate your very gracious comments and the up vote. "Awesome" has always been one of my favorite words.

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on January 31, 2011:

Great way to illustrate history.

Well done! Voted up and awesome!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on January 23, 2011:

Thank you, Docmo, for being 'spellbound' - what a delicious adjective - by this hub about Big Al. And for all your gracious comments.

Yes, please do read my other Interviews and let me know what you think.

I am adding Stephen Graham's TV performance as Capone to the hub per your request. He is superior in the role.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on January 23, 2011:

Thank you, Dimi, for stopping by and appreciating the talent and ruthlessness of Al Capone. He became very successful in an extremely competitive business by not allowing emotion to get in the way of his ambitions.

The same mode followed, unfortunately, by some current politicians - worldwide.

As always, I appreciate your very kind remarks.

Mohan Kumar from UK on January 23, 2011:

drbj you had me spellbound. What a wonderfully researched, entertainingly written hub, chock full of information. I can't wait to read more of your 'interviews' - I would like you to add the British actor 'Stephen Graham' who is doing a great job portraying Al Capone in the new TV series Boardwalk Empire - it captures the formative years...

De Greek from UK on January 23, 2011:

What a talented, ruthless animal that was and what an education you have provided, DRBJ :-)

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on January 21, 2011:

Hi, Colin. Wow, "Kool" and "favorite series of interviews of all time" both in the same sentence? That's what I call appealing appreciation and approbation. Thank you. Thank you.

You are right on the mark about the importance of humor as a teaching too. It seems to be vastly underrated in today's educational world. So I do my best to bring irreverence back to the mix.

I knew you would recognize my efforts as labors of love - after all, that's what your creative and ingenious epigrams are. Doesn't it take one to know one?

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on January 21, 2011:

Hi, susie, If the guns in Gun Lake were recovered, they would be very valuable as collectors' items. But I doubt that ole Al went to the trouble of disposing his pistols. He had the police on his payroll at the time.

What a great story about the new owners of the Crow's Nest finding money there - wouldn't be at all surprised. Capone didn't have much use for banks in those days.

Thank you for your visit and your appreciation of these 'history lessons'. Delighted that you noticed the Charmin. Somehow I knew you would. :)

epigramman on January 20, 2011: are so darn cool - they spell it with a capital K - as in Kool!!!! Well what can I say that hasn't been said - these are my favorite series of hubs of all time - better known as the 'interview series by DRBJ!

I would love to put them into every virtual library in the world because it's a great teaching tool when educating people about history and culture especially younger people because they get more out of it when there is a bit of irreverent humor thrown in - and that's two gifts you definitely possess as a writer - your wit and your charm. And thanks so much for taking the time to put so much into these hubs - I know it's a labor of love coming from you - and I love it!

Sweetsusieg from Michigan on January 19, 2011:

My folks lived at a place called 'Gun Lake' where the famous Al Capone had a home (now fenced in to prevent window peepers) It's called 'The Crow's Nest' the area was chosen because it sits up high and Al could spot the police coming down the road (the only one at the time) for quite a distance. It is rumored that Al had tossed a bunch of Gun's in the lake, hence the name... People still think they are going to find the guns, but no luck so far.

Funny thing is, the house sat empty for many years, then the people that bought it... low and behold they came upon some money... Kind of makes you go Hmmmmm.... they have since refurbished it to it's former glory...

Once again you've thrown in a curve ball... Charmin tissue... LOL

Still so very glad to have found you!! Love the history lessons!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on January 19, 2011:

Hi, debbie, thanks for stopping by. Delighted that you found this hub an original treat and enjoyed yourself.

I have learned over the years that trying to inform or educate people works much more easily when you can entertain them at the same time.

I know you know that, too. :)

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on January 19, 2011:

Thanks, katie, I'm glad you were able to see the good side of Al, too. As you said, he wasn't entirely "bad." He didn't go after the good guys - only the bad guys who were trying to muscle in on his territory.

Thank you for the approving comments "amazing, fantastic" - two of my all-time favorites. :)

debbiesdailyviews on January 19, 2011:

What a treat that was.

This, along with your other interviews is so original.

I certainly have learned so much more about these famous, or should I say Infamous past characters. And just like any great teacher, you make it fun to learn.

Thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Katie McMurray from Ohio on January 19, 2011:

All this time I was convinced I did not like Al Capone. I must say you brouhgt out the good side of Al Capone. I feel like I now have the rest of the story. Al's not such a bad bad guy after all!

Amazingly written fantastic read. :) Katie

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on January 18, 2011:

Thank you for your support, BJ, I'll add Steve, too. Nice to know you like my 'best idea' - I do get one every fortnight or so.

