The Mystery of Al Capone's Vault was a one-time live American television special broadcast in syndication in April 1986 hosted by Geraldo Rivera. The program was centered around the opening of a secret vault once owned by noted gangster Al Capone. The program is now perhaps best-known for the vault being ultimately empty except for debris.
Al Capone was a Neapolitan born to immigrant parents in New York City who eventually moved to Chicago, Illinois. There he grew to become a notable criminal figure and gangster. He played large parts in gambling, alcohol, and prostitution rackets and in 1925 Capone took control of the Chicago Outfit for which he had served as the second in command, after an assassination attempt on former head Johnny Torrio. He was listed on the FBI's "Most Wanted" list, sold alcohol during the Prohibition era, planned the St. Valentine's Day massacre, and was eventually indicted and convicted of income tax evasion in 1931.
Capone had previously housed his headquarters at the nearby Metropole Hotel, but in July 1928 moved to a suite at the Lexington Hotel. Capone ran his various enterprises from this hotel until his arrest in 1931. A construction company in the 1980s planned a renovation of the Lexington Hotel and while surveying the building discovered a shooting range and a series of secret tunnels including one hidden behind Capone's medicine cabinet. These tunnels connected taverns and brothels to provide an elaborate potential escape route in case of a police raid. These discoveries led to further investigation of the hotel, notably by researcher Harold Rubin. Rumors said Capone had kept a very secret vault beneath the hotel to hold some of his wealth.
Geraldo Rivera had been fired in 1985 after criticizing ABC for cancelling a report on an alleged relationship between John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe. He then hosted the special, The Mystery of Al Capone's Vault, which was broadcast live on April 21, 1986. The two hour special (i...