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May 2, 2022

Back in the Saddle Again - Jack "Red" Kelley's Armored Truck Heists


Jack “Red” Kelley loved taking armored trucks more than any other type of heist. We highlight the larger and more spectacular ones from 1965 to 1967. Plus, one of the men in Jack's crew calls FBI Director J Edgar Hoover from a payphone!

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Transcript

Lara:

 

Hi everyone! After five weeks of discussing the gangland murders of 1965 we’re moving onto the armored car robberies that occurred between 1965 and 1967. Jack “Red” Kelley, dad’s mentor, loved taking armored trucks more than any other type of heist.



Nina:

 

A little more lighthearted next couple of weeks. We have to cover some of Jack’s superstitions and rules that his crew had to adhere to when planning a score too.



Lara: 

 

No shortage of superstitions and rituals that the boys had to keep in mind. Jack’s Rules!

 

There’s one truck heist that we won’t be discussing today. The VA Hospital robbery will have its own episode a little later in the season. One of the accused, Ben Tilley, was discussed in our first episode about Jack Kelley and episode 12 about Raymond Patriarca’s early days. 

 

A few of the robberies we’re highlighting today were definitely the handiwork of Jack Kelley and his crew including dad. And a couple others we suspect were theirs too.



Nina:

 

I think we can say with almost certainty that all of these were planned by Jack. There were many more heists in this period that we decided not to include because the authorities either caught the perpetrators in the middle of the robbery or picked up suspects who later pleaded to the charges. We also left out any that involved violence or kidnapping since neither were Jack’s cup of tea.

 

If you haven’t listened to our first episode about Jack Kelley and the two dedicated to the Plymouth Mail Robbery you can check those out too. As always the links are in the show notes. 

 

But just to recap, Jack Kelley was in his early fifties and had been committing bank robberies and armored car heists since the 1930s. He didn’t rob for the money, but for the mental challenge and the adrenaline rush. In all the time he’d been operating he’d only been arrested and convicted once, back in 1954. And that was not for actually committing a robbery, but rather possession of $16 of the money that was stolen from the Harvard Trust Co. in Belmont, MA. While he was locked up, he recruited a team of men with varied criminal backgrounds: ranging from petty theft to white collar crime. One of those men was Lara’s dad, Richie. 



Lara:

 

In August 1962, Jack, dad, Sonny, Mello, Roy and Tommy pulled off the Plymouth Mail Robbery. It was the largest cash score in history. The men were subjected to constant harassment and surveillance by the Postal Inspectors for the next several years. We will be talking more about that in the next episode. Jack himself took a sabbatical since he was under investigation. But dad, Mello and Sonny continued to do smaller jobs. And there was the new addition to the team, Pro Lerner.

 

Dad was still working with the FBI as a Confidential Informant. He also recruited another member of the team to be an informant for the Feds in late 1963. When H. Paul Rico was given the assignment of exclusively handling Top Echelon Informants, dad and the other informant were assigned to SA Gerard Comen. Straightlaced Comen may have been spared dealing with serial killers, but he was saddled with two of the most psyop practicing manipulators one could ever encounter!



Nina:

 

Poor Gerard! They broke him!



Lara:

 

I think H. Paul Rico saddled Comen with them as some sort of revenge for him not going along with the plot against Georgie McLaughlin.



Nina:

 

Oh probably!



Lara:

 

I can imagine dad calling Comen to set up a meet.

 

“Yeah, Gerard. We gotta meet as soon as possible. I’ve got information pertaining to that guy you were looking for.”

 

Then Comen would show up to suffer through some twisted, fantastic story that dad had concocted. 



Nina:

 

He broke him!



Lara:

 

And the final straw was Pro in his boxer shorts!



Nina:

 

We’ll get to that at the end of the season. No spoilers! Oh, what about the Hoover story?



