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At Goodman Theatre, Al Capone Goes On Trial

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Decades after the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, notorious Chicago's criminal Al Capone went on trial today, sort of.

CBS 2's Jim Williams reports from the newspaper girl, to the outfits of the time, it was an event.

"We've gone all out on this event," said attorney Bob Clifford, playing the role of Capone.

Clifford even added a facial scar.

"They took it very seriously and they took a lot of time out of their regular jobs," said Steven Weiss, the trial's director.

The American Bar Association staged "The Trial of Al Capone" for his alleged role in the St. Valentine's Day massacre in 1929. The trial is fiction.

"He went to prison for tax evasion not the St Valentine's Day Massacre," Weiss said. "He was never charged here."


On the Goodman Theatre stage, they hammed it up.

"It was horrible so I screamed and I hollered as any good woman would do it," said Tiffany Williams, playing Jeanette Landesman.

The real-life Federal Judge Virginia Kendall scolded Capone.

"We wear hats and smoke cigars on the street," she said. "Please give it the due respect it deserves."

Former U.S. Attorney Pat Fitzgerald played Eliot Ness, Fitzgerald said that Capone was "100 percent" responsible for the massacre.

Former police superintendent Garry McCarthy, making a rare public appearance since he was fired, was Frank Farrell, a private investigator.

Garry McCarthy at the Al Capone mock trial. . (Credit: Steve Miller)

Farrell, aka McCarthy, was asked about his suspicions that Capone was not responsible for the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

"How could I notify the police? Have you seen that police chief? They should get rid of that guy," he said, to laughter from the audience.

WBBM's Steve Miller reports earlier, during intermission, McCarthy declined to speak to a reporter on tape, but said, "I'm winning by not talking. I'm just watching the circus."

Capone was acquitted as the jurors were split on if he was guilty.

Former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas said he felt right at home returning to his old role as a prosecutor.


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