02/10/2014 AT 9:30 AM ET
He killed people but he had charisma, and a talent for publicity. Now, it’s Al Capone’s former mansion in Miami Beach that is stirring up headlines.
The oceanfront residence on the private Palm Island is on the market for $8.45 million, reports NBC5 in the bootlegger’s old stomping grounds, Chicago.
Capone paid $40,000 for the place in 1928 (it was built in 1922 by Clarence Busch, of the Anheuser-Busch brewing family), and is reputed to have plotted the 1929 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, in which he rubbed out rival Windy City liquor dispensers, there.
Capone also died in the house in 1947 – of a heart attack and stroke, though his mental condition had been long diminished on account of syphilis. He was 48. His death followed his release from Alcatraz prison, where he had served from 1931-39 on tax evasion charges when the government couldn’t quite pin his bloodier crimes on him.
At 10,000 square feet, the baby blue mansion was turned into a fortress by Capone, who added heavy wooden doors throughout and a guard house. It reportedly has been extensively renovated since then, after falling into heavy disrepair after the Capone family sold it to a swinging bachelor airline pilot in the 1970s.
According to the property’s current Sotheby’s International Realty listing, the “charming home consists of a main house, a two story guest house, an oversized pool, a gorgeous two story cabana house, and a private sand beach overlooking the bay. 7 bedrooms, 5 full baths, and 2 powder rooms in total. Classic architectural.”
That would make for some Valentine’s present.