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Father Admits Of Major Bank Heist Just Before Dying

via Bloomberg Originals
This article was originally published at StateOfUnion.org. Publications approved for syndication have permission to republish this article, such as Microsoft News, Yahoo News, Newsbreak, UltimateNewswire and others. To learn more about syndication opportunities, visit About Us.

Thomas Randele, diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in 2021, revealed his past as a bank robber prior to his death.

Randele had pulled off a major heist in 1969 and disappeared without a trace.

The motive behind the theft was to start afresh, not just for the money. (Trending: Tucker Carlson Reveals ‘Secret’ Project He’s Been Working On For Months)

After his passing, a true-crime writer and U.S. Marshals connected the dots, providing closure to the case.

Despite his past, Randele lived a modest life, and his daughter hopes to share his true story through a podcast, highlighting his complexity and the impact he had on those who knew him.

“It felt like a weird dad joke,” Ashley Randele said.

“He was the king of terrible dad jokes. At that moment, I felt like, ‘OK Dad, you changed your name, and the authorities are looking for you – sure they are.’”

“But when he told me his name – his real name – I looked him up.”

“I saw all of these articles like ‘Vault teller robs bank.’ I realized that this was my dad, and the authorities were still looking for him.”

“That’s when I got scared. It wasn’t a weird dad joke.”

“I wanted to tell the story of who my father was,” Ashley said of the podcast.

“I wanted the world to know Tom Randele. I wanted people to know how amazing he was as a dad, husband and friend. I don’t think you’re ever emotionally ready for that.”

“But everyone else was spitting out these stories about a kid who loved fast cars, pretty women and lived the high life because he wanted to be Thomas Crown.”

“There was more to this person than July 11, 1969.”

“I know it may sound silly, but I never kept secrets from my parents,” Ashley said.

“My parents were the type that wanted to keep me safe. And we were an open family.”

“When I was in high school, there was a chance through my French class to go to France,” Ashley said.

“If my parents chaperoned, it would be a less expensive trip. I remember my mom saying, ‘I’ll be a chaperone, and Tom, you can be a chaperone too. It will be great!’”

“My dad’s response was, ‘Nah, I don’t need to go to France. You girls go have fun, and I’ll stay with the cat.'”

“At the time, I thought, ‘Weird choice, Tom, this is France!’ But then I thought, ‘Maybe he just didn’t have the travel bug.’”

“There was another time when I was thinking about doing those at-home DNA tests to learn about your heritage,” she added.

“They were a big thing, and I thought it would be cool for us to do them too as a family. My dad just said, ‘I don’t see the point of it. People have your DNA and that just feels weird.’”

“Then I was like, ‘That is weird – you’re sending your DNA to a company. You’re right, I won’t do that.’”

“Looking at it now, my dad couldn’t have gone to France because he didn’t have a passport, and you can’t get a passport without a birth certificate,” she said.

“And imagine if I had mailed over my DNA, and it matched me with relatives that I didn’t even know existed? But the thing is, he was always super calm about it. He just casually shrugged things off.”

“He was in so much pain,” Ashley said of her father’s cancer.

“It was so hard to see because my dad was always strong in my eyes. I used to call him He-Man – that was our joke. He would make these funny Superman poses and I would call him He-Man.”

“The doctors had hoped that the chemotherapy would give him a few years, even a year. In less than two months, he was gone.”

“I can’t imagine how scary it is to know that you’re dying,” she added.

“Conrad was a 20-year-old bank teller at the Society National Bank in Cleveland when he walked out at the end of his workday on a Friday in 1969 with a paper bag containing $215,000, authorities said. That’s the equivalent of more than $1.7 million in 2021 dollars,” the report noted.

“It wasn’t about the money – the money was more of a means for him,” Ashley said.

“He wanted to start over. He was living in not the best family circumstances. He just wanted to leave his life behind and start fresh. So, it wasn’t that he was on the run as he was running away.”

“This was not something he did on a whim,” she added.

“It was premeditated. He’d checked to see how easy it could be to get a new Social Security card. In 1969, it was not very difficult. You could just go into the registrar’s office, and they give you a new one.”

“At one point, he even invited his girlfriend and one of her friends into the vault where he was working during lunch. They were just hanging out in the vault holding stacks of money. So, the security wasn’t anything like it is now.”

“It’s the one mystery in this whole thing that I’ve never been able to figure out,” she said.

“And I don’t know if I ever will. … I completely understand why the U.S. Marshals protect confidential informants and that they’re not telling us. … But it’s still a mystery.”

“As far as the money, from what we can tell, my dad moved here and lived in a beautiful penthouse on Beacon Street. Anybody from Boston knows that Beacon is the place to live,” she later added.

“By the time my dad got together with my mom in the late ‘70s, the money was gone, and he was working a full-time job. … By the time I came around, my dad worked in the car business. We always drove in used cars.”

“We never lived a fancy life,” she added.

“I remember I had friends who had a fridge that had water and ice in the door. I thought that was fancy.”

“Tom Randele wasn’t a fake person,” she pressed.

“He was a man who is still missed by everyone who knew him. … I want the world to at least get a glimpse of how special of a person he was.”

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