Al Capone's prized semi-automatic Colt and jewelry are up for auction
Chicago mobster Al Capone’s prized possessions including semi-automatic Colt he named ‘sweetheart’ and diamond encrusted jewelry are put up for auction by his granddaughters – but critics slam them for profiting off ‘blood money’
- Notorious mob boss Al Capone has almost 200 items going up for auction tomorrow, including his prized semi-automatic Colt ‘sweetheart’ and jewelry
- His four granddaughters put his items up for sale and his second granddaughter Diane said it’s to show the grandfather they knew
- Some critics are slamming the family for profiting off ‘blood money’ and said if the family wanted to honor him they should have put the items in a museum
- Some items up for auction include a handwritten letter Capone wrote to his son while in the notorious Alcatraz prison, formerly reversed for the worst criminals
- Capone spent seven years in prison for 22 counts of tax evasion, but was never prosecuted for his alleged involvement in gang activities
- He died on January 25, 1947, at the age of 48 after developing dementia as a result of a syphilis contraction
Chicago mobster Al Capon’s most prized possessions are being put up for auction by his granddaughters, but critics have accused them for profiting off ‘blood money.’
Items going up for sale include the gangster’s favorite gun – a semi-automatic Colt he called ‘sweetheart’ – as well as photographs, personal letters and diamond jewelry.
Diane Capone, 77, the mobster’s second granddaughter, only knew her grandfather after his release from Alcatraz prison in 1939, following a seven-year sentence for tax evasion.
By then, the 40-year-old Capone was already in failing health and suffering from neurological issues caused by late-stage syphilis.
Diane didn’t know her grandfather as the mobster boss who is widely believed to be behind the bloody St. Valentine’s Day massacre in 1929 that left seven rival gang members dead.
The Capone granddaughters say they want to highlight the grandfather they knew, not the image the world has of him through the auction, which goes live tomorrow.
‘When he came back from being in Alcatraz, he had gone through quite a transformation. He lived out the rest of his life trying to make amends, trying to make peace with God and he believed that he was given a second chance,’ Diane told CBS News.
The infamous gun, which Capone called ‘sweetheart’ is also up for grabs, with estimates that it may make $100,000 to $150,000
The silver clip was bejeweled with his first name and houses 21 single-cut diamonds. The item starts at a $1,250 bid
Despite the bling and the allure of a mob boss’s most prized possession, some critics are slamming the family for profiting off ‘blood money.’ With high priced items, such as Capone’s platinum Patek Phillippe watch (pictured) are going for more than $12,000
Chicago’s most notorious mob boss Al Capone will have his prized possessions auctioned off at Witherell’s Auction House in California starting tomorrow. The auction was set up by his four granddaughters
After Capone had returned from his prison sentence at Alcatraz, he was often seen in loungewear at his Miami Beach mansion, according to CBS.
Alongside the nearly 200 items going up for auction, a photo taken on Christmas Day 1946 is among them. The picture shows ‘papa,’ as he was known to them, relishing his freedom after being released from Alcatraz.
In the picture, Capone is seen with his wife and four granddaughters out for a walk onto the dock of their sprawling mansion on Palm Island, Florida.
That picture is among 174 items belonging to the Capone family that will go up for auction in Sacramento, California, on Friday.
His second granddaughter Diana Capone told CBS News that the auction was show the world the grandfather they knew, not the notorious mob boss suspected of murders and violence
The items range from personal photographs to firearms to pocket watches and jewelry as well as furniture and kitchenware.
Al Capone’s platinum and diamond Patek Philippe pocket watch is listed for $25,000 to $50,000.
His favorite Colt .45 pistol is estimated to fetch $100,000 to $150,000.
A vintage hand-colored silver print of Al and his son, Sonny Capone, is expected to go for $10,000 to $15,000.
Brian Witherell, consignment director at Witherell’s Auction House, said nearly 1,000 bidders have registered for the auction from every US state and 11 countries.
‘The items that generate the most interest are the ones that you think of synonymous with a gangster figure like Al Capone, his guns and his fancy flamboyant jewelry,’ he said.
Diane Capone said she hopes these items will reveal the human side of her grandfather, instead of the ruthless violence that plagued Chicago in the 1920s for which he has become infamous.
Diane described her grandfather as a family man and hopes the items will reveal a softer side. This is the last photo taken of Al Capone with his wife Mae and grandchildren Diane, Barbara and Ronnie is being sold starting at $1,250
Diane shows CBS’s Lee Cowan the tie clip her grandfather wore
A handwritten letter from Capone during his time in Alcatraz – the notorious former prison for the worst criminals – to his son is among the collection of items and Diane said the letter represents the grandfather they knew. The bid starts at $12,500
Furniture and kitchenware are among the items up for bid, with Capone’s Dirigold Sweden flatware starting at $500
The item that most exemplifies this, she said, is a personal letter Al Capone wrote to his son, Sonny Capone, from Alcatraz estimated between $25,000 and $50,000.
