(ReliableNews.org) – While TV shows about cops and bad guys typically wrap up within the span of an hour, real detective work doesn’t happen that easily. In fact, many crimes go unsolved for years, landing in the cold case files. Authorities still work to solve those crimes, but as time goes on, evidence ages, and witnesses fade, catching perpetrators becomes more and more difficult. However, sometimes detectives catch a break. A recently solved case over 50 years old involved a witness, years of detective work, and a confession.
On December 4, Boston25 reported that Ashley Randele was at her father’s bedside after his first chemotherapy treatment in the spring of 2021 when he confided in her. Thomas Randele was dying of lung cancer, and he didn’t have much time left, but he didn’t want to take his secret to the grave. The man told his daughter he robbed a bank when he was 20, stealing $215,000 and disappearing into the wind, baffling the police for more than half a century. Randele told Ashley his name wasn’t Thomas Randele at all; it was Theodore Conrad.
Although he asked his daughter not to look into the case, she did anyway and found a lot of information about what happened. In 1969, Ted Conrad was working at the Society National Bank in Cleveland when he had an idea inspired by his favorite movie — “The Thomas Crown Affair.” One morning, he walked into the bank to do his teller job just like any other day. However, this time, he opened the vault, loaded a paper bag with nearly a quarter of a million dollars, and started a new life. Since it was a Friday, nobody even knew the money was gone until Monday, giving Conrad a 48-hour head start. It was the biggest heist in Cleveland history.
Solving the Case and the Aftermath
Just months after his confession, Thomas Randele passed away from cancer. His daughter and wife agreed to wait one year before contacting the authorities. However, someone had forwarded his obituary to the US Marshal’s office, which got them digging, and they showed up at the Randele’s house in late 2021. The look on Ashley Randele’s face when she answered the door told investigators their suspicions were correct — Thomas Randele was Ted Conrad, a bank robber.
While the Randeles struggled with the information for a time, that one act ultimately didn’t outweigh the man they knew as a loving father and husband. With the confession off his chest, he now rests in peace, and the detectives who spent decades twisting in the wind finally have closure.
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