‘Scarface’ Al Capone released from Alcatraz (1939)

Original publication: Murphysboro Daily Independent Date: November 16, 1939
Categories: 1930s, Crime, Newspapers, Notable people
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Al Capone released from prison-mugshot-alcatraz

Al Capone released from penitentiary

Baltimore, MD, Nov 16 — Scarface Al Capone, released from federal custody today, was brought to Union Memorial hospital here at 11 am today.

Dr Clyde Frost, superintendent of the hospital, announced Capone’s arrival. He said the former Chicago gang overlord was registered as a private patient and turned over to Dr Joseph E Moore for treatment.

Washington, Nov 15 — The Department of Justice announced today that Al Capone, the one-time Chicago gangster chieftain, was released to his family this morning at the Lewisburg, Pa, penitentiary.

Capone has completed his sentence, having done so three days ahead of the scheduled date because of a credit of three days in federal custody in 1931.

The Department of Justice said that Capone had been transferred today from the Federal Correctional Institution at Los Angeles.

The brief announcement did not explain in what manner Capone was brought from the west coast, but inasmuch as the formal announcement said “today,” it was assumed he was brought eastward by airplane.

The mystery of Capone’s whereabouts and when he was being released was announced by James B Bennett, director of the Bureau of Prisons.

“Bennett announced this morning that Alphonse Capone’s sentence having expired today, he was discharged from the US penitentiary at Lewisburg, Pa, to his relatives,” the announcement said. Capone was transferred today from the Federal Correctional Institution near Los Angeles, Calif, to Lewisburg.

“Capone began service of a 10 year penitentiary sentence for evasion of income tax on May 4, 1932, and completed this portion of his sentence on Jan 19, 1939, upon which date he began service of the sentence of one year for failure to file an income tax return. With allowances for good behavior and credit for the three days he served in jail in Oct 1931, Capone’s sentence expires Nov 16, 1939.”

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Lewisburg, Pa, Nov 16 — Officials of the federal penitentiary here announced today that Al Capone “is not now and never has been” in the penitentiary here.

Reporters stationed at the penitentiary since last midnight said there was no trace of Capone and that no unusual activity was noticed.

“It’s all news to me,” Miss Ella Finkelstein, secretary to Warden Henry C Hill told the United Press when informed of the announcement in Washington. “We haven’t seen Capone around here.”

She said Hill was “out of town.”

Lewisburg police, the sheriff’s office and other sources also maintained that so far as they knew Capone had not been in Lewisburg.

It was pointed out, however, that federal authorities may have released the former Chicago gang chieftain to his family outside of the city in order to escape reporters.

The nearest airport to Lewisburg is at Harrisburg, about 40 miles away.

Washington, Nov 16 — Director James V Bennett of the Bureau of Prisons revealed that Al Capone was accompanied by three federal officials when he left the Lewisburg, Pa, penitentiary at the end of his federal term today.

He emphasized, however, that Capone was not in federal custody.

Philadelphia, Nov 16 — Al Capone is in suburban Villanova for treatment of paresis, a well-informed police official said today.

The former Chicago gang leader is being guarded by Department of Justice agents pending his release, scheduled for Sunday, on completion of his imprisonment for evasion of income taxes.

Capone was said to have been brought secretly across the country, having been moved from Alcatraz prison, to be placed in a sanitarium for treatment of paresis, a softening of the brain resulting from syphilis.

A relative of the former gang leader was a student at Villanova College several years ago and Capone and his brother, Ralph, reported bought or leased a house there at that time. Efforts to locate the private sanitarium where he will be treated were unavailing.


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Source publication: Murphysboro Daily Independent

Publication date: November 16, 1939


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