Category Archives: Robbery

Grave Robbing – 1978 (Chaplin); 2004 (Cooke)

Charlie Chaplin and Alistair Cooke THE CRIME: The Little Tramp — Sir Charlie Chaplin — one of the world’s greatest cinematic comedians died in his sleep on Christmas Day 1977 at his Swiss home. When he died he made his wife, Oona, the richest widow in the world. His funeral was held in the Anglican… Read More »

Fredericka Mandelbaum – 1878

She was scheming and dishonest as the day is long” THE CRIME: Born on 27 February 1818 (some sources say 1827) as Friederike Henriette Auguste Wiesener in Hanover, Prussia, she married Wolf Israel Mandelbaum and they moved to New York in 1850. They bought a dry goods store at 79 Clinton Street. In the following… Read More »

Frank Costello – 1952

“The Prime Minister of the Underworld” THE CRIME: Born as Francesco Castiglia in Lauropoli, near Cosenza in Calabria, southern Italy on 26 January 1891, Costello arrived in New York in 1895. On 25 April 1908 he was arrested on charges of assault and robbery. On 16 October 1912 he was again in court on the… Read More »

George “Bugs” Moran – 1926

“I don’t want to be murdered beside the garbage cans in some Chicago alley” THE CRIME: Born in Minnesota as Adelard Cunin, he moved to Chicago when he was a teenager and adopted the name George Moran so that he could join an Irish gang. His first arrest came on 17 September 1910 and they… Read More »

Charles “The Ox” Reiser – 1921

Reiser murdered him but made the death look like suicide THE CRIME: A safe-cracker by trade, Reiser was also a devoted family man. Using the name Charles Shopes, he was friendly and helpful. He used the money from robberies to buy a large apartment building in Chicago where he was known to be a good… Read More »

Jack Spot & Billy Hill – 1955

“I should have shot Billy Hill” THE CRIME: Jack “Spot” Corner and Billy Hill — self-styled Boss of Britain’s Underworld — came to prominence after the Second World War. Billy Hill was born on 8 December 1911. In 1926 he received two years’ probation for breaking into a tobacconist. The following year he was sent… Read More »

Machine Gun Kelly – 1933

“My people are good people even if I turned out to be an awful heel” THE CRIME: George “Machine Gun- Kelly (née George Barnes, Jr) was a very bad man — his press agent said so and FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover helped by naming him Public Enemy Number One. Kelly’s press agent was his… Read More »

Al Capone – 1931

“A. Capone, Antique Dealer” THE CRIME: Born in Brooklyn, Alphonse Capone began his career with two gangs, the Brooklyn Rippers and the Forty Thieves Juniors, before becoming a waiter-bouncer at Frankie Yale’s Harvard Inn on Coney Island. It was while working here in the summer of 1917 that he received the injury that would lead… Read More »

Candice Rose Martinez – 2005

“You have 40 seconds to put all your money in the box” THE CRIME: It is usual when someone is robbing a bank that they concentrate on what they are doing. Not 19-year-old, Northern Virginia Community College student Candice Rose Martinez. When she took to stealing, she spoke continuously on her mobile while committing the… Read More »

Brink’s Mat Robbery – 1983

“Get on the floor or you’re dead” THE CRIME: Six thieves broke into the Brink’s Mat warehouse at Heathrow Airport a month before Christmas 1983 and stole three tons of gold bullion (6,840 bars of it, packed into 76 cardboard boxes worth £26,369,777). Pointing a gun at guard Robin Riseley, a robber shouted, “Get on… Read More »