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Buyers drop more than $3.1M during auction of Al Capone’s heirlooms

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Chicago gangster Al Capone’s “favorite” Colt .45-caliber pistol was the top draw at a California auction, selling for $1 million.

Billed as an “undisturbed time capsule” of Capone’s estate, the auction held late Friday at a private club in Sacramento, California, had nearly 1,500 registered bidders and 56 who attended in person to spend more than $3.1 million altogether, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Al Capone -- who was born in Brooklyn -- was dubbed Public Enemy No. 1.
Al Capone — who was born in Brooklyn — was dubbed Public Enemy No. 1.
Bettmann Archive

The biggest-ticket item was Capone’s “favorite” Colt .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol that sold for $860,000 — or $710,000 more than the top initial estimate. With a 21 percent buyer’s premium added in, the buyer will pay $1,040,600, which is believed to be the highest price for a 20th century firearm sold at auction, the Tribune reported.

Capone’s Colt .38-caliber semi-automatic blue pistol with smooth wood grips was the next top draw, selling for $242,000 with the included buyer’s premium — well-above the initial top estimate of $60,000.

The collection from Sacramento-based auction house Witherell’s – dubbed “A Century of Notoriety: The Estate of Al Capone” – also included the notorious gangster’s prized platinum and diamond Patek Philippe pocket watch. Estimated to bring in $50,000, the timepiece sold for $190,000, or $229,000 with the 21-percent fee.

Other family heirlooms, such as two photographs of Capone’s son, Sonny, were scooped up for as little as $100. Every lot of items included a notarized signature of one of Capone’s three surviving granddaughters, Barbara, the Tribune reported

Diane Patricia Capone, who was three when her grandfather died in 1947 from a heart attack in Florida, told the newspaper she wasn’t surprised that most of the items sold well-above pre-auction estimates.

“I know that that’s the figure the appraiser has given us, but the back story all along has been people saying, ‘Oh, that’s way underpriced. It’s going to go for much higher,’” she told the Tribune. “So I can’t say I was terribly shocked or surprised that it went for considerably more.”

Al Capone's "favorite" Colt .45-caliber pistol sold for $1 million.
Al Capone’s “favorite” Colt .45-caliber pistol sold for $1 million.
AP/Rich Pedroncelli

Capone said she was stirred when several lots of items belonging to her grandmother, Mae Capone, went up for bidding.

“In fact, my sister and I were sitting next to each other when they were showing my grandmother’s china and crystal, my sister and I were holding hands and I got really teary,” she told the Tribune.

After a break in the bidding, women working the phones during the auction came over to Capone and her sister, telling them, “We got so emotional watching you,” she recalled.

A collection of photographs from the estate of mob boss Al Capone is displayed at Witherell's Auction House in Sacramento, California.
A collection of photographs from the estate of mob boss Al Capone is displayed at Witherell’s Auction House in Sacramento, California.
AP/Rich Pedroncelli
Diane Capone examines a china set that once belonged to her grandparents, Mae and Al Capone.
Diane Capone examines a china set that once belonged to her grandparents, Mae and Al Capone.
AP/Rich Pedroncelli

Most buyers’ identities were kept private, although a minority owner of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, Kevin Nagle, bought Al and Mae Capone’s decorative cigar humidor with a walnut veneer for $145,200. He also dropped $21,780 for another humidor and a set of two accompanying chairs.

Bidding was “intense” for the cigar holders, Nagle said, adding that the vibe was “incredible” as bids were tossed around for Capone’s sought-after firearms.

“It was really exciting,” Nagle told the Tribune. “There was a lot of history that we were bidding on and there were people from all over the world participating online. It’s really amazing.”

Al Capone's platinum and diamond Patek Philippe pocket watch sold for $190,000,
Al Capone’s platinum and diamond Patek Philippe pocket watch sold for $229,000,
AP/Rich Pedroncelli
A platinum and diamond pocket knife with the name AL in diamonds once belonged to mob boss Al Capone.
A platinum and diamond pocket knife with the name AL in diamonds once belonged to mob boss Al Capone.
AP/Rich Pedroncelli

Nagle also purchased Capone’s yellow gold and platinum belt buckle for $27,225, which he’ll keep at his ranch in Montana along with the humidors as “great conversational pieces,” he said.

Capone, the larger-than-life Brooklyn-born mobster also known as “Scarface,” was dubbed Public Enemy No. 1 following the 1929 “Valentine’s Day Massacre” of seven members of rival bootlegger Bugs Moran’s gang.

Capone was later convicted of income tax evasion in 1934 and spent 11 years in federal prison at Alcatraz before dying at 48 in 1947 in the Florida home where he and his Chicago Outfit associates were thought to have plotted the 1929 killings.

With Post wires

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These fatty foods could be destroying your memory, say scientists

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Ready meals and fast food could be destroying your memory.

Scientists say highly processed foods, crisps, and deli meats containing preservatives were linked with abrupt memory loss in older brains.

Researchers warn the amygdala — the part of the brain which regulates fear — is also affected.

So a bad diet could mean some dangerous decisions.

But diets with extra omega-3 fatty acid DHA, found in fish such as salmon, could ward off problems. Rather than supplements, researchers advised improved diets.

