Mastermind of ‘Great Train Robbery’ dies

Bruce Reynolds, the brains behind the “Great Train Robbery” in Britain that brought its perpetrators cash, incarceration, and fame, died yesterday. He was 81.

Mastermind of  ‘Great Train Robbery’ dies

Reynolds was part of a gang that stole sacks containing £2.6m from a Glasgow to London mail train in Aug 1963. The haul would be worth over £40m (€46.4m) today, and was then Britain’s biggest ever robbery.

Reynolds escaped to Mexico, where he lived the high life and evaded capture for several years, but returned to England when his money ran out.

He was arrested in 1968 and sentenced to 25 years. He was released a decade later and produced occasional pieces of journalism and a crime memoir, The Autobiography of a Thief.

Son Nick Reynolds said his father died after a brief illness. Reynolds also performed from time to time with the band Alabama 3, of which his son is a member.

The heist has been the subject of many books and films, including Robbery and Buster, starring Phil Collins as gang member Buster Edwards, who ended up selling flowers outside London’s Waterloo Station.

The participants became criminal celebrities — to the chagrin of the police and the family of Jack Mills, the train driver, who was hit on the head during the robbery and never fully recovered. He died seven years later.

Reynolds recalled that he had earlier in life tried to become a foreign correspondent, but got no further than clerk at the Daily Mail.

Picture: Bruce Reynolds, 81, died yesterday, a few months ahead of the 50th anniversary of the heist. Picture: Matthew Fearn

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