The Great Train Robbery

After more than half a century, the Great Train Robbery is considered the largest robbery in the last century. August 8, 1963, 15 assailants robbed a mail train passenger train in north London, taking with him the bags of more than 2, 5 million pounds sterling (by today's standards - about $ 100 million).
In the annals of criminology it entered under the catchy title The Great Train Robbery. And this is just a lot: never before extraction of criminals was not such a huge - 2, 6 million pounds (now, adjusted for inflation, it is more than 50 million); ever trial in the UK did not last so very long - 86 days; Finally, the record was set in respect of sentences for 12 participants in a robbery - 307 years. But really this high-profile case was completed only 7 May 2001 when ex-robber Ronald Biggs voluntarily returned home. And he was arrested at the airport. 70-year-old man will spend 28 years behind bars.

affair ended. Forget? Apparently, this happened a little earlier. Anyway media interest for the return of Biggs packed in a single day. This is all the more strange that 40 years ago the Great Train Robbery century was a crime or if you like, for all ages! In the UK, it was seen as a challenge not just law enforcement system - the state, society, traditions.
The idea was so simple robbery, surprisingly, it did not occur to anyone before. Bruce Reynolds at first could not believe his luck and wanted to find all the pitfalls that hinder realize our plans. These stones were not ...
Once a month, the daily mail train Glasgow-London increased by one wagon loaded with sacks of banknotes from one to five pounds. These bills due to their dilapidated removed from circulation by Scottish banks and sent to London to be burned in the cellars of the Bank of England. The fact that they do not indulge in a fire at the site, was to blame for a long tradition, according to which the notes were destroyed than individually, and series. Therefore, derived from circulation notes have not been redeemed.
Formally, they are no longer there, almost the same or a penny not lost their value. The car was accompanied by bank employees. Why paper protection? It is enough that the car has no windows and the doors are equipped with safe bars.
All these details 43-year-old art dealer Bruce Reynolds learned in prison. He was a regular at her. More than ten times Reynolds prosecuted for organizing raids on jewelry stores, and every time he was released due to lack of evidence. But the police could not deny myself the pleasure to hold him in prison at least a few days. In 1961, Reynolds shared a cell with 65-year-old James Griffiths, petty clerk Bank of England, suspected fraud.
Griffiths was a talkative man ... Half Reynolds devised a plan to crime and picking people preferring proven in past joint robberies. In details he was not consecrated. Likely accomplices to this and did not insist, ready to be silent for the promised share of 100 000 pounds each.
Shortly before the X Reynolds mediated by attorney Brian Field's rented an abandoned farm, which turned into a headquarters. There, in the vicinity of Cheddingtona, the bandits had to spend a few weeks after the robbery under the guise of agricultural workers. For himself and his assistants James White and Buster Edwards organizer of the crime chose another option - a small plane, who was to deliver them from the farm Lezersleyd in southern France.
The plan began to be enforced in 3 hours 3 minutes 8 August 1963. Charles Wilson was ready signal Reynolds close black bag green eyes semaphore and flashlight give red. To the north of the signal tower John Daly using the same lamp should signal a warning yellow. Rider Roy James sat at a distance of a mile from the scene of the attack in the cab of the truck. In Glasgow, one of the people Reynolds watched sending mail train.
When he set off, he immediately reported by telephone that in the car with the inscription Royal Mail and the number M30204M are 124 bags of bills.
Initially, Daly and Wilson then given the appropriate signals, and the train stopped. Reynolds and his assistants, hiding faces behind ski masks, unclasped cars and ordered the engineer to go to the site, where a number of ways could get up truck James. Two minutes later they were in place. The truck was waiting for a train. Then the robbers broke the door of the car and five minutes overloaded bags of money in the car body. After another 20 minutes the truck was on the farm Lezersleyd. For all the way they have not met a single car, they all went to the detour, obedient fake road signs on construction works.
Half an hour later a farm field near the plane took off ... The case of the mail train robbery was tasked team from London, led by 49-year-old representative of Scotland Yard Gerald McArthur. He began by saying that he ordered to inspect all buildings within a radius of 50 miles, then turned on the radio to the population to take part in the search for criminals.
His words fell on deaf ears and on the farm Lezersleyd. Raiders panicked. Help them Fild Karin, the wife of the lawyer-mediator and the mistress of Charles Wilson. At the pickup truck with seductive beauty behind the wheel, they arrived safely in London. Before leaving the farm Wilson destroyed all fingerprints.
But he did not know what the others were playing Monopolka. Two days later, police appeared on the farm. They acted on a tip. Someone called the police station and said, - If you want to catch types, fleece mail train, to visit Lezersleyd. Later it turned out that this someone was one of the officers, who by order of the Reynolds number and, of course, for a considerable sum had to pass his accomplices ...
Farm seemed uninhabited. MacArthur gave the order to prepare for departure, but here - here it is, the case - There is a boy with a goat, who asked the police if they are not looking for those generous men who lived here and paid him £ 5 for a pitcher of goat milk?
Thereafter, MacArthur ordered to inspect all again with the assistance of experts. In the drawer was found by detectives shabby board game, and on it - a fingerprint that every one were suitable to identify and again one and all present in the fingerprint file cabinet. So police became aware of all the names.
The newspapers were printed ad - the commission on August 8 Train Robbery Glasgow-London Scotland Yard have to talk to the following persons ... Of course, none of the hijackers did not respond. They chose to go into hiding, but that did not stop MacArthur. Gordon Goody arrested in the penthouse of a country hotel with a prostitute. John Daly was arrested at the hospital where his pregnant wife came to visit. To the place where he was hiding Roy James, the police brought his wife, who sent a racing driver on their apartment for his beloved sports trophies; There she waited agents surveillance ... Soon were detained and others. They started buying expensive cars and squander money on the turf. Was arrested and Ronald Biggs.
January 20, 1964 in Aylesbury, southern England, the trial began. All denied his guilt, but large amounts of money from obscure sources, and most importantly - a fingerprint on the game Monopolka have left them a chance to get away. Higher time - 30 years - were Charles Wilson, Roy James, Brian Fild, Väsby Thomas, James Hussey and Ronald Biggs. - They have dishonored our country - the newspapers. - 30 years of abuse - not too very much.
And then there was another slap in the face: August 13, 1964, Charles Wilson escaped from prison, later escaped and Ronald Biggs. Wilson soon caught, but Biggs went missing in Australia, and when he was identified and there, flew to Brazil. There he quickly became engaged to Brazilian pretty, and she bore him a son, allowing him as the father of a citizen of Brazil, do not be afraid of extradition.
In Brazil, the eccentric British loved. They admired his shot in the advertisement. Still, age and health have done their job. Three strokes, lack of money for treatment and nostalgia forced Ronald Biggs has publicly stated that he wants to go home. Immediately expressed readiness newspaper San send Biggs for personal aircraft.
Imagine his surprise when he learned that his mission will be accompanied by none other than himself, Bruce Reynolds, who was imprisoned for a long time and caught term.
Ronald Biggs was arrested at the moment when his foot touched the concrete pavement Heathrow Airport.
 - How I miss the circle of the English beer! - Biggs told reporters. - Probably, I do not regret anything.
 - And the money? Where is the money?
 - Not me - Ronald Biggs smiled thinly.
Of 2, 6 million pounds police found 343 thousand. The rest have disappeared.


See also

New and interesting