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Bank Teller Disappeared 52 Years Ago with $215,000 in Cash, And They Just Found Him

Western Journal

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Theodore John Conrad was just 20 years old when he pulled off the heist of a lifetime, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. The young man worked as a teller at the Society National Bank on Public Square in Cleveland and used to brag to friends that it would be easy to disappear with a large sum of cash.

Conrad was also a dedicated fan of the 1968 film “The Thomas Crown Affair,” which, according to IMDb, is about a “debonair, adventuresome bank executive” who “believes he has pulled off the perfect multi-million dollar heist, only to match wits with a sexy insurance investigator who will do anything to get her man.”

So enamored was Conrad of the dashing Steve McQueen and his actions that he planned out his own theft. The rubber met the road on July 11, 1969, the Marshals Service said in a news release on Friday.

It was a Friday, the end of the workweek, when Conrad coolly loaded $215,000 (the modern-day equivalent would be around $1.7 million) into a brown paper bag. He selected 1,500 $100 bills, 1,200 $50 bills and 250 $20 bills.

Then he disappeared. He changed his name, his birthdate, his lifestyle and his location.

The bank didn’t realize what had happened until that Monday when Conrad didn’t show up for work and they discovered the $215,000 missing — but by then, he’d had two solid days to slip away.

The story went wild. People thought they saw him in California, in Paris, in Hawaii — and one couple very well might have, when they were visiting the bar at the Princess Kaiulani Hotel in Waikiki about three months after his disappearance.

They struck up conversation with a young man also at the bar. When they mentioned they were from Ohio, the young man excused himself and disappeared, but he had already shared a few details about his life.

Deputy U.S. Marshal David Siler with the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force told KITV-TV back in 2017 that they knew he’d been in the area, but the couple was able to give them more information.

“We were able to track him from Cleveland to Washington Reagan National Airport to Los Angeles, and the last stop we know of was in your great state of Hawaii and we believe there is somebody on that island that either knows him, knows of him or had a brief stint relationship with him,” Siler recalled.

“As soon as they mentioned Cleveland, Ohio, he got up, said oh excuse me, I have to use the restroom, he departed.

“He had an apartment. Apparently, he was renting that apartment so if he was renting that apartment, that means he made contact with someone, a landlord, somebody and he was paying cash obviously for his apartment.”

But he vanished again, leaving little trace.

For 52 years, authorities were unable to track him — until they made a breakthrough this year after comparing documents Conrad filled out in the 1960s with documents a “Thomas Randele” filed in more recent years.

Apparently, Conrad had changed his name to Thomas Randele, had a wife named Kathy and a daughter named Ashley, became a local golf professional and made a 40-year career of selling luxury vehicles.

“This past week, we identified Thomas Randele as Theodore J. Conrad,” U.S. Marshal Pete Elliot said, according to the Daily Mail. “He led an unassuming life in the suburbs of Boston, was very well liked in his community.”

While he’d made a life in Lynnfield, Massachusetts, his ill-gotten gains hadn’t served him particularly well: He had filed for bankruptcy in 2014.

And though his identity was finally confirmed, it was too little, too late. Conrad had died in May, age 71, from lung cancer.

In fact, his wife and daughter had had no idea about his heist until he told them on his deathbed. His obituary stated that he loved golf, cars and cooking, and spent a significant amount of time perfecting his skills and trying out new recipes for his wife and daughter.

For Elliot, the case is personal. His own father was also a U.S. marshal who died last year and never got to see the case closed.



“This is a case I know all too well,” Elliot explained in the Marshals Service news release. “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. Everything in real life doesn’t always end like in the movies.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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Op-Ed: Xi Jinping Is Watching Putin to Decide When to Attack Taiwan

Western Journal

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Chinese President Xi Jinping is watching Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine to decide when to attack Taiwan. At this point that decision is made, but the timing won’t be settled until this fall and before President Joe Biden leaves the White House.

Let me untangle some issues that will dictate Beijing’s timing for its assault on Taiwan: Xi’s enemies and economic challenges, Biden’s green light indicators for Putin’s war, a growing list of battlefield lessons, and Biden’s broken foreign policy.

Beijing regards Taiwan as a breakaway province, and Xi stakes his future on returning it to Chinese rule.

Last fall, he declared the Chinese people have a “glorious tradition of opposing separatism” and that “complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled, and will definitely be fulfilled.” The communist chairman added, “The Taiwan question is purely an internal matter for China, one which brooks no external interference,” and he warned last year, “Anyone who would attempt to [interfere] will have their heads bashed bloody.”

Yes, Mr. Xi is committed to reunification, but the timing is bound by two realities.

