The Near-Perfect Robbery

This week in history, eleven Boston men commit one of the smoothest and most lucrative bank robberies in history.

FBI Hunts Brink Bandits

The Brinks Robbery

It took almost two years of meticulous planning for the approximately 30 minute robbery to go off without a hitch. No evidence was left behind, no one was hurt, and the group made off with over $2 million—the biggest robbery in U.S. history, at the time.

Named

Smooth criminals

The Crime

The group agreed to leave the money untouched for six years to wait out the statute of limitations on their crime. It probably would have worked if one of the robbers, “Specs” O’Keefe, hadn’t been jailed on another charge. He got antsy about his cut, the group sent a hitman to keep him quiet, and he escaped with both his life and a deal with the FBI.

O'Keefe Admits Part in Robbery

O'Keefe, witness during the trial of the Brinks Robbery in which he participated

Six of the men were arrested with less than a week to go on the statute of limitations. Two more were caught a few months later, and the other two died before the trial began. All were given life sentences except O’Keefe, who received 4 years. Only $58.000 of the 2 million was ever recovered, and the location of the rest has since become a thing of legend.

Find more on this historic robbery with a search on Newspapers.com.