1932 – Al Capone begins his prison sentence

Alphonse ‘Al’ Capone had enjoyed a long and successful run as a gang leader in Chicago before the feds finally caught him. But they didn’t manage to get him on any of the murders, bootlegging, rum-running, assaults or robberies he’d committed (or ordered committed) – they got him on five counts of tax evasion. Capone’s 11 year sentence was a record high one for tax evasion, a sentence he began in the Atlanta U.S. Penitentiary.

Capone’s criminal charms would serve him well inside – he twice had to be relocated after suborning guards and obtaining illegal privileges. But when he landed in Alcatraz, his luck ran out. Unpopular with his fellow prisoners, Capone was eventually paroled with about six months of his sentence still to run. Things were no better outside of prison – the repeal of Prohibition had meant the end of Capone’s most lucrative racket and anyway, at 40 years old and in poor shape, he was in no condition to reclaim his old territories.

Referenced in:

Public Enemy No. 1 — Megadeth

1932 – Charles Lindbergh, Jr is found dead

Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr was only 20 months old when he was kidnapped from the Lindbergh home in East Amwell, New Jersey on March 1, 1932. His corpse was found nearby more than two months later on May 12. The cause of death was a skulll fracture.

The discovery of the body brought to a close the media and public speculation about the fate of the baby, which included hoaxes and involvement by the FBI. The death of the child was a crushing blow to his parents, who had paid a $50,000 ransom. The investigation into the crime continued for another two years, and the man eventually convicted and executed for the crime, Bruno Hauptmann, insisted on his innocence until his death, and the truth of his assertions remains questionable even today.

Referenced in:

Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr. — Bob Ferguson a.k.a. Bob Miller
There’s a New Star Up in Heaven (Baby Lindy Is Up There) — Bob Ferguson a.k.a. Bob Miller

1932 – Charles L. ‘Sonny’ Liston born

It’s possible that this isn’t actually the birthday of Sonny Liston – certainly he looked older than his years for most of his life – but it’s the one he always claimed. Born in Arkansas, he was the 12th of 13 children and was frequently beaten by his father (leaving him with scars he would bear his entire life). Perhaps that’s why he started boxing – and it’s hard to imagine that it wasnt a motivation of his. In the course of his professional career, Sonny Liston would become one of the most successful boxers of all time.

He fought a total of 54 fights, of which he won 50 (and 39 of those via knockout), over the course of a career that spanned the years 1953 to 1970. Of his four defeats, two of them were to Muhammed Ali and one to Marty Marshall (whom Liston defeated in the rematch).

Referenced in:

Song for Sonny Liston – Mark Knopfler

1932 – “Doctor X” premieres

“Doctor X” was the second Warner Bros. movie to be filmed using the improved Technicolor process which both removed grain and improved the colour and clarity of the film. Starring Fay Wray, Lee Tracy and Lionel Atwill, the film was directed by Michael Curtiz (best known to history as the director of “Casablanca”.

The film’s plot is complex and intricate, a murder mystery and a monster film in one. It was produced before the motion picture Production Code came into force, and thus was able to feature mature themes such as murder, rape, cannibalism, and prostitution.

Seven years later, the film spawned a sequel, “The Return of Doctor X”, but thanks to differences in cast and crew, plus the effects of the Hays Code, the similarity between the two films begins and ends with the titles.

Referenced in:

Science Fiction Double Feature – Rocky Horror Picture Show original cast