Home » ‘It is incredible. It’s the material of the films. ” New details emerge about a wanted fugitive who taught golf at a county club in Pembroke

‘It is incredible. It’s the material of the films. ” New details emerge about a wanted fugitive who taught golf at a county club in Pembroke

by Stewart Cole

Only recently did Kelly learn the truth about Randele and that he was not the one saying it. Randele’s real name was Theodore “Ted” Conrad, and he had been on the run since 1969 after extracting what the US Army described as one of the largest bank robberies in the history of Cleveland.

“Looking back, he kept it well hidden. “He never showed money,” Kelly said. “He worked long hours, drove a Buick… you will never know.”

Woods Hole Golf Club professional Glenn Kelly was surprised to find out that Tom Randele was not what he was saying.John Tlumacki / Globe Staff

Shortly before he died in May this year, Randele confessed to his deathbed and let his family know his true identity and the crime he committed – and escaped – as a young man 52 years earlier. According to authorities, it happened on July 11, 1969, when Conrad was 20 years old and working as a cashier at the Society National Bank in Cleveland. At the end of his shift that day, he left with a paper bag containing $ 215,000 (equivalent to more than $ 1.6 million today) and was never seen again.

From that point on, Conrad managed to escape arrest and stay one step ahead of law enforcement. Only after his death were investigators able to identify him.

In November, when authorities publicly revealed that Randele was in fact Conrad, “I was surprised … absolutely surprised,” Kelly said. “I was just excited.”

Since then, researchers have been composing how Conrad ended up in Massachusetts and began a new life here, living for decades under a fictitious name.

Ted Conrad as a teenager in the 1960s, before completing a bank robbery in Cleveland.
Ted Conrad as a teenager in the 1960s, before completing a bank robbery in Cleveland.US Army Service

Peter J. Elliott, the U.S. general for North Ohio, said it was unclear how Conrad got his name Tom Randele.

“I do not know where he got that name,” Eliot said in a recent telephone interview. “From what I was told, he made the name.”

Conrad even managed to get a social security number under his supposed name. Eliot said that in the 1960s and ’70s, there were people in Conrad’s age who had never been assigned Social Security numbers, so it would not have been considered unusual.

“It was easy to get Social Security cards in the 1970s,” Eliot said.

Eliot said that on January 6, 1970, Conrad entered an office of the Boston Social Security Administration and said that his name was Tom Randell, he lived at 47 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston and needed a Social Security number. It was so simple.

He also changed his date of birth from July 10, 1949 to July 10, 1947, which made him two years older than he actually was.

Using the Social Security number assigned to his new ID, Randele was able to open bank accounts, find work and pay taxes.

“He was able to make a living under Tom Randell, he was able to stabilize,” Eliot said. “He was not questioned because he was able to build this story, build credit and build relationships.”

The year before he stole from the bank and came out of his throat, Conrad was obsessed with the 1968 film, “The Thomas Crown Affair.” The film stars Steve McQueen as a wealthy executive who orchestrates a bank robbery. The film was shot on location in Boston and included scenes in Boston Common, Beacon Hill and the North End.

According to the US military, Conrad saw “The Thomas Crown Affair” more than half a dozen times and boasted to his friends about how easy it would be to get money from the bank and even told them he planned to do so.

Eliot said Conrad designed himself according to Thomas Crown.

Maybe that was what brought him to Massachusetts.

Eliot said it was interesting to note that one of the filming locations of “The Thomas Crown Affair” was the Eben D. Jordan Jr. Mansion. at 46 Beacon St., and at one point Randele lived on the same street.

The Boston City Directory from 1971 lists Randele as 464 Beacon St., Apartment 5 in the Back Bay – just about a mile away.

“The Thomas Crown Affair was his movie,” Eliot said. “He lived right where the movie was shot.”

After establishing his new identity, Conrad continued to evade arrest by leading an unpretentious life in the suburbs around Boston. He got a Massachusetts driver’s license using a Pembroke address in the early 1970s. He later had an address in Wakefield before finally settling in Lynnfield with his wife, whom he married in 1982.

The expired Massachusetts driver's license of the late Thomas Randele, who was recently recognized as one of America's most wanted fugitives.  Authorities said his real name was Ted Conrad and he stole $ 215,000 from a bank in Cleveland in 1969.
The expired Massachusetts driver’s license of the late Thomas Randele, who was recently recognized as one of America’s most wanted fugitives. Authorities said his real name was Ted Conrad and he stole $ 215,000 from a bank in Cleveland in 1969.

US Army Service

It is not known if Conrad kept in touch with family or friends while in the lam. However, he contacted his girlfriend, who lived in Lakewood, Ohio, shortly after the crime was committed, according to Elliott.

Eliot said that after Conrad left, he wrote to his girlfriend and admitted that he had taken the money and said he regretted it. The letters had postage stamps from Washington and Los Angeles and “were probably only at airports in both cities,” Eliot said.

When writing to his girlfriend, Conrad said there was a statute of limitations for a bank robbery and that after waiting a few years, he would not face criminal charges. But he was wrong, according to Eliot.

“When he wrote this letter he thought it was true … he thought there was a statute of limitations,” Eliot said. “But once you are charged, there is no statute of limitations.”

Once settled into his new life in Massachusetts, Randele worked as a professional golf assistant and professional tutor at the Pembroke Country Club and played on a professional winter off-season Florida tour. Randele eventually became the full-time manager of the Pembroke Country Club.

Kelly was a laborer and worked in the club’s professional shop when he was a student at Silver Lake District High School in Kingston.

Kelly said Randele was the only golf assistant he knew at the time he had a full beard, which, in retrospect, he may have done on purpose to change his look.

Tom Randele had a full beard when he worked at the Pembroke Country Club.
Tom Randele had a full beard when he worked at the Pembroke Country Club.Alms

Kelly also remembers hearing vague stories about Randele’s past, how he came from Denver and lost his family in a tragic accident, and now he was looking to make a fresh start.

Kelly said Randele was a great golfer and trainer and was able to teach the basics of golf swing while telling stories from his time playing on the Florida winter tour.

“He was quite a narrator,” Kelly said. “He liked to be around people. It was extroverted, it was not a flower. “

Kelly said Randele boasted about his “world-famous” potato salad and how he would “make a fortune” from the recipe by selling it to the masses and jokingly threatening to buy the Pembroke Country Club with a cash register (” I guess he did not collect for this piece “, Kelly mocked).

Kelly recalled going to the movies with Randele and other country club staff to see “Caddyshack” at Hanover Mall. “We had an explosion,” he said.

Kelly credits Randele as one of many golfers who helped him early in his career.

“I guess you could say that Tom was one of the many people who lit a fire inside me to pursue my dream,” Kelly said.

At the same time, Kelly is now trying to fully understand the lengths Randele has made – and the brand new identity she has created – just to cover up his criminal past.

“Looking back, it now looks like he was playing his own version of ‘Catch Me if You Can,'” Kelly said. “It’s unbelievable. It’s the movie material.”


You can contact Emily Sweeney at emily.sweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.

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