Al Capone Wanted Poster

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Capone was primarily known for ordering other men to do his dirty work for him. One story, however, has Capone, having discovered that three of his men—Scalise, Anselmi, and Giunta—were conspiring against him with a rival gangster, Joe Aiello, reportedly arranging for the conspirators to dine with him and his bodyguards. After a night of drinking, Capone beat the men with a baseball bat and then ordered his bodyguards to shoot them, a scene that was included in the 1987 film The Untouchables. Deirdre Bair, along with writers and historians such as William Elliot Hazelgrove, have questioned the veracity of the claim. Bair questioned why "three trained killers could sit quietly and let this happen", while Hazelgrove stated that Capone would have been "hard pressed to beat three men to death with a baseball bat" and that he would have instead let an enforcer perform the murders. But despite claims that the story was first reported by author Walter Noble Burns in his 1931 book The One-way Ride: The red trail of Chicago gangland from prohibition to Jake Lingle, Capone biographers Max Allan Collins and A. Brad Schwartz have found versions of the story in press coverage shortly after the crime. Collins and Schwartz suggest that similarities among reported versions of the story indicate a basis in truth and that the Outfit deliberately spread the tale to enhance Capone's fearsome reputation. :xvi, 209-213, 565 George Meyer, an associate of Capone's, also claimed to have witnessed both the planning of the murders and the event itself.