BJBenson from USA on January 17, 2011:

Yes, and Steve McQueen too. LOL. I have a list that is so long. I really enjoy these interviews. This was the best idea!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on January 17, 2011:

Hi, BJ, so John Wayne is your hero? I admired him, too. Be of good cheer; he is on my to-do list. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. In fact, make that a good year!

BJBenson from USA on January 17, 2011:

OKay, you need to do John Wayne. I love him!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on January 16, 2011:

Hi, Wesman. Thank you for visiting and your generous comments. I envy your in-person visit to Alcatraz; I'm sure it was fascinating. My only view has been from afar on that winding San Francisco street - is it Lombard Street? And I did see Hollywood's view of Alcatraz in two movies: "The Rock" with Sean Connery, and "Birdman of Alcatraz" with Burt Lancaster. Both were great films, by the way.

Don't feel too discouraged by not attending college, Wesman. I read recently that those with 4-year degrees are having much more difficulty in this lack-of-jobs market than those with only 2-year technical degrees. So maybe that would be an option.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on January 16, 2011:

So, darski, you talk to the dead, too? We must get together one day to reminisce about our undead experiences. Perhaps we could even start a society and have 100-year reunions open to those in any state of existence. We would have to draw the line though at allowing zombies to attend. Else we would be the reunion dinner.

Thank you, sweetie, for the visit, the up rating and your fascinating comments. :)

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on January 16, 2011:

Hi, Martie - Thank you for dropping by with those fulsome comments - you and your generous observations are most appreciated, m'dear.

Those who operated on the wrong side of the law like Capone may have had exciting lives but without bodyguards they could trust, it had to be a frightening, worrisome existence. Even with the bodyguards, they were living, as you stated, on the edge.

Do they R.I.P. - doubtful!

Wesman Todd Shaw from Kaufman, Texas on January 16, 2011:

Another outstanding interview, and yet another amazing paranormal experience!

I got to visit Alcatraz Federal Pen last Spring, and see where Al used to lay his head down. It's an amazing place to visit, and I recommend it to anyone who gets the chance.

Yeah, it's sad, but altogether true, that my grandparents even expected me to just go to work after high school. . . .and here I am, still wanting to go to college.

Darlene Sabella from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ... on January 15, 2011:

An exellant hub, you are talking about my dads side of the family, so yes I'm mama boss, you don't forget boy, now remember I have a lot of infuence as well, why you ask? Because I too can talk to the dead, love you darlin rate up love & hugs darski

Martie Coetser from South Africa on January 15, 2011:

Drjb, thank you for this well-researched, well-written and highly informative interview with Scareface Al Capone. I love, enjoy and admire your marvellous sense of humor.

Living could not have been easy for guys like Al Capone – every day on the edge of life and death... always open prey of the begrudged... hounded by the Law... held in contempt by good people... Poor guys! Do you think they R.I.P.?

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on January 15, 2011:

Thanks for visiting, Micky, always appreciate having you stop by. Those videos are compelling, aren't they?

Not surprised at your comparison of mobsters to political parties. They do have a lot in common - especially their desire to enrich themselves at the cost of the people. Thanks for your most gracious comments.

Micky Dee on January 15, 2011:

I couldn't get away from the videos. Watched them all. Very nice. I have always been intrigued with mobsters like our political parties, etc. Great write and presentation!

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on January 14, 2011:

You are so right, Feline, m'dear. Capone packed a lot of living and shooting and dying into his 48 years on earth. Thanks for letting me know you were here.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on January 14, 2011:

Thank you for stopping by, Pamela. Happy I could entertain you. I'm humming that song, "Let Me Entertain You," from the movie, "Gypsy," as I type. Can't help it.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on January 14, 2011:

Hi, christopher, great to see you here as always. Capone was a fascinating personality; I think you will enjoy those videos. Don't forget to check out the short one with De Niro as Capone. He is sublimely menacing.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on January 14, 2011:

Thank you, carrie, for the up rating and the "well-written" comment. It's my pleasure to have you visit. Delighted you found this info interesting.

drbj and sherry (author) from south Florida on January 14, 2011:

Hi, Anaya. Delighted you enjoyed my "cool" hub. Once I became intrigued by interviewing those who are undead, I couldn't stop. Please do visit the other six and let me know if you think they are cool, too.

Feline Prophet on January 14, 2011:

What a lot he packed into a young life!!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on January 14, 2011:

Great hub. Now I know more about Al Capone than I ever have before. Thanks for an entertainly hub.

Christopher Antony Meade from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom on January 14, 2011:

You did a great job on that one. Thanks

I will check the videos out later.

carrie450 from Winnipeg, Canada on January 14, 2011:

This was a most interesting hub about Al Capone drbj. I enjoyed the read and it's so well written. rated up

Anaya M. Baker from North Carolina on January 14, 2011:

Cool hub! Love the idea for interviewing the famous dead. Will be sure to check out some more of your interviews...

Related Articles