Reported in the News Letter on November 21, 1930: ‘Scarface’ Al Capone arrested in Chicago


The first act in the campaign by the American Federal Government against the racketeers who are tyrannising the country has been to beard the “lion” of the gangster underworld in his den. In other words, “Scarface” Al Capone has been arrested in Chicago – the cockpit of American lawlessness.

“Scarface” heads the list of those who have been declared public enemies, and he has been wanted on a Vagrancy Warrant.

A determined effort to put a stop to gangster activities in Chicago is being made by the Federal Government. The Attorney-General, Mr Mitchell, announces that a secret squad have been at work in Chicago since early summer “putting increasing pressure on gangster activities”.

He declares that the situation is so serious that the American government intends to pursue indefinitely an unrelenting war on the underworld. It is said the Federal authorities have a long list of gangsters who have failed to pay taxes on their huge illicit profits for vice and the liquor trade, and it is understood that charges will shortly be preferred against Al Capone under this head.

He is the biggest man in the “grape-juice racket” in Chicago, and it is said that this year alone the Californian grape-juice industry has paid a million sterling “protection money” to gangsters and racketeers.

Prohibition has recently given a fillip to the production and sale of grape juice which may be bought openly and which readily ferments, enabling the thirsty to manufacture their own wine. Such has been the popularity of the new wet drink that beer’s pre-eminence is being threatened, and last week it was reported that Al Capone, the racketeer tyrant of Chicago, had threatened anybody with death who tried to sell grape juice on his “beer territory”.