Now can you guess which Batman villain was modelled after the Chicago based gang-boss, Al Capone? No. It's not the harlequin of hate known as, the Joker. And no. It's not the multi-faceted mobster called Two-Face, either. It's the Ventriloquist, dummy. Aptly named 'Scarface' of course. Here, for more information about this King of Crime, please check out this 45 minute documentary made in 1995, as its gun-toting-tastics.
Biography - Al Capone: Scarface (A&E DVD Archives)
was Al's early life like? On a
certain level, it must have been fairly normal I suppose. His mother and
father were common day hardworking folk living in
Brooklyn, who brought up Al and his siblings in a very traditional manner similar to their Naplesroots.
- Did Al show any signs of becoming a hoodlum when he was young? Yeah! You can safely say that he must have visualised himself as being some type of Robin Hood' figure really. Stealing from the rich, and giving to the poor for some profit.
was Johnny Torrio? Johnny was the
New Yorkgangster who took Al under his wing, and then took him and his fledgling family over to Chicagoto start up a new criminal empire over there.
- Define 'Empire'? Bootlegging. Prostitution. Gambling. Mob hits. And anything else that took Al away from his family and into a life of crime.
- Did Capone see himself a criminal then? No. Not at all. He saw himself as a businessman of sorts, who was surrounded by people who did 'tasks' for him as he saw fit.
- So when did Al first hit the headlines? In 1922, when he was arrested by a police officer for being drunk and disorderly. Of course this charge never stuck.
- Why? During this time Al and Johnny carved out a rather well organised criminal empire for themselves, by bribing statesmen, unifying rivals, and basically doing whatever they had to do to stay afloat.
- Was there any opposition to this 'unification'? Yes. Not that this did them any good. Again and again Al arraigned for these characters to get 'whacked' under mysterious circumstances. By gun or by bat.
when did Al take over from Johnny?
Sometime in the mid 1920's after Al branched out into the suburbs and
built up 'his own empire', whilst Johnny was away in hotter climes. He didn't
have Johnny 'done in' though. Oh no. Johnny gave up his life of crime when
he was shot at and then spent some time in prison for prohibition
violations. He finally spent his last days in
- What was the 'Valentines Day Massacre'? It was a hit Al arranged on a rival mobster called Charles O'Banion, who didn't want to play things Al's way. Furthermore, due to this mass slaughter, public unrest propelled the Capone criminal organisation into disarray. The public started to hate him. Other mobsters placed a bounty on his head. And the only way that Al could get himself out of trouble, was to get himself deliberately arrested so nobody could touch him.
- And did this work? Yes. In a roundabout way it did. But once he was eventually released from prison, the IRS started to hound him for unpaid taxes, and the rest is now history.