On Saturday, June 21, the news of Brooklynite Al Capone’s Florida estate in Palm Island being up for sale made the Yahoo home page feature slideshow. In 2009, after the estate went to “pending sale” status, according to the The Miami Real Estate Blog, the 14-room Spanish style house sits on a 30 thousand square foot lot with a 100 feet of linear footage on Biscayne Bay’s intercoastal waterway.
The asking price, according to a CBS local news report is just under $10 million. Capone historians and law enforcement believe Capone ordered the famous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre from his Florida home. According to the Miami Herald, the home was originally built for Clarence Busch of the Anheuser-Busch brewing dynasty and sold to Capone (via the gangster’s front men) in 1928 for $40,000. Immediately after the purchase Capone reportedly invested a small fortune redecorating the house and “securing it like a small fortress with concrete walls and heavy wooden doors.”
Capone originally moved to Florida in 1928 because the Chicago police
were purposely making things uncomfortable for the gangster in Chicago by surrounding his home and arresting him on the slightest provocation. In a famous historical note, after arriving in Chicago from a trip to the West Coast, Capone found himself surrounded by six Joliet policemen with their shotguns aimed at him, Capone is quoted as saying: “Well, I’ll be damned. You’d think I was Jesse James. What’s the artillery for?”
After finally being convicted of tax evasion in 1934 and was sent to the federal penitentary in Atlanta. At the prison Capone bribed his way into a comfort zone that federal authorities did not appreciate, so the gangster was moved to Alcatraz where he became prisoner #85. At that time Alcatraz was the newest and most secure Federal Prison. Capone was paroled in 1939 and spent his remaining years at the Palm Island estate in Miami. He was suffering from the physical and mental ravages of tertiary syphilis and after a stroke in 1947 he contracted pneumonia and died of cardiac arrest six days later on January 25, 1947.