Gangster Al Capones favourite pistol and prison letters set to go on auction

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A gun belonging to notorious gangster Al Capone is set to be auctioned along with some of his prison letters.

Around 174 of Capone’s personal items will be sold on October 8 in Sacramento, California, the US.

Bidding will start at $50,000 [£36,417] for the racketeer’s “favourite” gun, a Colt .45 pistol.

The collection is expected to sell for $700,000 [£509,000] in total, according to auction house Witherell’s.

It said in a statement: “His granddaughter referred to it as his favorite pistol.

“He probably used it as a defense gun. As the most shot-at man in history, he would be inclined to have one to have some protection.”

One of the letters going on sale was written to Capone’s son Sonny while he was banged up in Chicago County Jail.

It reads: “To My Dear Son, Well Son of my heart, here is dear father, who loves you with all my heart and proud to have a son, as smart as you are.”

One of the mob boss’ daughters, 77-year-old Patricia Capone, will make a book-signing appearance at the preview event at Sacramento’s Sutter Club on October 7.

She said: “What people don’t know is his personal story as a father and grandfather and his painful path of redemption while at Alcatraz.

“That is the unknown Capone I talk about in my book, and it’s the story that comes to life with these family treasures.”

The collection, called “A Century of Notoriety: The Estate of Al Capone, also includes a Patek Philippe pocket watch and one of Capone’s pocket knifes.

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At the peak of his powers, he oversaw a crime organisation that was racking in the equivalent of more than $1billion [£728m] a year.

He ran the Chicago Outfit during the Prohibition era and was the most high-profile gangster in the US from 1925-1929.

Capone was convicted of tax evasion in October 1931 and sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Towards the end of his life, the mobster was rendered housebound due to neurosyphilis – syphilis of the brain, which he was diagnosed with in 1938.

By 1946, he was thought to have the same mental capacity as a 12-year-old.

Capone died of cardiac arrest the following year after suffering a stroke.

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