Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Boston resident stuns friends and family with “deathbed confession” before “The Secret of the Runaways”

Shortly before Thomas Randall’s death, his wife, who had worked for nearly 40 years, asked his golf buddies and colleagues at the dealerships where he sold cars to drive up to their house.

They got together to say goodbye to a guy they called one of the nicest people they’ve ever known – a devoted family man who praised his daughter, a golfer who never broke the rules, a friend to so many people outside the funeral home in a week.

By the time of their last visit last May to Randall’s home in the Boston suburbs, lung cancer had robbed him of his voice. So they all left, not knowing that their friend, with whom they had spent countless hours swapping stories, had never told them his biggest secret.

For the past 50 years, he has been a wanted fugitive in one of the largest bank robberies in Cleveland history, living in Boston under a new name that he created six months after the heist in the summer of 1969. Even his wife or daughter did not know about it until he told them what the authorities described as a confession on his deathbed.

How he was able to leave one family and start a new life – dodging the father and son of the US Marshals Service, who never stopped their hunt – are only now getting together.

Ted Konrad quickly realized that security at the Society’s National Bank in Cleveland was rather weak after he started working as a cashier in January 1969.

He told his buddies that this place would be easy to rob, ”said Russell Metcalfe, his best friend from school.

The day after his 20th birthday in July, Konrad left the vault with $ 215,000, and today the catch is estimated at $ 1.6 million. By the time the missing money was noticed, Konrad was already flying across the country.

In a letter sent to his girlfriend, he mistakenly believed that he might return when the statute of limitations expired. But as soon as he was charged, it ceased to be true.

Konrad has apparently cut contact with his family. Some eventually assumed he was dead, said Matt Bettger, whose mother was Konrad’s older sister.

According to him, his mother was relieved to learn that her brother had lived a happy life. “She thought she would go to the grave and never find out,” he said.

The 1969 bank robbery did not attract the attention of either the country or even Cleveland. All others focused on the historic Apollo 11 flight to the moon.

But for John Elliott, US Deputy Marshal, it was a personal matter because he and Konrad were from the same part of town.

U.S. Marshal Peter J. Elliott poses for a photograph on December 16, 2021, at the U.S. Courthouse in the Carl B. Stokes case in Cleveland with items related to the 1969 bank robbery.
U.S. Marshal Peter J. Elliott poses for a photograph on December 16, 2021, at the U.S. Courthouse in the Carl B. Stokes case in Cleveland with items related to the 1969 bank robbery.

The problem was that Konrad had a head start and was disciplined enough not to make mistakes.

Elliott traveled the United States in search of Konrad and even after retirement checked the case, said his son Pete Elliott, now the US Chief Marshal in Cleveland, who inherited the Konrad hunt nearly 20 years ago.

His father died in March 2020, before investigators gathered details from Randel’s obituary and signatures from his past. Then in November, Randel’s family confirmed that shortly before his death, he told them what he had done, Elliot said.

Why Konrad committed the robbery is endlessly analyzed.

“It wasn’t about the money. He always wanted to impress people, ”said Metcalfe, his high school buddy.

Investigators believe he was inspired by the 1968 film The Thomas Crown Case, about a bank executive who received $ 2.6 million and turned a robbery into a game.

After the actual heist in Cleveland, Konrad ended up in the Boston area where most of the film was filmed.

Thomas Randall was born in January 1970 when Conrad applied for a Boston social security number, Elliott said.

In the 1970s, Randel worked for a country club outside Boston and became its manager. He also met his future wife shortly after arriving in Boston. They got married in 1982.

It was around then that he started in the auto business, selling Land Rover and Volvos until he retired nearly 40 years later.

What happened to the money is not yet clear. The bailiff service finds out if he lost it ahead of schedule due to poor investments.

While Randall and his wife, Katie, have lived most of their years in the pleasant suburb of Boston, they filed for bankruptcy protection in 2014. In November, she told Cleveland.com that her husband is a wonderful person. She declined requests for interviews.

No one would have guessed that Randela, who was 71 at the time of his death, was trying to hide from the authorities.

Among the many people he befriended over the years, Elliott said, was an FBI agent in Boston.

“He was just a kind man, you know, very polite, with a very good manner of speech,” said Jerry Healy, who first met Randall at the Woburn, Massachusetts dealership where they talked daily for many years.

U.S. Marshal Peter J. Elliott holds Ted Konrad's birth certificate and copy of his driver's license on December 16, 2021 at the U.S. Courthouse in the Carl B. Stokes case in Cleveland.
U.S. Marshal Peter J. Elliott holds Ted Konrad’s birth certificate and copy of his driver’s license on December 16, 2021 at the U.S. Courthouse in the Carl B. Stokes case in Cleveland.

Matt Kaplan, who ran the two dealerships that Randel worked for and played golf with him for many years, called him a gentleman.

“The only thing that makes sense is that at that age he was just a kid, and it wasn’t easy,” Kaplan said.

“If he had told us a long time ago, I don’t think we would have believed him, because he was not that kind of guy,” he said. “This man was different from the child.”

In the early days after Randel’s identity was revealed, his friends couldn’t believe it. But now, in hindsight, some things make sense. How he always had a beard. His reluctance to talk about where he grew up or his large family.

“You know, in all the years I’ve known Tommy, I’ve never heard him mention his sister, mother, brother or father,” Healy said.

“He’s never going to work out,” said Brad Anthony, another close friend.

However, he said it was almost impossible to believe. “It seems so uncharacteristic for the Tom I knew,” he said.

Nation World News Desk
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