Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Bruce Reynolds, Mapped 1963 Great Train Robbery [Derived Headline]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Bruce Reynolds, Mapped 1963 Great Train Robbery [Derived Headline]

Article excerpt

Bruce Reynolds, mapped 1963 Great Train Robbery

Bruce Reynolds, the chief architect of one of 20th-century Britain's most notorious crimes, the caper known as the Great Train Robbery, died Thursday in England. He was 81.

In the early morning of Aug. 8, 1963, a gang of 15 men stopped a Glasgow-to-London mail train about 45 miles short of its destination by tampering with a signal. The train was carrying a larger quantity of money than normal because of a just-completed bank holiday in Scotland, and the thieves escaped with some 120 bags of cash, totaling about 2.6 million pounds, or about $7 million at the time - - the equivalent of about $60.5 million today.

Reynolds, who was 31 at the time and known to the police as a burglar well-connected in the London underworld, had used insider information from the postal service to plan the heist.

The train was stopped and unloaded and the thieves got away in about half an hour, en route to a farmhouse that had been bought months before as a hide-out. No guns were involved. The only hitch was that a member of the gang got itchy when the train's driver was evidently uncooperative and bludgeoned him with an iron bar. The driver survived, but he never worked again.

Many of the robbers were apprehended within a few months, but Reynolds made his way to Belgium, then Toronto and finally to Mexico, where he lived the high life on his ill-gotten gains for five years.

When he ran out of money, he returned to England, determined to make another big score, but he was arrested in Torquay, a coastal town in southwestern England, in the fall of 1968.

He served 10 years in prison.

He served as a consultant for a film about the robbery, "Buster," which focused on another of the robbers, Buster Edwards, who also escaped to Mexico but gave himself up in 1966.

In the 1990s, Reynolds published a well-received memoir, "The Autobiography of a Thief."

Dale Robertson, 89, actor was a natural in westerns

Dale Robertson, who parlayed an easy drawl and a way with horses that he acquired as a boy in Oklahoma to become a popular and strong- minded star of westerns on television and in the movies for three decades, died Wednesday in San Diego. …

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