Where Is Al Capone’s Grave?
Located in Mount Carmel Catholic Cemetery, Al Capone’s grave is a quiet counterpoint to the gangster’s bloody life of excess.
But what are the elements that contributed to his legendary status? And how does his grave keep the intrigue alive?
Let’s check it out!
Where Is Al Capone’s Grave?
Al Capone’s grave is in Mount Carmel Catholic Cemetery Hillside, Illinois.
About Al Capone’s Grave
Al Capone died in Miami, Florida, in 1947 of cardiac arrest brought on by syphilis. They buried Capone in Chicago’s Mount Olivet Cemetery, where he shared a plot with his father Gabriel and brother Frank. Unfortunately, during his time there, many of the visitors vandalized the black granite slab that marked his grave.
Capone’s mother died in 1952. At that time, they moved Capone to Mount Carmel to be with her. The family hoped there would be less vandalism owing to the suburban environs.
There’s a gray granite marker inscribed “CAPONE” for the family. The legendary gangster has a modest gray stone inscribed with his name, dates, and the simple phrase “My Jesus Mercy.”
What Was Al Capone’s Most Famous Crime?
Al Capone’s most famous crime was on February 14, 1929. Dubbed the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, this day brought rivalry among bootleggers to a very bloody head. Capone was clearly the bootlegging kingpin in Chicago, yet he had a credible threat in “Bugs” Moran.
Moran had previously tried to kill Capone and another top mobster, Johnny Torrio. Moran now had Capone’s top hitman, John “Machine Gun” McGurn, in his sights. So, Capone’s men decided to eliminate Moran.
On that St. Valentine’s Day, McGurn’s men posed as police officers, killing seven of Moran’s men. However, someone tipped off Moran who escaped.
Capone was at his Miami home during the massacre, yet his involvement was obvious to all. So obvious, in fact, that he was deemed Public Enemy Number One.
Pro Tip: After exploring Al Capone’s grave in Illinois, cruise down Route 66. These are the 9 Best Things To Do on Route 66 in Illinois
How Did Al Capone Get the Nickname ‘Scarface’?
Surprisingly, Capone’s trademark scars and nickname didn’t have much to do with his work for organized crime. In 1917, Capone worked as a bartender in a Coney Island pub owned by mobster Frankie Yale.
Capone made an indecent remark to a woman there. Then the woman’s brother swiftly retaliated by punching and slashing Capone’s face.
Best Hikes Near Al Capone’s Grave
Salt Creek Greenway
The Salt Creek Greenway Trail is a 5-star, 25-mile regional trail suitable for hiking or biking. This trail is a link in a 210-mile integrated trail network in northeast Illinois.
The Salt Creek Greenway passes through several different nature preserves. Recently, a lot of hikers and cyclists have given this train mediocre waitings. Most cite the confusing path of the trail, the changing terrain, and poor maintenance in certain areas.
Part of the Salt Creek Trail network is Bemis Woods, a 480-acre forest preserve with many activities for entertainment. They also feature 100 miles of paved trails and 200 miles of unpaved trails.
John Husar I&M Canal Trail
This is an 8.9-mile long, paved trail running through preserved forests alongside the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. It’s open to walkers, cyclists, cross-country skiers, and skaters. The John Husar I&M Canal Trail connects to several large trails, including the Centennial Trail and the Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail.
Though it has a 5-star rating, reviewers recently left low ratings for this trail, mostly citing it being in disrepair. There’s some discussion about whether or not improvements are coming, but as of now, none are planned.
So, although the website claims wheelchair accessibility, you may want to be cautious if you need an ADA path.
Best Camping Near Al Capone’s Grave
Blackwell Family Campground
This is a family campground with 60 wooded and semi-wooded sites, including some for trailers and RV’s. All sites have electricity, but none have water or sewage. They ask that campers do not bring their own firewood but instead purchase from their center for $7 a bundle.
Currently, this campground is open May-September. For Dekalb County residents, the fee is $20/night. For non-residents, the cost goes up to $30/night.
Paul Wolff Campground
Located within Burnidge Forest, Paul Wolff Campground offers 89 improved sites. All are vehicle-ready and feature 50-Amp electricity, water access, and a fire ring. Each site can accommodate a 50-foot motor home. There are also five equestrian campsites and 10 primitive ones for tent camping only.
All sites are first-come, first-served; reservations are not accepted.
Note also that credit cards are not accepted for reservations, so be sure to bring cash or a check.
Is a Trip to Al Capone’s Grave Worth It?
The Chicago area has loads of organized crime history, and Al Capone’s grave is part of it. The Mount Carmel Catholic Cemetery itself offers a fascinating juxtaposition as well. Its most famous residents are either gangsters or people who held positions within the Catholic church.
There are around 20 mobsters in the cemetery, including Capone’s rival “Bug” Moran. About half as many cardinals, bishops, and archbishops reside in the graveyard. Actor Dennis Farina is also buried there.
Whether you want to meditate on the way mobsters and cardinals end up in the same place or just take in all the history there, the Mount Carmel Catholic Cemetery can show you Al Capone’s grave and so much more.
Pro Tip: Want to check out more creepy gravesites? On your next road trip check out The Grave of Octavia Hatcher.
Explore Part of American History
Al Capone’s grave – and those of his friends, family, and enemies – represents a fascinating time in American history. Have you learned everything about the organized crime that rose through the Prohibition era?
Or do you want to whet your appetite to learn more about the Chicago mob? Either way, Al Capone’s grave may make you an offer you can’t refuse.
Have you ever visited a famous mobster’s grave?
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