Al Capone's Beer Wars:
A Complete History of Organized Crime in Chicago during Prohibition
Although much has been written about Al Capone, there has not been--until now--a complete history of organized crime in Chicago during Prohibition. This exhaustively researched book covers the entire period from 1920 to 1933. Author John J. Binder, a recognized authority on the history of organized crime in Chicago, discusses all the important bootlegging gangs in the city and the suburbs and also examines the other major rackets, such as prostitution, gambling, labor and business racketeering, and narcotics.
A major focus is how the Capone gang -- one of twelve major bootlegging mobs in Chicago at the start of Prohibition--gained a virtual monopoly over organized crime in northern Illinois and beyond. Binder also describes the fight by federal and local authorities, as well as citizens' groups, against organized crime. In the process, he refutes numerous myths and misconceptions related to the Capone gang, other criminal groups, the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, and gangland killings.
What emerges is a big picture of how Chicago's underworld evolved during this period. This broad perspective goes well beyond Capone and specific acts of violence and brings to light what was happening elsewhere in Chicagoland and after Capone went to jail.
Based on 25 years of research and using many previously unexplored sources, this fascinating account of a bloody and colorful era in Chicago history will become the definitive work on the subject.
Available for preorder at all fine online bookstores
Welcome to the World Famous
"My Al Capone Museum"
The biggest site on Alphonse Capone and his era!
Now with over 158 web pages and 4087 images!
"Unlike the City of Chicago, who seems hellbent on erasing everything related to the Capone era, here you will find some of the past brought back for history's integrity, and for the Capone era's rightful place in history. How can we learn from the past if you deny it ever existed" ----- Mario Gomes
This website is dedicated to the memory of Mae Coughlin Capone and Albert Francis "Sonny" Capone.
Two very human beings who's integrity is beyond reproach and who remained loyal to Al until the end. They did not sell out, even when the odds were against them.
The Museum Directory
Any Questions? Please Read FAQ'S First!
If the answer is not found there then
Mario Gomes can be contacted at Alcaponemuseum@gmail.com
To see and read more about the guy who runs this website please click on above photo.
Swimming in Al Capone's pool and yours truly in front of the cameras once again.
Shooting in front of the entrance to Al's living room.
(Photo at left courtesy Magaly Acosta. Photo to right courtesy of Plum TV).
Unlike some of the other gangster museums out there, this one can really state proudly that it is non profit! This site and I do not make one penny! You do not pay anything to enter and see all the items, info, photos accumulated here! I do not try to sell you t-shirts, mugs and keychains! I often wondered what the other museums do with that money and the big entrance fee?
Want to help out and contribute? Do you have any authentic Capone artifacts for sale or to donate?
Please contact Mario Gomes at
Click on above photo to see more on the Capone wax figure.
A special thank-you to the following people who kindly contributed a donation whether it be funds or items to the site without me ever asking. These are the type of people who keep this site and it's history going strong.
Margaret Mary Leahy
A telling postcard from Chicago, circa 1908
This personal non-profit site was made strictly for your enjoyment and mine. It took me many years and money out of my own pocket to make. I do not have an agenda claiming that I own Al Capone, nor am I peddling any book. I do not associate myself with any author, writer, Capone relative, any supposed Capone relative or other Capone website, unless it's specified here, or if their book, site or name appears here. Some people related or not claim this subject for fame and glory, some do it for the money, some for both. For me, it's merely about the fascination of the era.This educational website's aim is strictly about telling a historically untwisted, unbiased and correct version (at least as close as humanly possible) of Al Capone and the roaring twenties. Through this process, I wanted to share it with all true history buffs out there, whether experienced or novice. Nothing more, nothing less! This site and I have proudly helped countless students across the U.S. with their National History Day projects on Al Capone. I personally take the time to answer their questions.
If after your visit you liked what you saw, then please take the time to sign the guestbook by clicking on Capone's fountain pen below. It's really appreciated by me, and by those who contribute to this site! (Historians, buffs, site donors and relatives of these bios and artifacts).
Welcome to my personal homepage. Welcome to My Al Capone Museum web site. In the past 29 years, I have collected items belonging to and dealing with the Granddaddy of all American gangsters, Alphonse Capone. My fascination with Capone started out with Robert De Niro's outstanding perfomance as the eminent Chicago underworld king. My curiosity was peaked. I wanted to know more about Al Capone and his era. I immediately began my search and soon found out that the facts were far more exciting than any of Hollywood's made up fiction. Al Capone was a multi-faceted man. He could be kind, vicious, loyal and quick with a joke. I must say outright that he was a gangster and a criminal. I do not endorse his way of life by any means, but I will admit that I am fascinated with his staying power (still popular 86 years after his era and 69 years after his death)! This non profit website was made to educate and satisfy various people interested in this particular era of history. People from all walks of life visit and enjoy these pages. It all started with a single web page and then quickly snowballed into what you see today. After coaxing by some media people,(they almost had to twist my arm, literally!) I finally gave in and appeared on History channel T.V. documentary, participated in some newspaper and television news stories for my Capone research / collection. Click through to let me share the past and some of my collection with you. Enjoy! Sincerely,
Mario Gomes can be contacted at Alcaponemuseum@gmail.com
“The older I get, the more I realize that the light you think you’re radiating is not the light other people see when they look at you. I wonder how Al Capone felt about himself as he looked in the mirror in the privacy of his own bathroom. I’m sure he thought of himself as a very human guy.”
