Man’s Deathbed Confession Reveals His Role In a 1969 Bank Robbery

Just before Thomas Randele died, his wife of nearly 40 years asked his golfing buddies and co-workers to come by their home to see him one last time. They gathered to say goodbye to a man they once called one of the nicest people they had ever known. He was a devoted family man who gushed about his daughter, a golfer who never bent the rules, a friend to so many that at his funeral a line stretched down the block, and he was a bank robber. For the past 50 years, he was a fugitive wanted in one of the largest bank robberies in Cleveland’s history, living in Boston under a new name that he created 6 months after the heist in the summer of 1969. Not even his wife or daughter knew until he told them in what authorities described as a deathbed confession. Randele, whose real name was Ted Conrad, quickly figured out that security was fairly loose at the Society National Bank in Cleveland after he began working there as a teller in January 1969. Then, just a day after his 20th birthday, Conrad walked out at closing time on a Friday with a paper bag stuffed with $215,000 from the vault, a haul worth $1.6 million today. By the time the missing money was noticed the following Monday, Conrad was flying across the country. He cut off contact with his entire family, including his parents and 3 siblings. Most family members eventually presumed he was dead because so many years had passed with no word from him. Although an investigation ensued, Conrad’s head start allowed him to disappear, and he was disciplined enough not to make any missteps. Because of the absence of technology back in the ‘60s, Conrad was able to get a new Social Security card in his fake name, open a bank account, build credit, and create his new life. He got married, got a job selling Land Rovers and Volvos at a local dealership, bought a house in the suburbs, and lived a quiet, unassuming life. Without the deathbed confession, the robbery would have remained a mystery.