13 March 2008

Al Capone, Taxes, and the Lost Marshal

Much has been written about Alphonse "Al" Capone, the massive underworld and Mafia figure from the 1920's and 1930's.


Finally arrested in 1931, the Internal Revenue Service pegged him on tax charges, not for his other generally recognized criminal activities.


However, have you heard of his older brother?

James "Two-Gun" Capone or also known as "Richard Hart"

Evidently departing the family in the early part of the 1900's, James adventured around the world in circuses, Europe, and Central America. He finally settled down in a little town in Nebraska called Homer and immediately began acquiring his reputation, not mentioning to the other people in town his storied family history back east.

He tried a variety of jobs and occupations, including Indian agent as well as a Prohibition agent and evidently was very successful.

Called "Two-Gun" in the October 1, 1951 issue of Newsweek, James Capone, aka: Richard Hart, was also described as "....a tough officer who would not take a bribe...." (3)


However, it seems in the later part of the 1930's, life turned for James and he appealed to his family back east for financial assistance. Ralph "Bottles" Capone transferred one of his properties over to him, providing income. As a result of this, the 1951 investigation of Ralph also brought to light James and his past.

Now, here is where history departs, and I leave it for you to decide what is the truth and what isn't. In the articles and magazines I have seen, James (Richard) is described as an upstanding, very effective lawman. However, other sources tell a different tale:

"Some of it was true...including fantasy service in World War I..." (5)

In any event, no matter what the outcome, it's a great story! I've provided some links and some interesting reading below that will help inform and perhaps entertain. I hope you enjoy it!

Have a great day, see you tomorrow!

(1)DN-0081114, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago Historical Society. (LOC)
(2)NARA-Search for Capone

(3)Newsweek, October 1, 1051, pg. 23
(4)LOC-Prints & Photographs Reading Room
(5)Google Book Search, Title: Mr. Capone, by Robert Schoenberg, pg. 350.

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