Lara:

 

So the CI that dad recruited was exceptionally bright and a complete nudgenik. Ball breaking was his forte. One afternoon he decided he would break the Feds balls. Toting a bag of quarters from one of their heists he made his way to a phone booth in Belmont. He asked the operator to connect him to the FBI headquarters in Washington. When he was finally connected to an operator at the headquarters, he told them that he wanted to confess to the Plymouth Mail Robbery, but only directly to J. Edgar Hoover. He was transferred to an agent to vet the call. The agent was convinced by the caller’s sincere and patient nature, but still didn’t want to put him through to Hoover. Our braniac CI told the agent that he wasn’t going to give the information to a low level agent, and that if he wasn’t willing to put Hoover on the line because he thought it was a joke, it would be the agent’s loss. While he was slipping quarters into the payphone like it was a slot machine the agent gave in and told him to hang on. The caller told him not to waste his time tracing the call, and if he wanted he would give him the number of the phone booth he was calling from. In a few minutes he heard a voice say, “This is J. Edgar Hoover. What can I do for you?”

 

“I want to confess to the Plymouth Mail Robbery, but first you miserable little sonofabitch, I want to tell you that if you put $2 million up there in your office in the Federal Building, we’d steal that too.”

 

And with that he hung up and strolled away!




Nina:

 

That must have been priceless! I wonder what happened to the poor agent who got Hoover on the phone.



Lara:

 

Who knows!

 

Let’s get back to the robberies.

 

As we’ve stated in previous episodes, the FBI’s Confidential Informant program gave its participants the freedom to continue their illegal activities with almost no repercussions from law enforcement, either local or federal. So when dad, Sonny and Mello did their smaller jobs, Comen and his fellow FBI agents not only looked the other way, but actively prevented the investigation from moving forward. On at least two separate occasions, the Feds did not show photos of the three men to eyewitnesses, even though it was clear from their descriptions of the men just who the perpetrators were. You have to imagine that those two incidents were not out of the ordinary.



Nina:

 

Think about how many times they suppressed evidence about murders. Letting a few thefts go unsolved was nothing for the Feds.

 

There were far too many heists in the time frame of 1965 to 1967 to fit into one episode. Instead we’ll focus on the larger and more spectacular ones that included Jack. We’ll go in chronological order and start with the first robbery of 1965. 

 

On January 16th, a Skelly armored truck was robbed in the middle of a major snowstorm. The blizzard conditions made walking nearly impossible and driving extremely hazardous. Most drivers prudently kept off the highways.

 

But payrolls still had to be paid and deposits still had to be made, so the Skelly guards were making their regular rounds. They had already made 14 stops on their route and stopped in at a diner for their lunch break. Witnesses later reported that a man who had been in the diner drinking coffee left as the two guards walked in. The diner owner claimed that one of the guards was only an occasional customer and that the pickup car only stopped “once in a while”. 





Lara:

 

But obviously they stopped there often enough that Jack knew their schedule.

 

The snowstorm masked the operation. Frost on the diner’s windows made it difficult to see what was happening out in the parking lot. The guards noted that there were two men with their heads under the hood of a car when they entered the cafe. 

 

Police speculated that the man from the diner had forced open the vent window of the car, reached in to open the door and picked up a box on the front seat filled with 33 manilla envelopes stuffed with cash. He left with the two accomplices, Sonny Diaferio and Mello Merlino, who had feigned car trouble close to the diner. The same role Sonny and Mello played in the Plymouth Mail Robbery.



Nina:

 

Hey, why mess with perfection! They were both mechanics. It was perfect. 

 

When the guards returned to their station wagon to continue their journey, they discovered their loss. The company later reduced the score from $119,000 to just $31,000 in cash, claiming the rest were non-negotiable checks. No one was ever charged with robbery.

 

The heist took place one day short of the 15th anniversary of the 1950 Brink’s job. Which the media just had to rub in. But actually this first Skelly job reminded me of the 1947 payroll robbery at the Thompson Wire Works in Mattapan. That robbery was committed while the two guards were delivering the payroll. They’d supposedly locked the car, but the thieves had gotten in and stolen $20,000 before fleeing. 



Lara:

 

We should also note that this first Skelly job took place the day after Robert Rasmussen’s body was discovered in a snowbank in Wilmington. For more on that story, listen to The Hit Parade of 1965.



