This letter is a steal. Perhaps literally.
The winning bidder of a signed Al Capone legal document up for auction this week in Boston may be taking home a piece of true-crime history — but also possibly an actual piece of a crime scene.
The document – signed around 1930 by the infamous gangster amid allegations that he ran an illegal liquor house in Miami – is believed to have been swiped from the original courthouse files in South Florida.
R.R. Auction, the company running the “Gangsters, Outlaws and Lawmen” auction that features items owned by famed hoodlums like Bugsy Siegel, Whitey Bulger and Bonnie and Clyde along with Capone – has not identified the private seller of the document, but says the letter is legitimate.
As for its shadowy history…
“We know that multiple copies of court documents are produced and get into private hands,” Bobby Livingston, the auction house’s executive vice president, told the Miami Herald. “It’s not uncommon.”
The Miami Herald reviewed the Miami-Dade Clerk of Courts archive earlier this week and found no original or copies of Capone’s six page letter – a fact that proved worrisome to retired Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Scott Silverman.
“If this is an original document that was filed with the court, it needs to be back in a court file and preserved for future generations,” Silverman, who was previously the court system’s historian, told the Florida newspaper.
For bidders not comfortable with spending their money on such a “hot” item, the auction will also be putting on the block a subpoena from the 1930 perjury prosecution of Capone, his diamond-studded pocket watch, sheet music penned by the man nicknamed “Scarface” and other trinkets from his Chicago home.