Al Capone: A Criminal Mind

Topics: Crime, Al Capone, Criminology Pages: 5 (1605 words) Published: December 12, 2013
Alphonse Capone, born 1899 in Brooklyn New York, is one of the most famous criminals of all time. Capone was known as the eventual leader of the feared Colosimo mob in the 1925s with such notorious criminals as Johnny Torrio and Lucky Luciano (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2008). Also known in his affiliation with the historic St. Valentine's Day Massacre on February14, 1929 in which seven members of the Bugs Moran mob was plastered with machine gun bullets against a garage as the offenders posed as police officers (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2008). As many criminal justice professionals have questioned throughout the years; though, why do such notorious criminals commit the heinous crimes they commit? Are these criminals suffering from some underlying reasoning? This paper presents an analysis of the criminal history and mind of Alphonse Capone and indicators to explain why criminals such as Capone commit crimes. Alphonse Capone, better known as Scarface, was born January 17, 1899 to Gabriel Capone, a barber and his mother Teresa (Carey, 2002). Capone had two brothers Ralph and Salvatore Capone (Carey, 2002). At fourteen years of age Capone dropped out of school and joined the gang of James Street Boys in which he graduated to the sister adult gang five years later known as the Five Points Gang (Carey, 2002). As a kid Capone held such jobs as a candy store clerk, bowling alley attendant, and a cutter in a book bindery (Chicago Historical Society, 1999). Capone earned his nickname by receiving a nasty cut across his left cheek while trying to evict a customer (Carey, 2002). In 1918, Capone was wed to Mary Coughlin and fathered one child, Albert "Sonny" Francis (Carey, 2002).

Although never convicted for the crimes, Al Capone's first indication as a criminal was a disorderly conduct charge while employed by Yale, a member of the gang, and the murder of two men in New York (Chicago Historical Society, 1999). In 1919, Capone moved to Chicago during the prohibition era where he distilled and distributed alcohol and conducted illegal brewing under Johnny Torrio and Lucky Luciano (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2008). After the death of Colosimo, Johnny Torrio took over the mob and Capone became chief lieutenant of operations (Carey, 2002). Capone managed the bootlegging operations of the Chicago underworld as well as Illinois and other neighboring states (Carey, 2002). Capone holds responsibility for starting the beer wars which cost many lives including Dion O'Bannion, leader of the North Side Gang (Carey, 2002). In 1925, after Torrio suffered injuries and retired from crime Al Capone became the mob boss of the Colosimo mob (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2008). By 1930 Capone had expanded the mob to own more than $100,000,000 in income accumulated by underground bars, bookie joints, gambling establishments, brothels, race tracks, distilleries and breweries (Chicago Historical Society, 1999). Until they decided that business with Capone was bad for the image, Capone even had politicians such as William "Big Bill" Hale Thompson under his employ (Chicago Historical Society, 1999).

Despite many attempts, and because of gangland's tradition, law enforcement found it difficult to charge Capone with any crimes. In 1926, Capone was arrested for the murder of three people but spent only a single night in custody for lack of sufficient evidence (Chicago Historical Society, 1999). May 17, 1929 Capone was arrested on a concealed weapons charge and was sentenced to one year in prison but was released on good behavior after nine months (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2008). By 1930 Capone was known as the Chicago's top leader in the list of twenty-eight worst criminals and was deemed "Public Enemy Number One" (Chicago Historical Society, 1999). The problem was every time a murder was committed that was linked to Capone, Capone ensured he had an alibi. The other problem was that many of the citizens actually seen Capone...
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