Silver Dollar Sam – Creation of The New Orleans Crime Family (Part 2)

Ralph Bottles CaponeCourtesy of My Al Capone Museum


So, as promised, I’ve found some new information on Silver Dollar Sam and want to pass it on to everyone.

First, regarding the story on Sam and Al Capone meeting at the New Orleans train station and Sam sending him packing back to Chicago with his bodyguards nursing broken fingers. It appears more likely that the source for this myth would likely be that, yes, a Capone was in New Orleans but it was Ralph “Bottles” Capone. Bottles was arrested several times in February of 1928. The Fairgrounds Race Track in New Orleans was a premiere winter race track in it’s day and Bottles was a known “horseman”. Whether or not he had a horse in the races I haven’t been able to find out. Ralph, at least in that time frame, bore a good resemblance to Al as well.

Ralph Bottles Capone

Courtesy of My Al Capone Museum

Al Capone

Courtesy of My Al Capone Musuem

How and when this (actual event) morphed into the popular myth I don’t know but I think it’s safe to say that it’s just that!

Regarding the end of Sam’s life and his return to New Orleans. I recently got hold of some old Life magazines and one had an article that helped shed light on that time period. In the summer of 1969 Sam’s son Anthony and daughter Sarah Misacura travel to Italy to bring their ailing father back to the States. From Windsor Canada he slips back into the U.S. via Detroit early in 1970. He’s discovered by a local newsman as a patient in a NOLA hospital in February of 1970 having suffered from a heart attack. When it was discovered by authorities that Sam was illegally back in the US a Grand Jury indicted him. After leaving the hospital Sam stayed with his daughter Sarah. The case against Sam would end up going nowhere as he dies a few months later in June 1970. Sarah would pass in 1980 and Anthony in 2007 while holding the title of boss of NOLA.

One last note. The last name of the family is often seen as Carolla but can be found as Carollo as well. I’ve confirmed the correct spelling is Carollo from the family tomb.

A big thanks to Mario Gomes for the Bottles info and pictures. Recommend checking out his site for all things Al. My Al Capone Museum

Ronald Rawson