Nina:

 

Ten days after the heist, the newspaper reported that Jack Kelley had gone on vacation. A roundup of the usual suspects was taking place and Jack decided to make himself “unavailable” as he would have put it.

 

1965 was more dedicated to the gang war and murders than robberies, so we’ll fast-forward to another heist 14 months later.



Lara:

 

On March 3rd, 1966, another Skelly transport was hit. This time in Brookline. The two-man crew were in the New England Food Fair market when their truck was hijacked. An employee of the store told police that he saw a man hop into the truck and drive off. “There goes your truck!” he shouted to the guards. They dashed to the sidewalk with their guns drawn, but the truck was already several blocks away. 

 

The getaway driver of the truck looked about 45 years old and was wearing a cap with a star on the front that made him look like he was another guard. Another Jack trademark. The truck sped away toward Allston and quickly disappeared into the traffic along busy Harvard Ave. Police said the truck contained pistols and carbines. The truck was found abandoned about noon in the rear of the Joseph P Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Brighton, and the weapons that belonged to the two guards had been left behind in the vehicle. 

 

An employee of the hospital later told the police that he had witnessed two cars, each containing three men, speeding away from the hospital grounds between 8:30 and 9:30 that morning. But he didn’t notify the police until about noon when he noticed the Skelly truck abandoned in the parking lot.

 

The authorities said the thief had a key to the door of the vehicle. Although, I never heard about this robbery being discussed amongst dad and the guys, I tend to think that Jack was responsible because of the thieves having keys. Jack had a guy from Montreal that he would bring down on occasion to make keys for the trucks he was planning to take down. Dad stayed in touch with him throughout the 70s. We made a couple of trips up there in those days. 

 

Back to the heist.

 

One of the guards later admitted that they had left the ignition key in place. He felt since the door was locked no one would make off with it. The total haul was $58,000, but had the thief waited until the next pickup the score would have been over $100,000.



Nina:

 

Then on May 26, 1966 the Armored Banking Service was hit. The holdup took place at the General Radio Corp on Baker Ave. located between Rte. 2 and Rte. 62 in Concord, MA. Three masked men, one carrying a shotgun and the other two with pistols, held up the armored car, disarmed the two guards and took off with $70,000 that had been picked up in Lynn earlier that morning. 

Two of the robbers wore Halloween masks. The third had a bandana over his face. One gunman was wearing a red and gray checked shirt and carried an automatic. The second man also had an automatic and was wearing an orange mask and a red baseball cap. The man with the sawed-off shotgun was wearing a gray jacket and dark trousers. The witnesses said all three men were about six feet tall. No shots were fired during the brazen daylight robbery, and no one was hurt. Again another hallmark of Jack’s heists.

 

The gunmen fled in a 1964 white Oldsmobile sedan with Massachusetts license plates and raced down Baker Ave to Route 62 and then took Cottage Street which runs through a remote wooded area between Sudbury and West Concord. The two guards raced into the General Radio building to sound the alarm. A telephone operator alerted both Concord and State Police immediately.



Lara:

 

Roadblocks were set up by Concord, Sudbury and State Police, but the holdup men managed to escape. The getaway car was found on Sudbury Road near the Nashawtuc Country Club in Concord, about an hour later. Police said the car had been stolen earlier in Braintree.

 

Like in the other two heists no one was ever charged. Like the previous heist, I never heard any mention of this one, but the MO fits Jack perfectly.



Nina:

 

The next heist was just under two months later.  On July 22nd four men, all wearing rubber Halloween masks, and using late-model Thompson submachine guns loaded with double ammo clips, pulled off the heist in 15 seconds.



Lara:

 

I can’t even put on my socks in 15 seconds. 

 

As with all but one of Jack’s robberies, the Essex Trust in 1962, not a single shot was fired. 



Nina:

 

And even in that case the shot was fired into the ceiling to gain control of the group inside the bank. I’m sure they weren’t expecting dozens of customers to be inside.



Lara:

 

For sure.

