Al Capone Goes to Prison

Mugshot of Al Capone taken in Miami, Florida.

On this day, 83 years ago, one of the most notorious criminals in United States' history was sent to prison for tax evasion. For years Al Capone had helmed a violent, Chicago-based criminal empire built on bootlegging, bribery and violence; but it was failure to pay income taxes that finally brought him down. In November of 1931, Capone was sentenced to eleven years in federal prison and slapped with over $270,000 in fines, court costs and back tax interest payments. His prison term began on February 2nd, 1932. 

Upon his arrival at the U.S. penitentiary in Atlanta, GA, medical authorities officially diagnosed him with both gonorrhea and syphilis. The brain damaging, late-stage form of syphilis which Capone suffered under would greatly erode his already scant mental capacity and his condition would debilitate even further when he was transferred to Alcatraz prison in 1934. Capone was paroled in 1939, and by the year 1946 his brain capability had deteriorated to a childlike dimension. He would die of a heart attack in 1947.