Georges LeMay – 1961

By | November 12, 2016

LeMay directed everything via walkie-talkie from across the street.

THE CRIME:

george-le-may

Georges LeMay

Georges LeMay was born in December 1924 and had intentions to become a Roman Catholic priest. However, while studying, he found that he liked women too much to be celibate and crime too much to be honest.

During the week he would go to Montral nightclubs and try to pick up other men’s girlfriends. Despite outward appearances as a playboy, he didn’t smoke, drink or gamble much. His vices were fast cars, boats and planes. LeMay married for the first time on 19 May 1951 but on 4 January 1952 his wife, Huguette Daoust, disappeared under mysterious circumstances while they were on a second honeymoon.

Despite a jury finding that she had met her death violently, LeMay was never charged with any crime. On 15 July 1957 he was charged with illegal possession of a gun and fined $25. On Canada Day 1961 LeMay and some cronies broke into the Bank of Nova Scotia in Montreal. LeMay organized the heist and directed everything via walkie-talkie from across the street. The gang broke into 377 safety deposit boxes, stealing in total $633,605.

WHERE:

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

WHEN:

Saturday 1 July 1961

THE AFTERMATH:

The event was Canada’s biggest robbery and the police had no clues. Although they suspected LeMay, there was no evidence to link him to the crime. On 5 January 1962 they raided his home and found $2,000 in American currency and three days later issued a warrant for his arrest.

A fortnight later they discovered a yacht that LeMay had been using to sail from Montreal to Miami and also made four arrests, including Lise Lemieux who would become LeMay’s second wife. In May 1965 the Royal Canadian Mounted Police broadcast LeMay’s picture on a satellite television show and he was recognized by a boar repairer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

LeMay surrendered without a fight and on 1 June 1965 he married Lise Lemieux which meant she could not be forced to testify against him.

On 21 September LeMay escaped from the maximum security prison he was held in prior to extradition. He remained at large until 19 August 1966 when he was arrested in a Las Vegas casino. He was returned to Canada where, on 17 January 1969, he was jailed for eight years for the 1961 burglary. The money was never recovered. LeMay died in December 2006, a few days short of his 82nd birthday. However, his death was kept secret until September 2008.

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