 

Back to this heist. On its arrival, the truck was parked 100 feet from the door of the building. The driver got out and locked his door. His companion did the same. They opened the rear door and let the third man out. Standing back with his gun drawn, the driver watched as one guard picked up two suitcases and the other hefted a suitcase and a bag. The driver, his gun in his right hand, took the second bag in his left. They slammed the door, automatically locking it, and began to walk single file, the driver bringing up the rear, toward the entrance of the building.



Nina:

 

They were 20 feet away from the door, in full view of the three stories of glassed-in offices, when they turned to a sudden screech and squeal of brakes and found themselves looking down submachine gun barrels. Three gunmen, all wearing rubber Halloween masks and sports clothes, leaped from the sedan.The three Brink’s guards were taken as they walked single file from their truck along the parking lot towards Mitre Corp. 

 

“Freeze!” came the gruff-voiced command. “Hit the ground. Lennie, get the guns.”

 

The guards obeyed and lay face down on the ground. 

 

But who was Lennie?



Lara:

I’d assume that Lennie was either dad or Pro.

 

The three suitcases each measured 3 feet by 1½ feet by 6 inches. When you opened one it became a miniature teller's cage with money arranged by denomination in slots. The thieves also collected two canvas bank bags marked “Harvard Trust Co.”

 

The irony!! 



Nina:

 

You know that put a smirk on Jack’s face. He was too smart to keep it as a souvenir, though.

 

Employees of the company, who were waiting for their weekly pay, watched the holdup and sounded the alarm. But by the time the police screeched into the parking lot a minute later, Jack and the guys had already escaped in a stolen 1966 Green Pontiac four door sedan. It was later found abandoned on Bedford Rd. in Woburn near the Burlington line. They switched to a white van that had been seen following the immediate escape vehicle. 

 

After the robbery, Brink’s officials admitted that the payroll delivery was a weekly affair

Former FBI SAC, Leo Laughlin, stated, “So much of a weekly affair that one could set one’s watch by the time the truck pulled up to the plant.” That and the fact that they pulled the heist off in 15 seconds flat suited Jack’s nickname “Swiss Watch” to a T.

 

Laughlin, who was now the Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Safety, also dismissed any possibility that the guards were in on the heist. “This was strictly professional.”



Lara:

 

The $131,000 consisted of small bills no larger than $50 notes and $16,000 in checks. The money was destined to be used to cash checks for some of the company’s 2000 employees. 

 

On July 30, the three suitcases and one of the money bags were found in a hay field in Southboro near the Westboro line. About 100 non-negotiable checks had also been abandoned. 



Nina:

 

Fun Fact: Robert Maheu was staying at the Ritz with Howard Hughes at the time of the Mitre Corp heist. For our listeners who aren’t familiar with Maheu, he was the CIA contractor who met with Johnny Rosselli, Sam Giancana and Santo Trafficante in an effort to create a plan to kill Fidel Castro.



Lara:

 

Well Mitre Corp was a subsidiary of MIT and the Defense Department, so maybe he was waiting for his cut! 



Nina:

 

You know I think that some of the robberies committed in the ‘60s were used to finance CIA black-ops.



Lara: 

 

Oh I agree 100%.

A total of $350,000 was stolen from banks and armored cars in Massachusetts during ‘66. The largest being the Mitre Corp heist and four days later the VA Hospital theft of $58,000 which was transported by the American Banking Service Company like in the General Radio Corp heist.

 

The next robbery on our list is yet another Skelly truck. Like the Mitre heist I know for sure it was Jack and his crew. On April 1st, 1967 four men armed with machine guns slipped into the back of the truck which was parked in Quincy Center making its final stop of the day at Sandy’s discount store and made off with $386,000. 

 

Company policy required the two-man crew to take turns driving and going into the stores. The two guards were standing beside the truck changing keys in order to swap assignments when the thieves slipped into the cab. 

 

When the guards realized what was happening, they fired off several rounds in an effort to stop the thieves from making off with the truck. One of the getaway cars, a green Buick, was described as looking as if it came out of a showroom, lead the police on a wild chase through Quincy in an effort to distract attention from the truck. Dad was the driver of that car.



Nina:

 

Another green sedan! Anytime we run across one in these stories, I immediately think Jack.



