Friday, February 20, 2009

Al Capone's Ghost

By Jay B.

Alphonse Capone is one of the most notorious Gangsters in the history of organized crime in the United States. He was born in 1899 in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, New York where he completed school up until only the 6th grade. Al was an Italian American, having family from Naples and Salerno in Italy. After dropping out of school he joined different gangs and eventually became apart the infamous Five Points Gang. He was heavily influenced by gangster Johnny Torrio to get involved in organized crime. Eventually, this would be the reason why he would move to Chicago around 1920. Torrio took an operation in Cicero, Illinois around that time and invited Al to join him.

From then on, Capone became the king of Chicago, and basically controlled the city during the Prohibition Era. His most famous and brilliant move as a Gangster was the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, where he eliminated all of his enemies in 1929. No one was able to take down Capone until Elliot Ness and his untouchables came and got him on charges of tax evasion for 11 years in prison. He was originally sent to a federal prison in Atlanta, and then two years later he was transferred into Alcatraz. It is said that Capone did not adjust well to Alcatraz at all, and it completely broke him down to the point of insanity.

Capone received a Banjo from his wife and played it all day in his cell. He stopped eating and talking and spent the last portion of his sentence in the hospital ward due to treatments for syphilis. Al was never the same after he was released, and was considered to have gone nuts. He then died in 1947 at his house in Florida. Prison guards at Alcatraz have reported that after his death they could still here the sound of a banjo playing from Capone's old cell. Also, Capone had complained non-stop that a ghost was haunting him. He said the ghost was James Clark, whom was one of the victim's of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

Could the ghost of James Clark be the reason why Al went crazy, or could this just be a simple manifestation of guilt created in his mind? It is said that he even had contacted a psychic to rid the spirit away from him. We'll never know whether or not Capone was haunted towards the end of his life, but I think we all can infer that he must have a truly restless spirit and could certainly be roaming on the earth to this day. He has gone down in history as one of the most evil men to ever live, responsible for the deaths of over 500 people. I'd say its very possible if you walk around the streets of Chicago and go to the gravestone of Al Capone in Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois, that you just might see, sense, or feel his presence.

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