Did Al Capone really have operations in Moose Jaw? This 60-minute documentary will find out.
Al Capone was one of the world’s most notorious gangsters and leader of a vicious crime syndicate that smuggled booze into prohibition-era Chicago.
As an icon, Capone represented the collapse of law and order in Chicago during the 1920s. It was a kill or be killed world. Capone was always in danger. When activity in the city became too hot, Capone was rumoured to escape north to Canada to hide from American authorities. Taking a train across the border to a small city on the prairie with an unusual name—Moose Jaw.
Today, Moose Jaw is a quiet city with a dark past that one angry newspaper reporter called a goddamn virus for which there is no cure. What he was referring to lurks underneath the city, a vast network of underground tunnels rumoured to have been the site of shady dealings, gambling dens and brothels said to have been controlled by Capone himself. Earning the nickname “Little Chicago,” in the 1920s, Moose Jaw was home to a distribution route that fed booze to thirsty Chicago through a number of unmarked dusty roads.
A local barber claimed he cut Capone’s hair—twice. A Moose Jaw dentist allegedly pulled out Capone’s wisdom teeth. But when Capone was questioned about his affiliations with Canada, he gave one of his most famous quotes: “I don’t even know what street Canada is on.”
Capone’s reign ended when he was eventually arrested in America and convicted of tax evasion. Back in Moose Jaw, the swirling tilt-a-whirl world of the 1920s came to an end in the Great Depression that followed. The champagne days of flappers and jazz faded into memory. Whispers of Capone and underground bootlegger hideaways remained, but these tales were dismissed as rumours until 1985 when a manhole collapsed and a truck was swallowed into a brick-lined chamber below.