Lara:

 

I agree with you. It had to be another one of Jack’s superstitions. Poor Georgie McLaughlin happened to drive a green sedan too. Remember Elmer Trigger Burke’s attempt on Specs O’Keefe, the car fleeing from the scene of the Sheridan shooting and when Jerry Anguilo’s car got shot up?



Nina:

 

I still like to imagine it was Pro, Sonny and Mello who shot at Jerry’s car. They were probably half in the wrapper and thought they were being funny. But the Trigger Burke connection makes me wonder even more why your dad was so interested in writing Burke’s story.



Lara:

 

When dad first decided to tell Burke’s story, I assumed it was dad’s connection to the McLaughlins. He had been meeting with Armand Mastroianni regularly and had endless files about Burke. 

Nina:

 

Armand was the director of He Knows You’re Alone, Tom Hanks’s screen debut.



Lara:

 

I think he’s directed over 60 films and TV shows. 

 

Anyhow, later I thought it was because of Burke’s escape from Charles Street Jail since dad was friends with Sonny Diaferio who was charged with helping Burke escape. But since we started doing research for our book and this podcast, I believe the connection might have been Jack Kelley. We both think that Jack was at least involved in the planning of the Brink’s Heist of 1950. When Burke was brought in to kill Specs O’Keefe, Burke was spotted in a green sedan fleeing the scene of the hit attempt. Georgie’s car was impounded even though the plates, make and model didn’t match. I know the green sedan connection is flimsy, but it’s a constant theme in Jack’s tales. I need to reach out to Armand to see if he recalls anything about why dad wanted to write his story.

 

Ok, back to the Skelly truck.

 

One of the guards commandeered a car from a woman who had stopped amongst the commotion. Along the way, local police joined the pursuit. Pro was waiting in a white Cadillac in a parking lot in Weymouth. There happened to be two policemen parked nearby, and they began chasing the getaway car. But there was a second getaway vehicle there also driven by Roy. The armored truck was found abandoned in that lot near the Fore River Shipyard. The green Buick was found abandoned near the Quarry in Quincy with two submachine guns, ammo, a stocking mask, toy badge and a guard’s cap inside. Dad took off through the woods cash in hand. 



Nina:

 

Oh, he must have hated that!



Lara:

 

I’m sure when he got home he had grandma going over him with a fine toothed comb looking for ticks!

 

The white Caddy getaway car was pursued by some 30 police cruisers through Quincy, Weymouth and Milton making their way to Boston where the police lost them in Mattapan Square. Reports came in that the Caddy was spotted on the Southeast expressway heading towards Dorchester, but they were nowhere to be found.  The following day bags containing $17,000 in cash and $77,000 in checks in the woods near the Quarry were found. 17 grand wasn't worth going to the can for, and it wasn’t like dad could just stroll out of the woods carrying that amount of money.



Nina:

 

I suspect he stuffed what he could in his pockets though.

 

The guards said there was roughly $1,000,000 in total in the truck at the time of the robbery. But even at just under $400,000 it was the fourth largest armored truck heist in the US at that time. The heist was carried out with split second precision according to authorities. 

 

A Quincy men was picked up that same night. F. Lee Bailey appeared in court with the man who had survived an assassination attempt in ‘65. The suspect happened to have a white Cadillac parked in front of his home with two different license plates on it. One of them had been stolen from a Boston Police Officer. The car which had been stolen in Braintree two weeks prior was impounded, but the man was released on $100 bail after denying any knowledge of the robbery. Three money bags were recovered from the vehicle, but they were not the same type used by the Skelly company. The Feds stated that they believed the perpetrators of the Plymouth Mail Robbery and the Quincy Skelly job were the same men.



Lara:

 

The man was John J. Flannery Jr.! If you listened to our last episode, you might remember that Flannery screamed out to the cops when they arrived on the scene the night he was shot, “Spike O’Toole did this to me!”



Nina:

 

Oh you know that was some sort of middle finger to Flannery by Jack! 



Lara:

 

Most likely. But what better place to dump your getaway car than in front of another criminal’s house?





Nina:

 

True. Who knows what Flannery had done to him. Jack never let any slight go unanswered.

