Al Capone's medical records, letters, photos up for auction

Kristen Butler,

A collection of medical records, correspondence and miscellany that belonged to Al Capone's doctor is up for auction, and they chronicle the infamous Chicago gangster's slow descent into dementia after his release from prison.

RR Auction House in New hampshire is now collecting bids on the collection, which spans 1939 to his death in 1947. Kenneth Phillips, Capone's Florida doctor, also has an extremely rare signed letter and a signed candid photo of Capone and his family.


Capone's medical records reveal the full story of the notorious mobster's irreversible mental decline due to late-stage neurosyphilis. The former mafioso's developmental age dropped as low as seven before rebounding to a best of about 14 years old.

When syphilis goes untreated for decades, the infection begins eating away at the brain. Capone is believed to have contracted the venereal disease before he went to prison at the age of 33. The collection includes correspondence between Phillips and Capone's syphilis specialist Doctor Joseph Moore.

Other items include the original negatives of Capone lying in state. Eye charts, lab tests, correspondence and a Florida death certificate listing cause of death as "Bronchopneumonia due to Apoplexy" are included with the medical records.

The handwritten, signed letter from Capone to Phillips closes by saying, "I have something nice for you which will bring back home for you. Dr. please send me 2 boxes of them red pills for bowels movement." It is signed "Truly yours, Al Capone," and includes an envelope addressed in his hand.

So far five bids have been submitted, with a current bid of $14,641.

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