‘It’s such a lovely letter, and it is a letter that conveys a side of this man that the vast majority of people have no idea of,’ she said. ‘These are not the words or the ideas of a man who is a ruthless gangster. These are the words of a loving father.’
The letter, which was written to Diane’s father, read, in part: ‘To my dear son, well, son of my heart, here is dear father, who loves you. Until next week, give mother a nice big kiss for me and God bless you both. Your dear father, Alphonse Capone.’
Diane told CBS that the letter represented the man her grandmother and Capone’s wife always knew him to be.
‘She [her grandmother] never gave up hope,’ she told CBS.
However, some critics are reprimanding the family for selling the items, claiming it’s off ‘blood money’ and if they wanted to honor their grandfather, they should put it into a museum.
Diane said the decision to sell the items was based on her and her sisters getting older, as well as the increasing threat of wildfires to their homes in Northern California.
Nine Salarno Besselman, a former California prosecutor who has no connection to Capone, slammed the family for ‘profiting’ off blood money.
‘Let’s face it. An auction is for money. If they truly want people to know that he was a loving grandfather, truly want people to know this other side of him, then put it in a museum,’ she told CBS. ‘We should not profit from what I would call blood money.’
Diane told CBS she understood the opinion but believed everyone ‘makes mistakes in life.’
Although she had ‘no idea’ if her grandfather was capable of murder, but said she would say ‘I’m sorry’ to anyone who may or may not have been victims of Capone’s alleged violence.
Capone spent seven years in Alcatraz for 22 counts of tax evasion and is largely believed to be behind the bloody St. Valentine’s Day massacre of 1929, where seven members of a rival gang were executed after Capone’s supposed men were dressed as police officers
Al Capone was one of the most feared figures in organized crime during the Prohibition Era, when the sale or production of alcohol was banned in the United States.
Born in 1899 to Italian immigrants, the Brooklyn-born Capone became influenced by a life of crime by friend Johnny Torrio.
He earned the nickname ‘Scarface’ in 1917 after getting into an altercation with a man at a bar that left three scars on his face.
He married his wife Mae Coughlin in 1918 and his son Sonny was born on December 4 of that year.
He was the boss of the Chicago Outfit, a 1920s gang that beat out rivals in bootlegging and racketeering with increasingly brutal methods.
These culminated in the 1929 St Valentine’s Day Massacre, when seven members of a rival gang were executed, resulting in Capone being dubbed ‘Public Enemy Number One’.
He was indicted in 1931 on 22 counts of tax evasion and was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
He ultimately ended up in Alcatraz, a San Francisco island fortress prison in 1934 for seven years.
He died on January 25, 1947, at the age of 48 after developing dementia as a result of a syphilis contraction.
The home Al Capone allegedly planned the bloody St. Valentine’s Day massacre of 1929 is set to be demolished
Notorious gangster Al Capone’s Miami Beach home is where he allegedly planned the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929.
The south Florida home is now set to be demolished after new owners bought it for $10.75M, according to the Miami Herald.
Capone lived in the home for nearly 20 years, and where he died in 1947, was purchased by a pair of developers this summer.
But they have no plans to renovate it – and have vowed to raze the house to the ground despite plans to designate it a historic landmark.
One of the property’s new owners, Todd Glaser, told the Herald that the nine-bedroom home sits at three feet below sea level, which has led to extensive flood damage to the property.
One of the property’s new owners, Todd Glaser, told the Herald that the nine-bedroom home sits at three feet below sea level, which has led to extensive flood damage to the property
The developers have plans to build a two-story home on the property with eight bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a spa, sauna, and a Jacuzzi, the Herald reports.
However, the home was recently added to the Miami Beach September agenda for a potential historic designation, which could halt the developer’s plans of demolishing the house and reconstructing a new one.
But Glaser and Gonzalez remain undeterred, and have expressed disbelief in the thought of honoring Capone, a known murderer and felon, in such a way.
For his part, Glaser sees the pair’s plans for demolition as an act of civic duty.
Capone died of a heart attack in the home in 1947. Its new owners plan to demolish it despite calls for it to be designated a historic landmark
‘They want to glorify this guy? I knocked down Jeffrey Epstein’s house. Palm Beach was begging me to knock his house down.’
‘I’m doing good for the community,’ Glaser said.
Over the years, the home has become an integral part of Capone’s mythology and may have recently been bought for $15.5million by 93 Palm Residence LLC, according to CL Tampa.
Capone had purchased the property in 1928 for $40,000, which would equate to about $638,000 in 2021
Capone is said to have planned the infamous Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre while residing in the Miami Beach home, which ultimately lead to the 1929 murders of seven members and associates of Chicago’s North Side Gang on Valentine’s Day.
He had purchased the property in 1928 for $40,000, which would equate to about $638,000 in 2021, before dying in the home of a heart attack in 1947.
Source: Miami Herald, CL Tampa
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