By John Ostapkovich
PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–Almost everything you know about Prohibition era gangster Al Capone is wrong, according to his niece.
Not many people could have written the book Uncle Al Capone The Untold Story from Inside His Family. In fact, Dierdre Marie Capone is the last surviving relative with first-hand knowledge of him. Hers is not a complete legacy rewrite.
Ostapkovich: By the definitions of the time, was Al Capone a gangster?
But Capone argues that the reality was much more nuanced than portrayed during her uncle’s 1931 tax evasion trial.
“Hollywood knew that there would be worldwide publicity of that trail so they came out with three motion pictures. One was called Little Caesar. One was called Al Capone and Public Enemy Number one was the third one and so they created this image that really was not real.”
She says the reality was Al Capone and his customers cooperated in evading Prohibition until near its end when, in the author’s opinion, moneyed interests disposed of him so they could again sell booze legally.