Shocking revelations continue to surface about Al "Scarface" Capone in recent days. Numerous women have made some serious allegations about the murderous gangster that have called his reputation into question.
It all began in October when a short clip of comedian Shecky Horowitz went viral. Horowitz joked in a Chicago set, "People don't want to talk about it, but Al Capone is a great guy. If you don't believe me, go home and google "Al Capone nice guy." You'll get more hits than "Shecky Horowitz." I just want you to feel uncomfortable next time you watch the movie Scarface."
With Horowitz invigorating a subject that had largely been ignored through the years, wave after wave of allegations flooded into the public sphere. It began with a woman from Peoria, Illinois claiming, "Al Capone always used to buy my children teddy bears, even when it wasn't their birthday. He never wanted anything in return. He's a very sweet man."
Soon, more stories surfaced, many of them with the same incomprehensible tone. Sheila Burkowsky from Chicago, Illinois alleged, "Al Capone helped me and many women go to college. He set up a clandestine scholarship fund for hardworking young women. Now I'm an accountant. I only found out years later that the entire organization had ties to Al Capone. He really is a sweetheart."
Barbara Harris wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post this past November claiming that Capone used to send her mother flowers. "Honestly, he did not have any romantic feelings towards me and certainly not to my overweight 70 year old mother. He just sent them to my mom because he knew it would brighten up her day. He always seems to be doing things without wanting anything in return. It's like he's a serial nice guy."
These revelations appear to have drastically changed the popular perception of Capone as a homicidal maniac, a persona he has spent many decades cultivating. Capone has risen within the criminal world thanks in part to a unique charisma and an uncanny ruthlessness. His position as a criminal mastermind is now in jeopardy.
Brooklyn gunrunner Johnny Dice explained, "Capone is really a swell fella. I was in the hospital with appendicitis and he sent me a lovely get well card. It really lifted my spirits. Capone is really a caring guy as long as you're not a filthy mick."
Gambler "Snake Eyes" Tortelli of the Lower East Side is a close associate of Capone's. "One day, he just got done scooping the brains out of some dirty Irishman. We were dumping the body and he stopped for a few minutes to ask about my eldest daughter's schoolwork. What subject she enjoys most, her grades, that kind of stuff. He's just a nice man. As long as you're not a dirty Irishman, he'll really go out of his way to make you feel special."
Capone has been uncharacteristically silent since the accusations of his kindness first surfaced. In an interview with NPR, Capone could be seen shaking his head no when a reporter asked him about his alleged kind deeds.
His legal representation, Marty Singer, released a statement on Tuesday, "The recent stories about my client are false. They have been made by people clamoring for the spotlight. Everyone knows Al Capone is a killer and a terrible inhuman beast. He has committed many vicious crimes and really should be put away for a long time. If all of these allegations were true, why are they coming out now all at once? It doesn't add up."
But all of the attention has decidedly swung public opinion firmly into Al Capone's corner. Sixteen year old Chloe Smith remarked, "OMG, I kinda wish he was my dad. He seems so, like, nice."
Capone has a long way to go to regain his past reputation, if he can at all. Only time will tell.