Gangsters, Scarface, and the Moose Jaw connection

By Kelly Running
Carlyle Observer
Published on August 30, 2013 

The Tunnels of Moose Jaw are a great tourist attraction playing up the history of the city, including the possibility of Al Capone having spent time there.

Deirdre Capone in Moose Jaw
Photo by Thomas Bartlett

Originally, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the tunnels that Moose Jaw has running below Main Street and along that area were likely built and used for engineers to work on the heating system without having to brave the elements in the harsh prairie winters. It provided an alleyway leading from one building to the next. 

When Chinese immigrants began to enter the country and some made their way to Moose Jaw, it is said that many lived in the tunnels as a way to survive because of their poor pay. Read more.

Documentary searches for truth in Al Capone’s rumoured Saskatchewan history

By Alyssa McDonald
Metro Regina 
Published on August 28, 2013

Feeding off swirling rumours and passed-down stories about Chicago gangster Al Capone’s bootleg operation in the Canadian Prairies, a Saskatchewan documentary film crew is going deep — literally — to search for proof behind the prohibition tale.

Finding Al director Kelly-Anne Riess talks to host Leon Willey
Photo by Thomas Bartlett
The documentary, titled Finding Al, involves historical data and assorted tales surrounding the iconic mobster’s rumoured experiences and appearances in and around Moose Jaw, Sask., in the 1920s. “I've been to the Tunnels (of Moose Jaw) many times, and I just wanted to investigate it,” director and producer Kelly-Anne Riess told Metro in Moose Jaw — nicknamed Little Chicago by some — on Tuesday, referring to passageways below the city’s downtown streets that were turned into a tourist attraction in 2000 with Capone-themed tours and costumed characters. Read more.

Deirdre Capone shares night of family stories

Moose Javians' curiousity heightened after night with Uncle Al's grandniece

By Nathan Liewicki
Moose Jaw Times Herald
Published on August 28, 2013

“Two women got in touch with me and they were both prostitutes for my family.” 
That’s not your typical statement, but Deirdre Marie Capone didn’t grow up in your ordinary family.
Deirdre is the grandniece of legendary racketeer Al Capone.

“They’re up in their 90s now, but they had to go out of their way top tell me ... ‘We waited on your uncle and grandfather, and I want you to know that they were gentlemen,’” said Deirdre of the two prostitutes. Deirdre, now 73 years old, was in the Mae Wilson Theatre at the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre on Tuesday evening for a presentation of  “My Uncle Al Capone.”

More than 150 people attended the one-night event, which included a brief snippet from documentary filmmaker Kelly-Anne Riess’ expose of Finding Al. A short presentation from, a quick question and answer session with the audience and a book signing — complete with the chance to get your picture taken with Deirdre — were all part of Tuesday night’s event. But all of those things paled in comparison to the curiosity some of the show’s attendees had about Deirdre, her grandfather Ralph and Al Capone. Click here to read more.

The Moose Jaw mob connection

Did Al Capone really run booze through the tunnels?

By Alyssa McDonald
Metro Regina
Published on August 28, 2013

Before stepping down into the Tunnels of Moose Jaw on Tuesday for a tour called Chicago Connections, our group was made aware of the reputation of prohibition mobster Al Capone and the rumours he used the Saskatchewan city’s tunnels to bootleg booze into the U.S. in the late 1920s.

The woman seated beside me — dressed in blue and in her early 70s — turned and whispered in my ear, “I wonder what these people would say if they knew who I was.”
I already knew she was no ordinary tourist getting ready for her first tour of the attraction.

She’s Deirdre Capone, the famed mobster’s great-niece and Florida resident who was visiting Saskatchewan to share her family stories about growing up as a Capone, and about her Uncle Al.
“It was a fun tour — the facts are not totally there,” Capone said. 
Read more.

Documentary tries to find Capone connection to Sask.

Published on August 26, 2013

A Saskatchewan documentary about Al Capone is trying to uncover whether the American gangster really was part of the bootleg business in Moose Jaw.

The filmmaker behind "Finding Al", Kelly-Anne Reiss, is partnering up with a genealogy website to try to make the connection.
Deirdre Capone and Lesley Anderson in Regina.

Lesley Anderson, who works as a content analyst at, said she's starting to believe Capone may have done business in the province, but it is sometimes difficult to confirm the details.