 

As a side note, Wimpy Bennett’s brother Walter disappeared just a few days later. Our episode about the Bennett brothers and their murders is coming soon.

 

The newspapers compared this job to the armored car robbery at Danvers in March 1952. The armored truck was parked in front of a drugstore on Danvers Square, and the guards jumped out for their usual mid-morning break. While they were inside getting their coffee, three men broke into the truck. They transferred over $600,000 into a waiting Buick that was double parked, and sped off at 85 miles per hour. My favorite part of the Danvers story is how Jack almost got a ticket for double parking.

 

Roughly a week after the Quincy job, the police said that the thieves most likely had a key to the truck, and they downgraded the cash amount stolen to $200,000 including the $17,000 recovered in the woods. The two guards volunteered to take lie detector tests to prove they weren’t complicit in the robbery. Like in other robberies we’ve discussed there were clauses in the carrier’s insurance policy that held up the claim. And just as in the other robberies no one was ever tried.



Lara: 

 

Less than two months later on May 23rd, a Brink’s armored truck was taken for $630,000. It was the guards’ fourth stop that morning. The most recent stop had been at the Raynham Dog Track where they picked up $400,000. A bank manager was with them as they made their stops before the banks opened for the day.

 

This story I remember very well. It was the second heist that I knew of where they broke into a bank overnight in order to break out in the morning. If you want to hear about the other one listen to episode 15, the Planning of the Plymouth Mail Robbery.

 

Jack, Sonny, and Mello broke into the liquor store next to the bank, then through the ceiling into the bank where they waited overnight. The bank itself had no alarm system, only the safe did.



Nina:

 

Imagine having to listen to those two all night!





Lara:

 

Jack must have gone through four packs of Rolaids!

 

The authorities weren’t sure how they’d gotten in, but later admitted that it would have been easy enough to pick the lock. 



Nina:

 

Actually, Jack had used this method at least two other times. The Sturtevant job in 1947 when he and his crew came down from the third floor offices of the building and staged their breakout. And the one Lara mentioned where Jack, Richie and Tommy gained entrance to the Garden City Trust in 1961 by climbing on top of a car that Mello was driving. They used the height to boost themselves into an opened second floor window. 

 

This time, the armored truck arrived at the East Side Shopping Plaza at 8:30 am. The bank manager and one of the guards got out to make the collection while the other waited inside. The bank manager and the first guard were overpowered by the three machine gun wielding holdup men as they entered the bank. 

 

Jack took the guard’s hat, jacket, and keys, went back outside and knocked on the door of the truck. Thinking his colleague had returned, the guard who had remained in the truck opened the door. Jack herded him into the bank where Sonny and Mello were waiting with the other two hostages. 

 

The three men were restrained with novelty store handcuffs and 2” thick adhesive tape that was used on their eyes, mouths, legs and hands. 



Lara:

 

Reminds me of the Gardner Museum heist in how they were bound and how one of the thieves wanted to make sure the guards were comfortable. 

 

The cops had to break into the bank to rescue the three hostages.

 

When the guards were interviewed later they described the leader as 6’2” tall and polite. The other two as 5’7”. The shorter two had to be reminded by the taller one to show restraint as they tightened the guards’ handcuffs. Classic Jack! Using Sonny and Mello as the uncivilized muscle.





Nina:

 

Stop! You know he had to remind them to behave on a daily basis! Herding cats!



Lara:

 

I can’t even imagine the stress!  

 

One of the guards said that one of the shorter ones threatened to come back and beat them if the keys to the truck didn’t work. The other shorty told them that if they tried to escape there would be a gas explosion.



Nina:

 

The bank manager reported that they waited about five minutes before calling for help. They were able to break the tape off their legs by kicking their feet. Once their feet were freed, the three men began to kick the walls. It was about 50 minutes before they were freed. The Brockton police had to break a window to gain entry to the building and rescue the hostages. The guards’ guns were found in a cardboard box in the cloakroom. In addition, the cops found an empty whiskey bottle, empty potato chip bags, and other snacks. 



