The death certificate of Al Capone, the ruthless Chicago gangster best known for his 1929 "Valentine's Day Massacre" of seven members of rival bootlegger Bugs Moran's gang, is on the auction block.
Few know of Capone's tortured demise – not at the hands of mobsters or federal agents – but in the throes of dementia and violent outbursts that marked his final struggle with syphilis.
A file of medical records, a letter from Capone to one of his doctors, an official copy of his death certificate and photographs of him alive and dead are being offered for sale by a New Hampshire auction house, The Associated Press reported.
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The collection offers a graphic glimpse into the final years of one of the nation's most notorious gangsters, who died at his Palm Island estate in Miami Beach in 1947 at the age of 48.
RR Auction, of Amherst, obtained the collection from the family of the late Dr. Kenneth Phillips of Miami -- Capone's primary physician. It includes a lengthy letter to Phillips from Dr. Joseph Moore -- a Baltimore syphilis specialist involved in Capone's treatment. In it, Moore suggests Capone's family hire a male nurse posing as a chauffeur to protect the public from the gangster's dementia-driven violent outbursts.
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"If, by any chance, Mr. Capone makes an unprovoked attack upon a stranger, he is very likely to find himself in court for disturbing the peace and, as a result of that, to be recognized insane by the judge and to be committed to a Florida psychiatric hospital," Moore wrote in 1941.
Moore said treatment had increased Capone's mental and intelligence quotient from that of a 7-year-old to an age 14 range.
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