Bruce Reynolds

1 minute read
Nate Rawlings

In the early-morning hours of Aug. 8, 1963, London burglar Bruce Reynolds led a gang of 15 thieves who robbed the Glasgow-to-London mail train. Without using a gun–though they did bludgeon the train driver with an iron bar–the thieves boosted 120 bags of cash containing £2.6 million ($7 million), worth about $60 million today. The Great Train Robbery, as the caper became known, was one of 20th century Britain’s most infamous crimes. After hiding out in a farmhouse, Reynolds, who died Feb. 28 at 81, escaped to Belgium and finally Mexico, living off his take for five years. When the money ran out, he returned to England. In 1968 he was nabbed by a relentless Scotland Yard detective and served 10 years in prison. “It was my Sistine Chapel,” Reynolds once said of the heist that inspired several books and movies.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at