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40 Strange Historical Facts That You Didn’t Learn In History Class

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Al Capone’s STD

Chicago Bureau (Federal Bureau of Investigation) – Wide World Photos [Public domain]

The stories about Al Capone could fill a hundred books (and probably do!). He’s most famous for being a brutal gangster who terrorized Chicago. Despite years and years of committing heinous crimes, he was eventually nabbed and sent to prison in 1931 on charges of tax evasion. But, while at Alcatraz, Capone deteriorated rapidly, as syphilis he contracted in his 20s ravaged his brain. He never sought treatment for the disease and wasn’t diagnosed until he was in prison. His behavior became increasingly erratic and his mental faculties were annihilated by the disease. He spent the last year of his sentence in the infirmary, and was released in 1939 for “good behavior,” but more likely, because syphilis had reduced his mental capabilities to that of a 12-year-old.

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