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Al Capone auction features rare handwritten notes of gangland great

  • The IRS_Cala.jpg

    FILE - In this Jan. 19, 1931 black-and-white file photo Chicago mobster Al Capone watches a football game in Chicago. For a time, the Internal Revenue Service inspired awe and admiration in Americans, not just trepidation and lame jokes about death and taxes. Everyone loved it when revenue agents put away Capone, the Chicago underworlds master of brutality and bribe, in a coup so spectacular it scared other gangsters straight. But there's little love for the IRS anymore, and there hasn't been for ages. (AP Photo/File)

  • Capone Auction_Cala.jpg

    This image released Thursday, May 30, 2013, by RR Auction in Amherst, N.H., shows the death certificate for gangster Al Capone. The document is part of an "Old West, Gangsters and Mobsters" collection that will be auctioned in June. Capone died in 1947 at age 48. (AP Photo/RR Auction)

  • Capone Auction_Cala(1).jpg

    This image released Thursday, May 30, 2013, by RR Auction in Amherst, N.H., shows a photo of gangster Al Capone with his family in Florida after he got out of prison. The photo is part of an "Old West, Gangsters and Mobsters" collection that will be auctioned in June. (AP Photo/RR Auction)

  • Capone Auction_Cala(2).jpg

    This image released Thursday, May 30, 2013, by RR Auction in Amherst, N.H., shows a handwritten letter from gangster Al Capone detailing the final years of his life and declining health. The letter is part of an "Old West, Gangsters and Mobsters" collection that will be auctioned in June. Capone died in 1947 at age 48. (AP Photo/RR Auction)

A New England auctioneer is now accepting bids on a cache of correspondence, photos, medical documents, including eye charts, as well as related bric-a-brac that, taken together, tell the tale of that which no mortal force on Earth could seemingly engineer: the dissolution and demise of Al Capone.

According to the website of RR Auction House, which is overseeing the sale, the trove boasts a signed photo of Capone, who once commanded the infamous organization known as the "Chicago Outfit," private medical correspondence exchanged by the doctors principally charged with the mobster's late-life care, and even a reportedly rare handwritten missive in which the gangland great requests of his doctor, “2 boxes [sic] of them red pills for bowels movement.”

It’s an, “exceptional archive originating from Capone's doctor—complete with a signed photo and a virtually nonexistent handwritten letter—and fascinating private medical correspondence which sheds light upon Capone's battle with neurosyphils,” according to the Amherst, N.H., auction house.

By all accounts, Capone died in January 1947 after his parole from an eight-year stint in stir spent, among other places, at the then-newly-opened Alcatraz Prison. The twilight of his life was then spent battling against a slow descent into dementia wrought by the syphilis he reportedly contracted early in life.

The materials for sale, according to RR Auction House, were once the property of Kenneth Phillips, the Florida physician who, along with Dr. Joseph Moore of Baltimore, valiantly fought to forestall the Mafiosi’s ultimate demise.

At last check Sunday, four bids had so far been submitted, with the most lucrative bid thus far quoted at $12,100. The next bid that will be accepted, according to RR Auction House’ website, will amount to at least a little more than $13,000. The auction is tentatively scheduled to conclude June 19.


 

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