Al Capone Is Incarcerated – 10/17/1931

US History |

The saying that “All things must come to an end” applies to everything and everyone in existence. Even someone who seems untouchable cannot escape this constant and there is always a way this is achieved. This is what happened to one of the most notorious criminals to come out of the 1920s and part of the 1930s when mister untouchable finally became touchable. Al Capone, on October 17th, 1931 was fined $80,000 and received a jail sentence of eleven years for the crime of tax evasion; ironically, was not charged for the alleged murders that he ordered or committed himself.

In 1899, Alphonse Gabriel Capone was born to Italian immigrants in Brooklyn, NY. By the time he became 14 years old, Capone was expelled from school and would end up joining a gang in which he was cut across his cheek during an altercation that earned him the nickname of “Scarface.” He eventually moved to Chicago by 1920 in which he would eventually help crime boss Johnny Torrio’s run his unlawful businesses that included prostitution, alcohol-smuggling and gambling. By 1925, Torrio would step down after a failed hit against him and because Capone had a reputation of being brutal and cunning, became the new leader of the organization.

The act of Prohibition lasted from 1920 to 1933, this law made the distribution and brewing of alcohol illegal, in which made it extremely profitable for Capone and bootleggers as they collected lots of money from underworld activities. Even though by 1930 being number one on the “Most Wanted” list of the F.B.I., he was able to stay away from any long jail sentences until 1931 by having multiple hideouts, paying off city officials and threatening witnesses. His status would be elevated to the kingpin of crime in Chicago as Capone eliminated his rivals through many gangland slayings and battles. The most infamous of these killings became known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929 when his foot soldiers shot and killed seven of his competitors; thus launching him to a national notoriety.

Federal agent Elliot Ness became one of Capone’s notable enemies as he created a group of officers whose mission was to take down his organization. These men earned the nickname “The Untouchables” due to the fact that they were not corruptible. Although Ness and his squad would break up his bootlegging businesses on more than one occasion, they finally achieved success by arresting Al Capone on tax-evasion and sentenced to prison in 1931. Even in prison, his influence in the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta was rumored to have him receive special treatment while influencing the system there; these accusations led Capone to be transferred to California’s San Francisco Bay maximum-security prison on Alcatraz Island. By 1939, he was released early for good behavior as his last year there was spent in the hospital as a result of having syphilis.

The rest of Capone’s life was hampered by health problems and eventually died in 1947. He passed away at his residence in Palm, Florida at the age of 48.

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Autumn Mcleod

Senior Writer

Autumn came to us really wanting to break away from the politics that came with working for major news sites. She leads our positive story writers in creating the best, engaging stories out there. She is an enthusiast of all things from the roaring twenties.