The Story Behind This Iconic Photo From the Al Capone Trial

When numerous mobsters showed up to the Al Capone trial were photographed, they made sure not to be seen. See the unique way they did it in this crazy photo!

Notorious mobster, Al Capone, was arrested multiple times through the 1920s and was even brought to court to face trial in the 1930s. But, his trial and prison sentence wasn’t the result of his involvement in the 1929 “Valentine’s Day Massacre,” his bootlegging or even his murders. 

For someone who once said “they can’t collect legal taxes from illegal money,” Al Capone had an ironic ending when he was sentenced to 11 years in prison for ttax evasion. You would think with all that mob money and power you could afford a decent accountant. 

So when it came down to his trial, why were these attendees hiding from the camera? Let’s dive in and learn the story behind this photo and Al Capone’s trial.

Why Was Al Capone Arrested?

During the 1931 trial in Downtown Chicago, 23 cases of tax evasion were brought against Al Capone. The tax evasion charges stemmed from Capone not filing his taxes during the years of 1924 to 1929. Capone submitted a plea of “guilty” to the charges, but then changed his plea to “not guilty.” But on October 18, 1931, he was found “guilty” of the 1925 tax evasion charge. He was convicted and sentenced to 11 years in prison, which was the longest sentence given on a tax evasion charge

Why Are These People Hiding in the Photo?

The featured picture depicts numerous mobsters that showed up to Capone’s trial. But when they were photographed, they used their hats to cover their faces so they were unidentifiable. 

This photo is more ironic than anything else. These mobsters are comfortable committing horrific crimes and acts of violence against people and businesses, but the second a camera is shoved in their face, which would reveal who they really are to the world, they shield from it. They only seem confident and embolden when they operate in the cover of shadows, but once the spotlight is on them, they shrivel up.

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