by Steve Jones

This content is part of a series.

David, Real Zeal III (18 of 32)
Series: David - Keeping It Real
Steve Jones
II Samuel 6

Introduction: The highest rated live syndicated special in the history of television was a Geraldo Rivera two-hour show entitled, "The Mystery of Al Capone's Vault."
Al Capone was born January 17, 1899 in New York City to immigrants. He moved to Chicago in 1919 where he became a notable criminal figure and gangster. He played large parts in gambling, alcohol, and prostitution rackets and in 1925 Capone took control of the Chicago Outfit. He was listed on the FBI's "Most Wanted" list, sold alcohol during the Prohibition era and planned the St. Valentine's Day massacre wherein seven competing gang members were gunned down. Eventually Capone was indicted and convicted of income tax evasion in 1931. He was released from prison eight years later and died January 25, 1947 in Palm island, Florida. Capone ran his various criminal enterprises from the Lexington Hotel until his arrest. A construction company in the 1980s planned a renovation of the hotel and while surveying the building discovered a shooting range and a series of secret tunnels including one hidden behind Capone's medicine cabinet. One of these tunnels led to a secret vault beneath the hotel believed to hold some of Al Capone's most prized loot.
On April 21st, 1986, Geraldo Rivera hosted a live TV special in which he announced that by the end of the show he was going to break into the vault and reveal it's contents. Thirty million viewers tuned in to see what was in that vault. Would it be gold, cash, jewels, or the skeletons of long dead enemies? On hand was a medical examiner for the bodies and some members of the Internal Revenue Service to collect any of Capone's money that might be discovered. What was in the vault? It contained a stop sign and a couple of empty gin bottles. Thirty million of us were so intrigued we tuned in.

If ever there was a metaphor to symbolize the inner life of a sou ...

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