When Al Capone punked Geraldo Rivera in front of America
In 1986, America had one question on its mind: what would Geraldo Rivera find inside Al Capone’s top-secret vault? Dead bodies? Bars of gold? Jimmy Hoffa? On April 21st, millions tuned into the live broadcast of The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vaults. According to one viewer, the much-hyped two-hour broadcast featured “... everything we could ever hope to [know] about Capone, Prohibition, Chicago, the 20s, ‘The Untouchables’, tax evasion, The Lexington Hotel, how to blow up concrete wall, hidden vaults, and what should (or could) be inside. Medical examiners were invited to the site, so they could be there to take care of the corpses that would undoubtedly be inside. IRS agents were there to scoop up all the booty.” After a long lead-up, it was the moment both America and an overly excited Geraldo Rivera had been waiting for: the opening of the vault. Suspense was high as the dust settled and Geraldo and his mustache entered the vault... only to discover it was completely empty, save for a bottle. One single, measly bottle.
That time a man supposedly died from eating too much ice cream
In 1892, a 21-year-old Frenchman named Gombien Jean* emigrated to Chicago and took a job at the Leland Hotel. While working in the hotel’s pantry on his very first day, Jean got his very first taste of ice cream and quickly fell into a downward spiral of ice cream addiction that led to his untimely death five days later. When questioned by the police, his coworkers -- who seem only slightly suspicious -- claimed that Jean did nothing but eat ice cream “morning, noon, and night” for five days straight until his stomach literally froze, causing him to die.
Seems legit, right? Both the police and the Chicago Tribune seemed to think so. Thankfully, these days we can eat pints of Ben and Jerry’s far away from the prying eyes of coworkers, and if we were to croak while doing so, we can rest assure that a coroner will properly diagnose our cause of death.
*We can also rest assured that our last name won’t be listed as our first name on all death reports. What a time to be alive!