- Hollywood Legendary Actor Paul Newman, 1989.
Some website reviews
The following kind blurbs were really appreciated. It makes the long nights spent working on this site all worthwhile.
For a rich collection of (often exclusive) pictures, facts and photos of artifacts—the result of a lifetime's unceasing and meticulous research into even the minutia of Capone and those somehow connected to him—we recommend the Web site
of Mario Gomes. Inexhaustible research with great results. Mr. Gomes has done a splendid job and is, indeed, a Capone-aholic!
Robert J. Schoenberg, author of Mr. Capone
"My Metal Band just finished our newest album and it's all based on Early Gangland Chicago. Your site was a one stop shop for all the great old info. Thanks. I'll thank you on the album."
Steve - THESE ARE THEY - CHICAGO DEATH METAL SUPREME!
"After doing months and months of research on Capone's life for my one man show; King of the City; an evening with Al Capone, I discovered Mario's site and was blown away. The info on Al, his collegues, the pictures, facts and items, etc. are amazing. This is the Bible of the Underworld! "
Robert Gallo, Hollywood Actor, Starred in the mob drama "Street Boss" and co-starred with Talia Shire in a comedy called "The Deported". Has appeared on many television shows such as Becker, The Ex- files, NYPD Blue, ER, Lois and Clark, Cagney and Lacey, The A-Team, St . Elsewhere, Falcon crest etc..
"The Al Capone Museum is an important biographical archive which chronicles the life of Al Capone. It offers a fascinating slice of useful social and cultural history that Al Capone helped define. The magic of this on-line resource is that the history is presented not only through narratives and photographs; but emerges as a vibrant archive containing personal artifacts to help bring this history to life. Mario Gomes knows the territory and is the definitive source on Capone. I highly recommend Mario's website to both the serious and casual researcher."
Michael Esslinger author of the book Alcatraz: A Definitive History of the Penitentiary Years
"Love your site".
Matt Lee, Editor - in- Chief ,The Men's book / Modern Luxury magazines
"I thought I knew quite a bit about Chicago’s Prohibition Era mobsters -- until I encountered Mario Gomes. His knowledge of the period must exceed that of any person living, and his memory for details is rivaled only by his research capabilities. He should have been the keeper of Al Capone’s personal memoirs, except that we’d probably have lost him to Frank Nitti’s purge of old Outfit loyalists, or to some vengeful remnant of the North Side gang."
William J. Helmer, author of The Gun That Made The Twenties Roar,The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Madman In The Tower.
coauthor of Public Enemies; America's Criminal Past 1919-1940 ,The Complete Public Enemy Almanac,Baby Face Nelson,John Dillinger The Untold Story,The Quotable Capone.
Mario Gomes has provided the interested reader an invaluable and exhaustive gold mine of information on the gangster era. It is the straight story, correcting misinformation and providing a wealth of new information. This is the source for anyone looking for facts on the famous gangsters!
Jim Ridings, author of "Len Small, Governors And Gangsters."
"No man alive knows Al Capone better than Mario Gomes.
His aid to me has been incalculable and his Al Capone
Museum website is the product of years of dedicated
research and a tremendous ongoing crusade for both
detail and accuracy. One could read every Capone
biography to date and still not attain Mario's massive
expertise on Capone and Twenties Chicago. This site
blazes like a Tommygun."
The late and great Rick Mattix, co-author of The Complete Public Enemies Almanac
"The internet's oldest and strongest Capone site. Mario has been interested in Capone and Chicago gangland history since 1987 (and it shows)! He's talked to all the historians and researchers, as well as some knowledgeable family members, to find out what there is to find out about the man and his times."
John Binder, Chicago Gangland historian and author of The Chicago Oufit.
"Highly recommended for the serious researcher or the casual reader, Mario's My Al Capone Museum is a clear oasis of fact amongst a plethora of websites that often blur real Capone and Chicago Prohibition gang history with the usual hand-me-down legends and myths. Arguably among the most knowledgeable persons of the era, Mario is the real deal! Stay here or else..."
Mars Eghigian Jr., author of After Capone: The Real Untold Life and World of Chicago Mob Boss Frank 'the Enforcer" Nitti.
"If this was Prohibition Era Chicago, Mario Gomes would be bumped off for knowing too much. When it comes to Al Capone & the golden age of Chicago gangland; if Mario doesn't know about it, it didn't happen."
Patrick Downey, author of Gangster City : The History of the New York Underworld 1900-1935
"Mario Gomes has given us an encyclopaedic treatment of the Chicago
gangster. Packed with unique photos, personal anecdotes, and information
collected from official sources, this website presents current and future
researchers of Chicago's gangster past with all they need, whether it's to
write a book report... or even a book!"
Rose Keefe, Author of Guns and Roses: the Untold Story of Dean O’Banion, Chicago’s Big Shot Before Al Capone , The Man Who Got Away: The George ‘Bugs Moran Story and The Starker: Big Jack Zelig, the Becker-Rosenthal Case, and the Advent of the Jewish Gangster
"Great Website you have."
Chuck Goudie, Chicago's ABC 7 Investigative reporter.