November 15, 2012
Paper # 2
The Infamous Mobster Al Capone
Al Capone, also known as Scarface, was born in Brooklyn, New York to immigrant parents born in 1899. He dropped out of school in sixth grade to become affiliated to a notorious street gang. Johnny Torrio was the street gang leader along with Lucky Luicano, who would later break off from the gang. In 1919 Capone joined Torrio in Chicago and became a lieutenant in the Colosimo mob. Capone and the Colosimo mob gained interest in bootlegging during the prohibition, along with brewing and distilling alcohol. Other illegal activities included: racketeering, extortion, police bribery, robbery, and murder.
Torrio soon succeeded to full leadership of the gang with the violent demise of Big Jim Colosimo, and Capone gained experience and expertise as his strong right hand man. In 1925, Capone became boss when Torrio, was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt. Capone had built a fearsome reputation in the ruthless gang rivalries of the period, struggling to acquire and retain “racketeering rights” to several areas of Chicago. That reputation grew as rival gangs were eliminated and the suburb of Cicero became the empire of the Capone mob. The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre on February 14, 1929, might be regarded as the culminating violence of the Chicago gang era, as seven members or associates of the “Bugs” Moran mob were machine-gunned against a garage wall by rivals posing as police. The massacre was generally tied to the Capone mob, although Al himself was in Florida. The investigative jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of Investigation during the 1920s and early 1930s was more limited than it is now, and the gang warfare and depredations of the period were not within the Bureau’s investigative authority. The Bureau’s investigation of Al Capone arose from his reluctance to appear before a federal grand jury on March 12, 1929 in response to a...