Legendary mobster Al Capone's
Palm Island manse being sold. Capone's grandson, Chris Knight Capone
, author of the memoir Son of Scarface
), is staying at the estate until the deal closes and waxing nostalgic on the historic home. The house, listed at $6.7 million, is presently owned by Hank Morrison
, who purchased the house in 1970. One other person owned the home before Knight Capone's grandmother sold the home in 1958.
According to Knight Capone, "A middle aged entrepreneur is purchasing the home and has plans to remodel the home." Morrison assured Knight that the new owner will try to restore much of the house as possible. " I feel very happy about being that this house holds a lot of history. All the fixtures are original, even the windows, toilets, sinks-- you name it. Even the 60 x 30 in ground pool which my grandfather installed---which was, and I think still is, the largest in ground pool in the state of Florida. My grandfather had the lime imported to have this beautiful grotto built, which has always been the center piece of this beautiful estate."
As for staying in the house, Knight Capone says it's a very surreal experience. "My grandfather passed away here 62 years ago, my grandmother sold the place 51 years ago. For me to me here in 2009 to see and feel the estate in its original state when my grandparents owned it is a once in a life time opportunity which I will treasure forever."
Knight Capone also feels a certain closeness and understanding of his late father, William Knight, Capone's son who lived under an assumed identity for obvious reasons. "My father loved boating," Knight reminisces. "Ironically the port terminal is right across the street. I feel my father's presence here as I look out above the blue water and understand why my dad loved the sea so much.To him, it was freedom. Freedom from his father's notorious name. His life was the sea and now I get it. If you were Capone's son, where would you go hide? The sea! Who would find you? They didn't have GPS back then."
Fans of the paranormal wonder if the place is haunted. Knight Capone wouldn't say it's haunted but he definitely feels his grandfather's presence. "The present owner has a few pictures around the house of my grandpa. The resemblance between my grandfather and me is so remarkable. I feel like I am looking at myself. The house is built like a rock from the walls, to the finite details of the fixtures, the moldings are just amazing. Gramps knew how to build a strong home for his family to live securely and privately. The strength in the walls of this compound I compare to the strength he built in his name, the Capone legacy is still alive in all minds around the world. His legacy still lives and so does his original homestead. If only these walls could talk. " If only indeed.
And speaking of talking walls, remember when Geraldo Rivera thought he located Capone's vault and ended up with one big TV fiasco instead? Knight Capone thinks he knows where the treasures are--right here on Miami Beach. "Being that Al is my grandpa and I think like him in some ways--I don't kill people, thank God, but I know where I would hide it. Geraldo was looking in the wrong place."
Though the home is out of the Capone legacy now, it's Knight Capone's plans to try to get it listed as a National Historic Landmark. In the meantime, Knight Capone says he has a television series in development, a documentary and, "As a result of digesting all this family tragedy I have begun doing stand up comedy. It is my way of sharing my story in a healthy, humorous way."