Al Capone‘s Alcatraz letter, which was sold at an auction in Massachusetts, was very personal. On Monday, RR Auction in Cambridge sold a letter written by Capone for $62,500 to an anonymous buyer from Chicago, who wishes to remain anonymous.
Before the auction, experts had predicted that the letter, which showed a softer side of the late criminal, would be sold for at least $50,000. Capone, whose real name is Alphonse Gabriel Capone, aka Scarface, is considered as one of America’s most notorious gangsters.
Born to a family of Italian immigrants in Brooklyn, New York, Capone rose to fame during the prohibition era and was the co-founder and boss of the Chicago Outfit. Capone took part in organized crime all across the United States, especially in Illinois.
He illegally supplied alcohol, he was linked to kidnappings and the murders of several people. In 1931, Capone was charged with income tax evasion as well as with various violations of the Volstead Act and was eventually sent to Atlanta U.S. Penitentiary in 1932 for eleven years. According to his bio:
“Even in prison Capone took control, obtaining special privileges from the authorities such as furnishing his cell with a mirror, typewriter, rugs, and a set of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Because word spread that Capone had taken over in Atlanta, he was sent to Alcatraz.”
While locked up at the infamous Alcatraz cell 181 in San Francisco, he wrote a three-page letter to his son, Albert “Sonny” Capone. The content of the message has not been revealed to the public, but it has been confirmed that he signed it, “Love & Kisses, Your Dear Dad Alphonse Capone #85,” which was his number at Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay.
Capone, who was battling syphilis and became confused and disorientated, only served six and a half years and was released for good behavior. Upon his release, he was hospitalized and was seen by a psychiatrist that concluded that Capone had the mental capability of a 12-year-old child.
In 1947, Al Capone died in his home, surrounded by his family.