The first is the possible confirmation of his third term in office, an unprecedented eventuality since Mao Zedong’s death in 1976. Xi’s third term would begin this November.

Xi’s hold on power, however, isn’t assured. Feng Chongyi, a professor at the University of Technology Sydney, said last year that some officials are “in strong opposition and are trying their best to prevent Xi’s next possible term.”

Those enemies know Xi’s Achilles heel: a sagging economy. According to the Communist Party’s “Shanghai Gang” faction, Xi is ruining the Chinese economy and must be ousted.

So, if Xi is to gain a third term, he must balance his domestic opposition and his economic vulnerability before assaulting Taiwan. After all, he learned from the Ukraine war that an attack on the democratic island nation will earn him severe economic sanctions, further threatening China’s economy. Thus, he intends to delay any invasion until after he is assured another term.

The other reality for Xi’s anticipated assault is identified by Andrei Illarionov, Putin’s economic adviser for almost six years in the early 2000s.

Illarionov, now a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy, said the Chinese are learning from Putin’s war. He explained that Putin’s “decision to invade Ukraine is based on his absolutely correct understanding of President Biden. Without Biden in the White House, Putin would never invade Ukraine.”

Xi learned from Putin that Biden is weak and broadcasts what he will and won’t do — a predictable enemy.

“Mr. Putin is a very good psychologist,” Illarionov said. “He studied [security agency] files for Mr. Biden. He understood that’s a person who would never do anything against his invasion against Ukraine.” In fact, Biden showed his hand long before the war began.

Last year, Biden removed sanctions on Nord Stream 2, renewed the U.S.-Russian nuclear arms agreement without negotiations, did nothing about the buildup of Russian troops on Ukraine’s border and ordered U.S. warships out of the Black Sea after a Russian-Dutch naval confrontation. Putin perceived these moves as weaknesses, an effort on Biden’s part to avoid confrontation.

Biden’s representatives weren’t any better.

He sent William Burns, the CIA director, to Moscow, where, according to Illarionov, he offered guarantees “on issues of security, even when Russian troops [were] on the Ukrainian border and ready to attack Ukraine. That can be understood only in one way: Biden administration is giving green light for Putin to attack Ukraine.”

Then, in December, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with his Russian counterpart to discuss the Ukraine crisis. However, Illarionov said, “90 percent” of the discussions were about the Iran nuclear deal, yet again “giving a green light to Mr. Putin to attack Ukraine.”

On other fronts, according to Illarionov, Biden recalled American citizens and military personnel from Ukraine. He even offered to help President Volodymyr Zelenskyy leave Ukraine. Once again, Illarionov said, “Mr.  Putin understood these signs in the exactly right way”: as weakness and a go-ahead to invade.

Xi understands that Biden was never serious about stopping Putin’s war. In fact, Illarionov said Xi, like Putin, “understands very well that there is a unique window of opportunity … when Mr. Biden is the president. With any other U.S. president … [an invasion of Ukraine or Taiwan] would be impossible.”

The Russian concluded, “This dangerous moment will last at least until January 2025, until hopefully another president will be in the White House.”

Of course, there are numerous other lessons from Russia’s war for the Chinese dictator. His invasion of Taiwan will be tougher than Putin’s assault on Ukraine because the Chinese are attacking a well-fortified island nation 160 miles from the mainland, a true logistics nightmare. Further, unlike the go-it-alone fight forced on Kyiv, the government in Taipei expects the U.S. and other Western powers to directly intervene.

The most important lesson for Xi is that Biden is a predictable, weak enemy who broadcasts his intentions. So unless the Biden team finds better foreign policy acumen, we could as soon as late fall see the skies reflect green lights signaling Xi to assault Taiwan.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is watching Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine to decide when to attack Taiwan. At this point that decision is made, but the timing won’t be settled until this fall and before President Joe Biden leaves the White House. Let me untangle some issues that will dictate Beijing’s timing for its assault on Taiwan: Xi’s enemies and economic challenges, Biden’s green light indicators for Putin’s war, a growing list of battlefield lessons, and Biden’s broken foreign policy. Beijing regards Taiwan as a breakaway province, and Xi stakes his future on returning it to Chinese rule. Last fall, he declared the Chinese people have a “glorious tradition of opposing separatism” and that “complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled, and will definitely be fulfilled.” The communist chairman added, “The Taiwan question is purely an internal matter for China, one which brooks no external interference,” and he warned last year, “Anyone who would attempt to [interfere] will have their heads bashed bloody.” Yes, Mr. Xi is committed to reunification, but the timing is bound by two realities. The first is the possible confirmation of his third term in office, an unprecedented eventuality since Mao Zedong’s death in 1976. Xi’s third term would begin this November. Xi’s hold on power, however, isn’t assured. Feng Chongyi, a professor at the University of Technology Sydney, said last year that some officials are “in strong opposition and are trying their best to prevent Xi’s next possible term.” Those enemies know Xi’s Achilles heel: a sagging economy. According to the Communist Party’s “Shanghai Gang” faction, Xi is ruining the Chinese economy and must be ousted. So, if Xi is to gain a third term, he must balance his domestic opposition and his economic vulnerability before assaulting Taiwan. After all, he learned…

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Americans’ Summer Vacations on Chopping Block Thanks to Biden

Western Journal

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For many families in Joe Biden’s America, going on vacation this summer means going for broke — literally.