Scientists at America’s Ohio State University Institute for Behavioural Medicine Research did tests on lab rats.

Dr. Ruth Barrientos called the results “alarming”, adding: “Consumption of a processed diet can produce significant and abrupt memory deficits.”

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Biden and Lightfoot know mask rules are idiotic — so why haven’t they changed?

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It happened again because of course it happened again. The latest example of COVID hypocrisy, if you have enough hard-drive space to keep track, is a viral video of President Biden traipsing through a ritzy DC eatery with no mask, in defiance of the city’s strict rules. In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot was photographed at a basketball game, the only bare face in a sea of muzzled fans.

This kind of thing has been so common that it is hard to stay outraged, even though we should.

But there is another, deeper question at play here. Why won’t the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention update its masking guidance as vaccinations increase, case numbers diminish and politicians, among pretty much everyone else, ignore it across the nation?

The CDC website says that “If you are fully vaccinated, to maximize protection from the Delta variant, and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public, if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.” A handy map shows the location of these areas — it’s basically the entirety of the United States. This guidance is vague, and not followed by massive swaths of the nation.

Mask mandate hypocrite Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot attended a basketball game where everyone except her was wearing a mask.
Mask mandate hypocrite Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot attended a basketball game where everyone except her was wearing a mask.
Twitter

Why is it being ignored? Because much of its application is nonsensical on its face, so to speak. What possible health benefit is there for wearing a mask from door to the table then taking it off to eat and drink and talk all night? Every one of us knows that 10 seconds of following the hostess to your table is not a potential superspreader event. It’s such performative idiocy.

Meanwhile, CDC guidelines still say if you take a kid across state lines, say on vacation, you have to quarantine for 10 days. Is any parent in the country actually doing this? We should hope not, because it’s insane. Even Fauci the Merciful, who has relented and has now pronounced we can have holiday gatherings, isn’t mentioning this. Because he knows he would look like a fool.

President Joe Biden leaves Washington DC restaurant Fiola Mare without wearing a face mask.
President Joe Biden leaves Washington DC restaurant Fiola Mare without wearing a face mask.
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden went to Fiola Mare on October 16, 2021 for a date night.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden went to Fiola Mare on October 16, 2021 for a date night.
REUTERS/Tom Brenner

So why do these absurd rules, that most people don’t follow anyway, and seem to be based on about as much science as Tarot cards, still exist at all? And more importantly, what metrics do we need to hit for them to go away? That’s one query the exultant and high experts will never answer. When it comes to imposing restrictions the science is strict, settled, and exact, when it comes to easing restrictions it’s all a rich tapestry of who really knows.

Enough. When mask mandates made their first appearance in the Spring of 2020 many feared we would wind up wearing them forever. Those people were mocked as alarmists. Well, it’s almost 2022, what gives? Everyone over 12 can get a vaccine that we are promised gives fantastic protection, and young kids continue to only very rarely have significant illness.

People can decide for themselves whether they want to keep wearing masks, if they are high risk or nervous. As for the rest of us, what are we waiting for? We have long passed common sense. We need some answers about how and when these rules will end. And we need them now.

David Marcus is the author of “Charade: The COVID Lies That Crushed A Nation.”

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Cops face questions after missing Alabama woman’s body found in police van

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A missing Alabama woman’s body has been found in an unoccupied police van — prompting questions about her death and how she could go undetected as authorities were searching for her.

Christina Nance, 29, was discovered dead in a prisoner transport van Oct. 7, five days after she was reported missing, Deputy Police Chief DeWayne McCarver said.

The vehicle was parked at a public safety complex in Huntsville.

“The officer noticed shoes next to the van and approached, discovering Ms. Nance’s body inside. Windows on the van were observed to be opened and on this type of van they popped outward,” McCarver said on Friday at a press conference, CNN reported.

No cause of death has been determined, but preliminary autopsy results didn’t indicate that there was any foul play or bodily trauma.

“The official cause of death will be ruled by the state medical examiner once additional studies, including toxicology, are complete,” police said.

Police released surveillance footage of a woman believed to be Nance wandering through the parking lot on Sept. 25, then appearing to enter the van.

But her family — who reported her missing on Oct. 2 — said they have their doubts about the footage.

“The video was not clear enough to indicate that that was our sister Christina Nance,” Nance’s sister Whitney Nance told news station WAFF.

Police vehicles.
Police released surveillance footage of a woman believed to be Christina Nance wandering through the parking lot on Sept. 25.
Huntsville Police Dept. Facebook

“It was just very heartbreaking to know that we didn’t get the clarification that we really needed, that we wanted.”

Police have said it’s protocol for the vans to be kept locked.

“It is an accountability issue on our part,” McCarver said. “That should not have happened. And now we have to look at that, and we have to make sure that we have things in place so that does not happen again.”

It’s unclear how Nance went undetected in the busy police parking lot.

“Cars go by, people walk nearby the van. We just wish that she would have hollered out to someone or something, because there were plenty of … what we see as potential opportunities for this to not be a tragedy. And unfortunately, no one was able to realize she was in that van and that was the outcome,” McCarver said.

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