Could these daring real-life heists inspire ‘Money Heist’ season 5?
Money Heist is one of the most popular non-English language series on Netflix, and for good reason. Its masterful gang of bank robbers put on a good show both criminally and interpersonally. True fans of Money Heist can’t wait for season five to roll around.
While we’re forced to wait for the next season of genius, how about we take a look at the plots of some real-life money heists? After all, every work of fiction needs its source of inspiration. Even bank robbers need a muse. Perhaps one of these true-to-life heists will be the source of another fire season.
The collar bomb bank heist
This bank heist may be one of the most mysterious heists of all time. In 2003, a middle-aged pizza delivery man named Brian Wells walked into a PNC Bank in Pennsylvania sporting a fancy looking cane. We should probably also mention that he was sporting a homemade bomb strapped around his neck. And the cane? It was actually a homemade gun fit for Batman’s The Penguin.
Wells told the bank tellers that they had fifteen minutes to comply with his request for $250,000. The bankers told him it was impossible for them to get access to that much money at the time so Wells walked out with $8,702 instead. For having a bomb strapped around his neck, Wells was awfully calm. He even walked out of the bank licking a lollipop.
Once police chased down Wells and slammed him to the ground, Wells told them that someone had forced him to rob the bank and that the bomb was “gonna go off!” By the time a bomb squad arrived on the scene, Wells had indeed blown up. Police investigated Wells’ car and verified that he was the victim of a bank heist when they found several notes addressed to a “Bomb Hostage” in Wells’ car.
The strangest thing about the money heist was that the instructions given to Wells were so complicated that they had him running all over town. You’d think someone wanting to pull off a money heist would want to get the money and run as soon as possible. Not so, in the case of the collar bomb. It was almost as if Wells was destined to die rather than deliver the money.
The FBI investigated this collar bomb money heist for seven years before they found a far-flung connection to a mentally unstable criminal mastermind named Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong.
They managed to connect her to the case after a man named Bill Rothstein confessed to having a frozen body in his freezer. Rothstein conspicuously mentioned to police that “This has nothing to do with the Wells case.” So, of course, it had something to do with the Wells case.
Marjorie happened to be an ex-girlfriend of Rothstein and apparently she had gotten him wrapped up in the process of disposing of the body of a man who had threatened to let authorities know about their planned money heist. The reason for Wells’ seeming nonchalance was finally revealed.
Wells had actually been told that he would be wearing a dummy bomb and that he would be in on the profits of the robbery, when in fact, (as has already been revealed), he did have a real bomb strapped to his neck. Some authorities are still torn about whether the mentally unstable Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong has really told the truth, but she was convicted of the crime in the end.
Thomas Blood’s royal money heist
This heist is less mysterious, but it’s only a little bit less convoluted. In 1671, an Irish assassin named Thomas Blood decided he was tired of killing people and would like to try out high-stakes robbery for a change. Blood, being the audacious man that he was, and already wanted for numerous other crimes, wanted to go big or go home.
Blood would not merely rob some farm wife’s home or even the estate of a nobleman. Blood wanted the crown jewels of England, and he thought he was clever enough to pull it off.
In the spirit of keeping your friends close and enemies closer, Blood decided to befriend the keeper of the crown jewels, Talbot Edwards. His plan was to weasel into the keeper’s good graces. Blood visited Edwards with a prostitute disguised as his wife. He announced himself to Edwards as a person wanted to take a peek at the jewels.
Edwards obliged and during their visit “Mrs. Blood” fell ill with a terrible stomach ache. Edwards kindly allowed her to rest in his apartment until she recovered, so Blood returned later to show him his appreciation. Blood gave Edwards four pairs of white gloves as thanks, and he & Edwards became quite friendly.
A while later, Blood returned to see the crown jewels again, but this time with friends. Blood had promised to introduce Edward’s daughter to a supposedly wealthy nephew of his. The unwitting Edwards obliged in showing them the crown jewels, soon after which, Blood bludgeoned Edwards on the head with a mallet and stabbed him with a sword.
Unfortunately for Blood, they didn’t get far because some guards tackled the group of robbers off their horses. On the other hand, you wouldn’t believe the light punishment Blood received for attempting to steal from the crown. When King Charles questioned Blood in the royal palace about his escapade, the king was quite amused at Blood’s gall. Who would have the balls to try to succeed at such a lofty endeavor?
The King not only pardoned Blood, but gave him Irish lands that were worth 500 pounds a year. Blood had gambled on the King’s reputation for liking bold scoundrels in the case that he be caught, and what a successful gamble that was. Imagine charming yourself into a reward for stealing from someone. And not just any someone, from royalty!
Neither of these money heists were quite successful, but they both accomplished goals in their own right. Maybe these famous robberies will inspire the next season of Money Heist.