Lara:

 

Jack had a strict prohibition against any alcohol being consumed the night before or the day of a heist. They were only allowed coffee or juice the morning of a score. Jack didn’t want any puking thieves if something went wrong. But leaving behind false clues was a great idea. When they were planning a job they also had to adhere to Jack’s road rules. We talked about that in our first episode, but a few of them were preserving all bird shit that landed on the stake out car and no  hearses or fire trucks allowed to cross your path even if it meant illegal u-turns.



Nina:

 

Imagine dealing with that for weeks and months on end! As for the false clue it was perfect! A clerk at the liquor store claimed that two men had purchased the whiskey from him on Monday evening and that he could identify them. But of course that went nowhere.

 

Back to the heist. Jack, Sonny and Mello took off in the armored truck. An eyewitness later reported that they had difficulty driving it. He said that the truck left the parking lot smoking and bucking. It went out Sterling Rd. to Center St. “and stalled at that intersection.” It turned right onto Center St. and 200 yards later it stalled out again. “Smoke was pouring out from under the truck.”



Lara: 

 

He must have been cursing Sonny and Mello! 

 

Jack turned left onto North Quincy Street, drove about 2 ½ miles to Chestnut Street, just over the Brockton line in Abingdon. He turned off of Chestnut Street only to happen upon an Abington patrolman. The policeman was ordered out of his vehicle and told to lie facedown behind the car. He was relieved of his service revolver and the radio was ripped out of his cruiser. While the men transferred the money from the truck to the getaway car, the cop could hear them arguing about whether or not to take him with them. Of course Jack had no intention of taking a hostage, and they left him lying there. Jack hadn’t bothered to tie him up, so the cop got up and raced into the street as soon as they drove away. He was able to flag down a trucker almost immediately. The trucker called the cops who arrived within five minutes. 

 

After the Abington patrolman incident, Jack dumped the truck nearby leaving behind $7629.40 in dimes and small bills. Witnesses reported seeing a cream colored, two doored getaway car. Jack left the keyring he’d taken from the guard hanging in the lock of the right rear door of the truck.



Nina: 

 

Over the course of the following week, authorities announced that they were seeking six suspects. But as usual nothing ever came of it. 

 

Like in some of the previous robberies, the insurance companies were looking for clauses in the contracts with the armored transport companies in an effort to avoid paying out exorbitant claims. There were seven armored car heists in a 28 month period that occurred in Eastern Massachusetts. Not one of them was ever solved. Actually only one case made it to trial in a 17 year time frame and that was the Brink’s Heist of 1950. 



Lara:

 

I wouldn’t count that as a solved crime, but rather one that was successfully prosecuted.






Nina:

 

Well… As we’ve both said multiple times in this series, it is highly doubtful that the men convicted of the Brink’s Heist were actually capable of planning it, and I still question whether any of them participated in it. Look at their previous records and their abysmal success rate. Too many doubts for me to believe it. And as we’ve seen the government really wasn’t interested in solving crimes, but rather pandering to the electorate and acting like they were doing something. Actual guilt wasn’t an important factor.

 

The Massachusetts State Senate had proposed a bill just before the Brink’s Heist on May 23, 1967 that would boost the security of the armored carrier services. The bill was passed without objection. 



Lara:

 

According to dad’s stories, Jack had decided to take down multiple trucks as the Plymouth investigation had ground to a halt. The papers had announced in March of ‘67 that a Grand Jury had been convened by the Federal authorities. Indictments were being sought and Jack knew he was at the top of the list, and he also knew the Postals and Feds were no longer investigating him and his crew. A few months after that last Brink’s heist, Jack was charged along with Tommy Richards, Sonny Diaferio and his wife Patty for the Mail Robbery. That would put Jack out of action, but not for long.



Nina:

 

There will be more to come about that in a few weeks. Next week, we’ll be discussing the endless Plymouth Mail Robbery investigation and the mutual harassment that was taking place between the suspects and law enforcement.



Lara:

 

Thank you for listening! Our merch shop is up and running. There’s a link in the show notes and you can find your way there through our website. Hope you listen again!



Nina & Lara:

 

BYE!!!