Chicago Sun-Times
A dialog between Sun-Times opinion writers and our readers

Author doubts Capone was behind Valentine's Day Massacre

| 11 Comments | No TrackBacks

Jonathan Eig, author of "Get Capone: The Secret Plot that Captured America's Most Wanted Gangster" has two surprising conclusions for people enamored of the Capone legend.

First, he doesn't think Capone ordered the Prohibition-era Valentine's Day Massacre, in which seven men were gunned down.

Second, he questions Robert DeNiro's portrayal in the 1987 movie "The Untouchables," in which Capone uses a baseball bat to fatally bludgeon an underling.

"I suggest that he probably didn't do the baseball bat scene quite as was graphically as Robert DeNiro," Eig says.

As for the Valentine's Day Massacre, he doubts Capone had anything to do with it.

Far from being a intimidating person by nature, Eig says, Capone started out as a two-bit thug with some charm.

"He was a gregarious guy. He was not the kind of person that people feared instantly upon meeting him,"Eig says. "He was quick with a joke. This is why he was successful in the bar business. Because people actually like his company."

Eig's earlier books are: "Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig" and "Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season."

Follow BackTalk on Twitter@stbacktalk

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:


What is significant today about the St Valentines day massacre ?

Answer: it lead to the repeal of Prohibition (18th Amendment). After the massacre, the dry movement led by the Temperence organizations of the time, finally admitted that prohibiting alcohol was impossible and caused more harm than the alcohol did.

The same issue today exists with street drugs (cocaine, heroin, and opium). Amerikanos never learn lessons from history.

look what he did to anton cermak

It's been said that the person Capone beat to death with a baseball bat was the woman who infected him with VD.

"It's been said" doesn't make it true. And Al, Cermak's killer was shooting at Roosevelt, not Cermak; also, Capone was already in prison at the time.

Wasn't Anthony "Joe Batters" Accardo actually the person responsible for the beating with the baseball bat?

Capone should serve as history lesson to us.
Stop and think of how he got away with his crimes, and most of the Mafia thugs for that matter. They bought the political leaders, judges and cops. Hired the best lawyers.
Now look at the imagration situation. Look at our borders. Why is it our political leaders are doing nothing to end it?
I am convinced like Capone, and the Mob, the Cartel has the political leaders in their pocket. No other excuse possible.

Was this written by an intern? This is such a non story. It certainly lacks detail. Author doubts Capone was behind the massacre? Why? Because he was such a nice guy? Even confessed and convicted murderers have friends.

And Capone probably didn't use a baseball bat as "graphically" as DeNiro. Ever hear of a thing called "acting"? How about "drama"?

If this author only has his opinion and inuendo for "proof" that Capone didn't have anything to do with the, "Saint Valentine's Day Massacre," good luck to him.

How do you use a baseball bat on someone without being graphic about it?

Or is it a matter of degrees?

Hopefully the book has a bit more in the way of supporting evidence than "he was such a gregarious guy," because otherwise it seems pretty clear that its author is just trying to play apologist to a killer.

Jonathan Eig was born in Brooklyn. Just sayin. Maybe a Chicago historian should make a mint writing a book about how soft Lucky Luciano "really" was.

The last two posters are correct. This author is so full of himself. Those close to him know that he bought some papers belonging to the Capone head prosecutor and wrote a book around this hoping to cash in. He now considers himself an "Expert" after only two years of flimsy research. The massacre theory in his book really blows. He has no proof to discredit any of the proven evidence tied to the crime. You can see that his arguments are totally lame via this site.

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Thomas Frisbie published on November 12, 2010 5:06 PM.

Why Preckwinkle plan to save $55 million a year might not work was the previous entry in this blog.

No place like home -- Chicago -- for Obama's presidential library is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.