"There's the old school, you know, 'we don't talk about things'," said Anderson. "Certainly criminal behaviour makes you want to hold on to your documents and not share information."

"But our generation is more open to all kinds of things that were taboo," Anderson added.

Both women have received some information from Capone's niece, Deirdre Capone.

"One family [member] changed his name entirely and had strange happenings in his life that he covered over, saying that he got injured in a mining accident but he really got shot," said Anderson.

Deirdre Capone will be speaking Monday night at Chapters book store in Regina, and Tuesday at the Mae Wilson Theatre in Moose Jaw.

The theatre will also show a preview of the documentary.

Another Capone coming to Little Chicago

By Nathan Liewicki
Moose Jaw Times-Herald
Published on August 13, 2013

Al Capone had been to Moose Jaw, and now his grandniece is preparing to visit Little Chicago.

Director of photography Lowell Dean films Kelly Carty at work 
at the Tunnels of Moose Jaw.
Photo: Thomas Bartlett
"People are interested in the story of prohibition in the United States, how it started, why the United States government outlawed consumption of alcohol and how it was beneficial for Canadians," said Deirdre Capone.The 73-year-old family historian will be making her first trip to southern Saskatchewan, and speaking in the Mae Wilson Theatre at the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre (MJCC) on Aug. 27 at 7p.m. She will share family stories and photos at the event. People in attendance will also have a chance to meet her. Read more.

Estevan could have been a possible waypoint for Al Capone as filmmaker looks at gangster's links to Moose Jaw

By Jordan Baker
Estevan Mercury
Published on February 20, 2013
Filmmaker Kelly-Anne Riess with Lowell Dean, director of photography.
Photo: Thomas Bartlett

One filmmaker is asking for the public’s help on her journey to find Al Capone in Saskatchewan. 

The notorious gangster of the 1920s enjoys a storied history of his contribution to the Chicago liquor scene in Prohibition-era America. What is less known are his ties to rural and southern Saskatchewan.

Filmmaker and journalist Kelly-Anne Riess is looking to shed greater light on the connections Capone had to this part of Canada. Read more.

Documentary crew seeking Capone's Estevan connections


Estevan Lifestyles
Published: February 8, 2013

The "Finding Al" crew visits Candis Kirkpatrick at Tourism Moose Jaw.
Photo: Thomas Bartlett
The creators of the new Al Capone documentary, "Finding Al," want to know if the famed Chicago mobster had any connections to Estevan.

  During the Prohibition years of the 1920s, bootleggers used to haul liquor out over dusty back roads over the border through Estevan from Regina and Moose Jaw. 

 A Moose Jaw barber claimed he cut Capone's hair twice. A dentist allegedly pulled out Capone's wisdom teeth. Capone is even said to have visited Weyburn and Manitou Beach near Watrous. But when Capone was questioned about his affiliations with Canada, he said he didn't know which street Canada is on. Read more.


SK film maker chasing Moose Jaw Al Capone stories

Looking for paper trail and folk tales about famous gangster

By Adriana Christianson
Published on August 13, 2012

Filming in the Western Development Museum. 
Photo: Thomas Bartlett
Like the gangster himself, the records linking Al Capone to Moose Jaw are shady at best. Despite this challenge cameras started rolling this weekend for a documentary about Al Capone and his supposed links to the Saskatchewan city.

Saskatchewan-based documentary film-maker Kelly-Anne Riess is trying to chase down the truth about the famous gangster.

Riess lived in Moose Jaw for a few years and says she was always intrigued by the popular stories that sparked tourist attractions like the Moose Jaw Tunnels. She noticed that beyond mentions in news columns and a few paragraphs in books, there wasn't any major book or film done on Capone's time in Moose Jaw.

"I just thought it would be interesting to explore the evidence trail and see if he actually was there," she explained. 
Read more.

Did Capone hide out in Saskatchewan?

Filmmaker to explore connection

Kelly-Anne Riess speaks to Tunnel actors in Moose Jaw.
Photo Thomas Bartlett
 Aaron Stuckel
Moose Jaw Times-Herald
Reprinted in the Regina Leader-Post on August 4, 2012 

One of Moose Jaw’s biggest tourist attractions will be getting an in-depth look as Saskatchewan documentary filmmaker Kelly-Anne Riess dives into the world of Al Capone and the bootlegging era of 1920’s Moose Jaw. Read more.