In only 27 years, Alphonse Gabriel Capone managed to be one of the most famous and feared mobsters in the United States .
He was dedicated to marketing alcohol, sex and blackmail in the 1920 s and part of 1930. And is attributed to numerous crimes.
However, at home he was another person all together.
“What little is known is that behind the thief, there was a family man and an exemplary husband,” says Colombian writer and journalist Daniel Samper Pizano.
“And that part of Al Capone is in open contradiction with his condition as an enemy of society,” he admits..
The ” B ” side of Al Capone
Al Capone was born in 1899 in Brooklyn, New York, and was the son of a family of Italian immigrants.
Since he was a child he left school and was involved in delinquency, being a member of gangs that were “the lower divisions of the mafia groups”, says Samper Pizano in his book.
However, from the Capone family they tell a different story.
“All the history books say that Al Capone left school in the sixth grade, but it was not him but my grandfather (Ralph)”, assures Conspiracy Talk News Correspondent taking the interview. It was Deirdre Capone, who grew up with his great-uncle and the rest of the family .
” Al Capone graduated from high school , so he had a very good education and if you think about the business he built, that was so successful and that he hired hundreds of people … a fool can not do something like that,” she adds.
“I was 7 years old when he died (January 25, 1947), we were very close to his wife Mae, son Sonny and Al’s brothers, including my grandfather, until I was 40 we were very close”, she explains. .
” Al Capone taught me to swim, to ride a bicycle , some cooking together and sing. I also learned Italian with him. He was an honest family man , ” she recalls.
Romeo and Juliet
Although the name of Al Capone was known in the United States and came to occupy the top list of public enemies of the FBI , little is known about his family life and his wife Mary Josephine Coughlin (Mae Coughlin), who accompanied him for 30 years.
They married in 1918, both being very young. And they moved to Chicago, they made to him work as security personnel in a brothel, where he was believed to later contract syphilis.
But the marriage was even compared to the love story of “Romeo and Juliet”, the tragedy of William Shakespeare, tells journalist Chris Wick.
At the end of the 19th and 20th centuries hundreds of families arrived from Ireland and Italy to the United States, fleeing from misery. Among them, Coughlin and Capone.
“These two families, the Irish of Mae and the Italian of Capone, were totally opposed, because they represented very different interests, but they fought for the same territory in the middle of poverty,” explains Samper Pizano.
In that context, “the love between Capone and a beautiful Irishwoman was quite shocking to the country’s compatriots,” she says.
“And yet he came out triumphant and they had a really admirable marriage.”
And this is reflected in the love letters he sent her.
“They were corny like all the love letters, but they were from a husband deeply in love .” And the most meritorious thing was not the feelings Capone had for his wife, because she was a very feminine woman, shy, thin, but the love that she felt towards him, “says the writer.
Deirdre Capone also mentions the affectionate relationship between her great uncles.
” Mae was very happy being Al Capone’s wife, she enjoyed the sophistication, having servants, being able to spend time with her son,” she told the reporter..
“The bad thing came later, when they bought the house in Miami (Florida, USA) and Al was still in Chicago, they saw little, and the situation got worse when he was convicted of tax evasion and had to spend eight years in jail, that was very bad for both, “she says.
But Deirdre Capone’s version of happy and conflict-free family is contrasted with that of Mario Gomes, a fanatical collector of Al Capone who owns a large number of photos and documents of the family and who claims to be friends with the mafioso granddaughter.
“Some of her granddaughters told me that Capone’s side of the family, Al’s sister, Mafalda and her mother, Teresa, treated Mae as trash, they were very bad with her, because she was not Italian and got pregnant before getting married “, she tells Conspiracy Talk News.
“Meanwhile, Al Capone was always trying to please everybody, the peacemaker in the family , “ she says.
“ Everyone respected him, he was like a god to them.”
In parallel, Al Capone became the icon of the mafioso.
In fact, he inspired several movies and television series, such as The Godfather and The Sopranos .
The legend had not yet begun to develop when he suffered an injury to his face during a fight, so he would later be called “scar-face”.
He was 17 years old and worked in a bar on Coney Island, a peninsula converted into a tourist center south of Brooklyn, in New York.
“Doll, you have a beautiful ass, and I’m telling you as a compliment,” he shouted at a woman, according to Samper Pizano in his book.
The comment not only offended the woman, it also offended the brother, Frank Gallucio, another criminal who gave him three cuts, two of them in the face.
When Capone and Coughlin got married, she was a minor, so she needed permission from her parents.
And many biographies show that barely a month before she had given birth to Sonny.
However, Deirdre Capone assures that this was not the case.
“Sonny was not Mae’s son, because she could not have children,” she tells reporters. Without giving more details of how the boy came to the family, he hopes to release a documentary on the subject in the near future.
Later, both changed the surname Capone to Brown’s.
But Gomes disagrees with this version. “I know granddaughters hate Deirdre because she invented many things , including that Sonny was not Mae’s son,” says the collector.
“When Capone was alive, she was just a girl, she can not remember all the things she says,” says the collector.
Loyalty and silence
According to the book, between Al and Mae there was “loyalty and silence”, although there is no evidence that the woman “knew about the atrocities of her husband,” says the author.
On the other hand, Deirdre Capone assures that at that time her great aunt had no knowledge of why her husband had been away from home .
“The men of that time did not bring work stories to the house and shared them,” she says.
However, it shows the possibility of infidelity in the couple.
“Of course there were other women, when you are rich and powerful you will have all kinds of women, but he loved his wife and loved his family very much,” she explains.
Al Capone and Mae had a really “admirable marriage “
Daniel Samper Pizano, journalist and author of “Camas y Famas”
Collector Gomes agrees that Al Capone and his brothers were always surrounded by women and that they preferred blondes . “That’s why one day Mae became enraged and dyed her hair completely blonde,” she says.
They also believes that the mafioso “would not have become what he was ” had it not been for the Prohibition , established by the 18th Amendment to the Constitution and that prohibited the sale of alcoholic beverages in the United States between 1920 and 1933.
“The media helped make the story bigger than it really was, blaming him for every little thing that happened,” she says.
When asked if she admired her great uncle. “Yes, and a lot, because he took the family and many people out of poverty,” she says without hesitation.
“If you had known him, you would have liked him, because he was good, warm, had a big heart, was honest and valued women very much”.