The First Great Train Robbery
|PUBLISHED (THIS EDITION):||31/08/2011|
In May, 1855, the citizens of Victorian Great Britain were shocked to read in their morning edition of The Times that GBP12,000 worth of gold bars and other valuables had been stolen from a train travelling between London and Paris. This carefully planned theft of what would be more than GBP1.5 million in today's money was executed without violence and without explosives - its perpetrators relied on skill, teamwork and intelligence. How could it have happened? The investigation that followed was long, exhaustive and costly but there were no suspects, no clues, no arrests and no recovery of the gold. The robbers, whoever they were, had managed to pull off the crime of the century. In The First Great Train Robbery David C. Hanrahan explains how the mystery was eventually solved, taking us from the initial idea of the robbery, through its careful planning, to the raid and its subsequent investigation. He exposes a scandalous cover-up by the South Eastern Railway Company and explains how an act of treachery on the part of two of the robbers ultimately led to a trial that gripped the public and the press in an unprecedented way. This compelling tale, which inspired Michael Crichton's novel and subsequent film, The Great Train Robbery (starring Sean Connery), has all the characteristics of an exciting crime thriller but is also an extraordinary true story.
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