Tags: al capone | letter | alcatraz | auction

Al Capone's Alcatraz Letter to Son Sells at Auction for $62,500

Image: Al Capone's Alcatraz Letter to Son Sells at Auction for $62,500

This Jan. 19, 1931, file photo shows Chicago mobster Al Capone at a football game. An intimate letter gangster Capone wrote while imprisoned at Alcatraz has sold at auction in Massachusetts. (AP Photo/File)

By    |   Tuesday, 27 Sep 2016 08:42 AM

Al Capone's Alcatraz letter to his son was sold at auction Monday to an anonymous Chicago-area collector for $62,500 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Experts had anticipated that the letter would sell for around $50,000, when it was auctioned off by RR Auctions of Boston, The Associated Press reported.

Smithsonian.com reported that the letter, written in 1938, gave an "intimate look" at the gangster's daily life in prison. Described as one of the "most hardened gangsters in American history," Smithsonian.com wrote that the letter to Albert "Sonny" Capone appeared to show a softer side as he addressed his son.

"First I learned a Tenor Guitar and then a Tenor Banjo, and now the Mandola, but for Solo work only,” Capone wrote to his son, saying he could play more than 500 songs. "My routine here is Morning Yard, I mean the amusement Yard, Baseball, Horseshoes Courts, and Hand-ball courts, Checkers and Dominoes.

"Junior keep up the way you are doing, and don't let nothing get you down. When you get the blues, Sonny, put on one of the records with songs I wrote you about. There isn't much I can write, but chin up, always," Capone added.

Capone was suffering from syphilis while serving time in Alcatraz and the warden there refused to grant the mobster any of the special privileges he had while serving time in an Atlanta prison before he was transferred, Smithsonian.com wrote.

"But that doesn't mean Capone never got his way," wrote Erin Blakemore, of Smithsonian.com. "According to Don Babwin of The Associated Press, Capone 'begged the warden for permission to form a small band.'

"Capone racked up time for good behavior and took up music, playing banjo in a band called The Rock Islanders. The band had a rotating group of musicians who played as a privilege, and if Capone's letter to his son is any indication, he relished the chance to play both banjo and mandola," Blakemore added.

Capone was the top underworld kingpin in Chicago during Prohibition, calling for what was known as the "Valentine's Day Massacre" in 1929 that killed seven members of a rival gang, led by bootlegger Bugs Moran, noted the Daily Mail. He was arrested federally in 1931 and sentenced to 11 years for income tax evasion.

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Al Capone's Alcatraz letter to his son was sold at auction Monday to an anonymous Chicago-area collector for $62,500 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
al capone, letter, alcatraz, auction
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2016-42-27
Tuesday, 27 Sep 2016 08:42 AM
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