Al Capone auction features rare handwritten notes of gangland great

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.