Revealing the Secrets of Al Capone's Fortress West
||Even for an experienced pro such as Wayne, the call from the exclusive Two Bunch Palms Resort in California led to some exciting surprises. Would his survey unlock the secret tunnels of the hideway of Al Capone, known in those gangster days as Fortress West? Using detection equipment designed and built by his own company, Accurate Locators of Oregon, Wayne’s task was to locate the secret tunnels used by the mobster.
Al ("Scarface") Capone, the first Public Enemy No.1, ordered some 500 hits. Though normally associated with Chicago and the infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Capone created hideaways such as Desert Hot Springs.
By the late 1920's Capone was a tired, slightly apprehensive man in search of a safe retreat.
Elderly natives of Desert Hot Springs recall the day when a group of hard-faced men in dark suits and fedora hats got off the train at Garnet Station and starting driving across the desert. Legend tells us that these men ended their journey at an oasis, sitting on a berm rising above the desert floor and hosting hot mineral springs and two large bunches of palm trees. Within days a new legend began drifting across the valley: Two Bunch Palms had become Al Capone's “Fortress West.”
Capone built the first permanent buildings ever erected at Two Bunch Palms
- bungalows composed of large gray stones, planked
oak floors, rock fireplaces, and small stained
glass windows. Perched on top of the main residence
sits a sentry turret, and beneath the desert sand
is a tunnel system -- security measures to ensure
the safety of its occupants. Stone walkways and
a giant outdoor rock cooking pit were added; and
the hot springs were enclosed into pools built
of rock. Capone gradually built more structures
to include a brothel, gambling hall and a guest
cottage. Years later, it appears that a large
opening in one of the guest-cottage walls was
walled-in with stone and cement, suggesting a
blocked access, but access to what?
The historian of Two Bunch Palms Resort is John
Herbel-Walton, her first-born son. It was John
Herbel-Walton who, with the cooperation of the
resort owners, invited Wayne Good to confirm the
location of the tunnels.
|Al Capone enjoyed partying with Hollywood movie
stars of the silent screen era, which is how he
met his girlfriend, actress of stage and silver
screen, Gladys Walton. (Read more about Gladys Walton at gladyswalton.com). She had debuted in
films in small parts. However, as her acting talent
came more out into the open, she was given larger
and more important roles in films, such as
La La Lucille in 1920 with Universal Studios,
as well as The Secret Gift, also in 1920.
She was also given a role in Pink Tights
(1920), opposite film star Jack Perrin.
Their fortress became the playground of Mafia
bosses and movie stars.
|A modern gambling casino now shared the oasis.
Under the casino is a massive safe (pictured to
the right)that Gladys Walton had total access
to whenever she needed money. Here, the hard-faced
city men sat night and day watching all the roads
leading to the oasis. Legend has it that on one
particular night, a gunfight erupted inside Capone's
cottage while Gladys Walton slept beside him.
Capone reportedly shot and killed the would-be
assassin and left a large mirror scarred with
a bullet hole.|| |
John Herbel-Walton and Wayne Good taking a break from tunnel detecting with their pulse induction metal detector.
Wayne & John at Capone’s cottage using 1X1M Pulse Induction coil
On top of the main residence
sits a lookout tower, and beneath the desert sand
is a tunnel system and security measures to ensure
the safety of its occupants. Stone walkways to
the casino were added and the hot springs were
enclosed into pools built of rock. Capone gradually
built more structures to include a brothel, gambling
hall and guest cottages. Years later, it appears
that a large opening in one of the guest-cottage
walls was walled-in with stone and cement, suggesting
a blocked access, but access to what? Using the
Underground Imager System, Wayne found two possible
tunnels leading from the Capone cottage (one such
tunnel pictured below). One tunnel heads to the
Grotto and the other to the Casino.
Using a pulse induction locator, an anomaly was
detected consisting of a large space, possibly
a small room, under the patio of the Capone cottage
that required further investigation. The pulse
detection indicated a very loud metal reading.
(The red pigment down the center of the rainbow
graphic represents the patio tunnel) When using imaging scanning, Wayne suspected
strongly that there were pipes in that Capone
escape tunnel because of his readings and because
the tunnel headed straight from the Casino (now
the Two Bunch Palms Restaurant) to his hideout
exit below his fort.
Wayne has demonstrated with his advanced geophysical equipment that this secret retreat for the rich and famous has yet more secrets to be revealed.
Wayne Good, CEO of Accurate Locators Inc.
1383 2nd Ave. Gold Hill, Oregon 97525
(866) 369-1975 | International: 01.541.326.4169
Nevada Sales: 775-751-6931
Photography by Susan Good, Accurate Locators Inc.
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