This summer, with lockdowns in tatters and everything open that opens, vacation planning has been going on at a record pace, according to Bloomberg.

“Summer 2022 will be the busiest travel season ever,” Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern told the outlet.

Getting there is no longer half the fun; in fact, it is a substantial portion of the pain.

The average price for a gallon of regular gas in the U.S. hit a new record high of $4.483 on Monday, according to AAA. A year ago, it was $3.042 on average. That is an increase of 47 percent.

And that’s not all.

The travel site Hopper.com says airfare is up 3 percent over last year and hotel rates are 20 percent higher than a year ago, according to WFMY-TV.

And for anyone thinking of sending the kids off for a dose of the outdoors, plan to pay more when you can find a vacancy.

Rates for summer camps are up 10 percent to 15 percent from a year ago amid strong demand, said Tom Rosenberg, president and CEO of the American Camp Association, according to CNN.

“Demand is extremely strong for camps as parents are desperate for their kids to be out in nature with their peers and away from tech devices after two years of social distancing,” he said.

So did the Grinch decide to steal summer? Not quite, but inflation has been at work for months, hitting 8.3 percent in April after an ugly 8.5 percent in March — the biggest month-over-month increase since December 1981.

As a result, about seven in 10 Americans are adjusting their vacation plans to address fiscal realities, according to Bankrate.

Motorist Ibrahim Khokhar said he’s not waiting until vacation season to start scrimping, according to The National Desk.

“I’m seeing almost a 25 percent increase in my fill-up price. So, like, before it used to cost me $45. Now it’s like $60, $65,” he said.

Like so many others, Khokhar said he’s now changing some daily habits because of rising prices.

“I’ve started kind of doing the math and how much each mile basically costs me. So it’s like $0.10, $0.15, so it’s like, is it really worth going to hang out with my friends?” he said.

In an Op-Ed for the New York Post, Kevin Williamson said President Biden has found a way to make a bad situation worse.

“When you don’t have any fresh ideas or real principles — and when your long-term goals are limited by the fact that the president, who was born during the Roosevelt administration, isn’t exactly buying any green bananas — then the easiest thing to do is to throw money at every problem,” he wrote. “Throwing money at things is how you make inflation worse.”

“Biden, who was in the Senate in the 1970s, is old enough to remember the word ‘stagflation,’ which is what you get when you have a stagnant economy and inflation at the same time,” Williamson said.

“And it is what you get when you combine the wrong monetary policy with the wrong fiscal policy, the wrong trade policy, the wrong regulatory policy, and the wrong energy policy.

“And that’s how you make inflation worse.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

For many families in Joe Biden’s America, going on vacation this summer means going for broke — literally. This summer, with lockdowns in tatters and everything open that opens, vacation planning has been going on at a record pace, according to Bloomberg. “Summer 2022 will be the busiest travel season ever,” Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern told the outlet. Getting there is no longer half the fun; in fact, it is a substantial portion of the pain. The average price for a gallon of regular gas in the U.S. hit a new record high of $4.483 on Monday, according to AAA. A year ago, it was $3.042 on average. That is an increase of 47 percent. And that’s not all. The travel site Hopper.com says airfare is up 3 percent over last year and hotel rates are 20 percent higher than a year ago, according to WFMY-TV. And for anyone thinking of sending the kids off for a dose of the outdoors, plan to pay more when you can find a vacancy. Rates for summer camps are up 10 percent to 15 percent from a year ago amid strong demand, said Tom Rosenberg, president and CEO of the American Camp Association, according to CNN. “Demand is extremely strong for camps as parents are desperate for their kids to be out in nature with their peers and away from tech devices after two years of social distancing,” he said. So did the Grinch decide to steal summer? Not quite, but inflation has been at work for months, hitting 8.3 percent in April after an ugly 8.5 percent in March — the biggest month-over-month increase since December 1981. As a result, about seven in 10 Americans are adjusting their vacation plans to address fiscal realities, according to Bankrate. Motorist Ibrahim Khokhar said…

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