Journalist Geraldo Rivera hosted this much-hyped live-on-TV opening of gangster Al Capone's secret vault beneath the Lexington Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, USA. After much fanfare, including the presence of a medical examiner in case human remains were discovered, the vault was revealed to contain... considerably less than many anticipated. Written by
Did You Know?
The show aired live in the USA in April 1986 garnering one of the highest ratings in US television history. Nielsen recorded a 34 average rating and 48 average share in eight markets, and a 57 rating and 73 share in the Chicago market. Rivera hosted the show which was to climax with the opening of a "secret vault" inside the bowels of the Lexington Hotel in Chicago, supposedly revealing Al Capone's treasure or possibly human remains. Internal Revenue Service Agents and a medical examiner stood at the ready should any cash or corpse lay inside. When demolition crews finally made their way inside the only contents were a dirt pile and a bottle of bathtub gin. The hype generated a record rating of 57 with an estimated audience of 30,000,000. The term "Al Capone's Vault" has come to mean any over-hyped event that leads to nothing. See more
Referenced in Supernatural: The Mentalists