On July 11, 1969, Ted Conrad left his job as a teller at Cleveland's Society National Bank carrying a paper bag stuffed with $215,000. Then he completely vanished. Apparently, Conrad had been inspired by the 1968 Steve McQueen film The Thomas Crown Affair. Even episodes of "America's Most Wanted" and "Unsolved Mysteries" about Conrad didn't help authorities with the case, the biggest bank robbery in the city's history. On Friday though, the US Marshals Service announced that they had found Conrad. He had been living in Massachusetts almost the whole time, working as a golf pro and car salesman and living with his wife and daughter. Thing is, Conrad died in May of lung cancer.
From the US Marshals Service announcement:
Peter J. Elliott, United States Marshal for Northern Ohio, stated "This is a case I know all too well. My father, John K. Elliott, was a dedicated career Deputy United States Marshal in Cleveland from 1969 until his retirement in 1990. My father took an interest in this case early because Conrad lived and worked near us in the late 1960s. My father never stopped searching for Conrad and always wanted closure up until his death in 2020. We were able to match some of the documents that my father uncovered from Conrad's college days in the 1960s with documents from Randele that led to his identification. I hope my father is resting a little easier today knowing his investigation and his United States Marshals Service brought closure to this decades-long mystery.
From the New York Times:
[Living under his assumed identity,] Conrad was well liked in his community by police officers and other law enforcement officials.
"That's probably why, you know, we didn't catch up with him in the past because he was a law-abiding citizen, and we didn't have any fingerprints on file," Mr. Elliott said[…]
After Mr. Conrad confessed this year, his family did not contact the authorities, Mr. Elliott said. Only after the authorities saw an obituary for Thomas Randele, 73, did they begin to piece together evidence, which had been mostly gathered by Mr. Elliott's father decades ago.
Mr. Elliott said the Randele family would not be charged for failing to disclose Mr. Conrad's confession to the authorities. Mr. Conrad had been indicted and there is no statute of limitations on bank robbery, so he would have still been arrested if the authorities had found him, Mr. Elliott said.
He declined to share what led investigators to the obituary.