Gabriele Capone and Teresina Raiola met and fell in love in their home town of Angri, Italy, just outside of Naples. They lived in an apartment owned by Teresina's family, and Raphael worked for her father as a pasta maker. They held together through all the difficulties in Italy at the time, and began a family in 1892, giving birth to their first child Vincenzo. Two years later, in 1894, Teresina gave birth to their second child, Raffaele, who later went by the name Ralph.
A plethora of difficulties racked Italy in the latter half of the 19th century, causing mass emigration out of the country. Corruption in the government resulted in private groups that fought back, but became corrupted themselves. This gave rise to the Sicilian Mafia, and other organized crime syndicates, which created conditions in which the civilian population found themselves caught in the middle.
And so, Teresina and Gabriele joined the flood of refugees to America, arriving in 1895. Soon after they arrived, Teresina had their third and fourth children, Salvatore, who went by Frank, born in 1895, and Alphonse, who simply went by Al, born in 1899. Over the next few years, they had five more children, Erminio, who went by John and sometimes Mimi in, 1901, Umberto, who went by Albert, 1906, Amedoe, who went by Matthew, in 1908, Ermina, who died as an infant in 1910, and Mafalda, born in 1912.
Gabriele worked as a barber, and Teresina took care of the large, extended family. Her home was known for its rich smells of large meals of pasta and spices. Outside, however, was a lot more dangerous. Tough conditions and racism caused strife in their Brooklyn neighborhood, and most of the boys joined gangs that got into fights regularly.
The oldest, Vincenzo, wanted nothing to do with this. Their family had left Italy to get away from organized crime. He, instead, took regular trips to Staten Island where he rode horses. He took his little brother Al along, who enjoyed the donkey rides. He seemed to idolize his older brother, who might have steered him away from the gangs.
But when Vincenzo found a way to escape from the tough neighborhood, he did. He joined a wild-west show and toured the country, living the dream life he had always wanted. He even went on to be a war hero, and one of the greatest law officers the country has ever known; all under the name Richard "Two Gun" Hart.
But he left behind a hole in the family. Italian tradition had it that the eldest son took over matters when the father died. So when Gabriele passed away in 1920, the torch was passed down the line of brothers until it reached Al, who had connections in an organized crime syndicate that was building an underground empire of vice in Chicago. They would be taking advantage of the new laws that prohibited alcohol to make loads of money for themselves. Al's fate was forever locked with them, and he brought his family with him.