found out three men were rats, beat them to a pulp with a base­ball bat’

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died, six in­stantly and Frank Gusen­berg later that day.

But the orig­i­nal tar­get, Bugs Mo­ran, was never in­jured.

In fact, he had never even made it to the ware­house.

The as­sas­sins had made a mis­take when Al­bert Wein­shank, roughly the same height and build as Mo­ran, ar­rived dressed in an iden­ti­cal out­fit to the man.

It wasn’t un­til af­ter the mas­sacre, when Bugs made a pub­lic state­ment con­demn­ing Capone, that it was re­alised that he was still alive.

The en­su­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion fo­cused pri­mar­ily on Capone and his af­fil­i­ate, the Pur­ple Gang.

De­spite two eye­wit­nesses and sev­eral iden­ti­fi­ca­tions, most of the pub­lic be­lieved what the killers wanted them to – that the at­tack had been car­ried out by the po­lice as a scare tac­tic.

One man, Fred Burke, a known as­so­ciate of Capone’s, was ar­rested years later for a sep­a­rate crime and found to be in pos­ses­sion of the guns that were used in the mas­sacre.

Burke de­nied in­volve­ment with the crime.

Capone was later ar­rested for his many other crimes and spent 11 years in prison.

Killed

Even then, how­ever, he never took credit for the St Valen­tine’s Day Mas­sacre – and to this day, the ac­tual per­pe­tra­tors are still un­known.

No mat­ter the case, there’s no doubt that the hit car­ried Capone’s dis­tinct style.

He once in­fa­mously killed three of his own as­so­ci­ates af­ter learn­ing they were plan­ning to be­tray him.

Dur­ing a cha­rade con­cocted for their ben­e­fit, Capone staged an ar­gu­ment with a trusted body­guard in front of two of his wise guys and then slapped the guard, who ran from the room.

Both of the men tracked him down and fa­tally of­fered to bring him in on their plans.

Af­ter con­fir­ma­tion of the treach­ery, an elab­o­rate ruse was de­vel­oped to get rid of the plot­ters.

At the cli­max of a din­ner thrown in their hon­our, Capone pro­duced a base­ball bat and beat the three men within an inch of their lives, be­fore two or three gun­men stepped in to fin­ish the job.

Capone was pub­lic en­emy num­ber one, but be­cause of his cor­rupt ties to po­lice and politi­cians, au­thor­i­ties strug­gled to pin him down.

Fi­nally, in 1931, two years af­ter the mas­sacre, he was pros­e­cuted for tax eva­sion.

Dur­ing a highly pub­li­cised case, the judge ad­mit­ted as ev­i­dence Capone’s ad­mis­sions of his in­come and un­paid taxes dur­ing prior ne­go­ti­a­tions to pay the gov­ern­ment taxes he owed.

He was con­victed and sen­tenced to 11 years in prison.

Af­ter con­vic­tion, he re­placed his de­fence team with ex­perts in tax law, and his grounds for ap­peal were strength­ened by a Supreme Court rul­ing, but his ap­peal ul­ti­mately failed.

De­men­tia

Capone showed signs of syphilitic de­men­tia early in his sen­tence and be­came in­creas­ingly de­bil­i­tated be­fore be­ing re­leased af­ter eight years of in­car­cer­a­tion.

On Jan­uary 25, 1947, aged just 48, Capone died of car­diac ar­rest af­ter suf­fer­ing a stroke.

He took the truth about the St Valen­tine’s Day mas­sacre to his grave.

SLAUGH­TERED: Vic­tims of the St Valen­tine’s Day Mas­sacre

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