In 1993, a calculated armored truck heist befell Felixstowe, England and the culprit vanished without a trace. Nearly two decades later and a continent away, the law finally caught up to the suspect and revealed he had been hiding in plain sight the entire time.
- Fast Eddie: My 20 Years on the Run as Britain’s Most Wanted Man by Eddie Maher
- Suspect in 1993 British heist arrested in Missouri
- Man wanted in ’93 British armored car heist caught working as a cable guy in Missouri
- Fugitive in 20 Year Old UK Heist Caught in Missouri
- Felixstowe: Eddie Maher may face court in the UK
- Son ‘shocked’ about robbery suspect Eddie Maher’s identity
- Fugitive wanted over 1993 British heist arrested in US
- Fugitive wanted over 1993 British heist arrested in Missouri
- 19 Years and £1 Million Later, a Past Catches Up
- 1993 £1m Felixstowe heist: Suspect Eddie Maher was ‘bankrupt’
- ‘Fast Eddie’: Britain’s most wanted fugitive
- ‘Fast Eddie’ agrees to face the music
- Fast Eddie, British fugitive found in Missouri, gets deported
- Eddie Maher denies £1m Felixstowe security van theft
- Felixstowe 1993 bank heist: Eddie Maher’s partner held
- Felixstowe 1993 bank heist: 54-year-old man bailed
- ‘Fast Eddie’ lied to land Securicor job
- Eddie Maher: The financial demise of £1.2m security van thief
- ‘Fast Eddie’ Maher: The crime that netted guard £1.2m
- £1.2 million heist man Fast Eddie’s double life in US
- Ex security guard Eddie Maher jailed for £1.2m theft
- Less than glamorous reality of life on the run laid bare as ‘Fast Eddie’ Maher is jailed for £1.2m security van theft 20 years ago
- ‘Fast Eddie’ Maher jailed over £1.2m security van heist after 20 years on run
- ‘I live in fear of his revenge’ says woman who turned in ‘Fast’ Eddie Maher
- Former daughter-in-law banks £10,000 ‘Fast Eddie’ reward
- Freed Fast Eddie Maher ‘got off lightly’
- Fugitive thief, Eddie Maher, who stole almost £1.2m from security van in Felixstowe, released after serving half of his five-year prison sentence
- Convicted criminal Eddie Maher “I did it to protect my family”
- Eddie Maher: How I took my family on the run for 19 years
- ‘You can live off the grid in plain sight’: Securicor driver ‘Fast’ Eddie Maher reveals how he stayed free on the run for 20 years after stealing £1.2million
- Fast Eddie’ Maher Shares His Life on the Run | This Morning
- Partner of ‘Fast Eddie’ Maher who fled to US after Stealing 1.2 million from his Securicor van in 1993 will not face prosecution
- Eddie Maher: Partner and son face departation from US
Do you ever really think about who your cable guy is?
You know, the guy you spend an ambiguous amount of time on a weekday afternoon waiting to arrive and twist a few cords to make your internet and TV magically work again?
Most of us probably don’t think too much about this person’s life story. We just want our cable and internet to work so we can pick back up streaming Ted Lasso or Unsolved Mysteries…
But in February of 2012, people living in Southwest Missouri were thinking a lot about who their local cable guy was.
That year a 56-year-old middle-class man in a middle-class town making a middle-class wage of $14 an hour became someone everyone in the Midwest and the world suddenly knew all about.
The technician turned out to be an international fugitive police and authorities in the United States and England had been hunting for nineteen years.
His crime? One of the most infamous armored truck heists in England’s history…and one of the longest and largest manhunts on both sides of the Atlantic.
His downfall? His own family.
This is Armored… the untold stories of murder, mayhem, and million-dollar heists.
Today’s story takes place in North America and the United Kingdom, and centers around a seemingly average man who British tabloids claimed committed “The perfect crime.”
Around 9:30 am on January 22nd, 1993, 37-year-old Eddie Maher and his partner, Peter Bunn pulled their two-ton Securicor Company armored van alongside Lloyds Bank in the coastal town of Felixtowe, England.
The van was loaded with more than fifty bags of cash and coins. The bank was one of their first stops for the day and according to news reports, the two men were actually running ahead of schedule. In fact, when Eddie and Peter pulled up in their truck, the bank building wasn’t even open yet.
In 1993, the Securicor Company required all of their delivery crews sit and wait for a delivery location to open before getting out of the truck and transporting any money inside. Reason being, the company didn’t want their employees or the contents they were transporting sitting idle on a sidewalk somewhere…essentially being a sitting duck.
After a few minutes of waiting outside of Lloyds Bank, Eddie mentioned to Peter that he saw some movement inside and it appeared the front doors were being unlocked. Peter then got out of the van, went around to the back of the armored van, and couriered a bag of cash into the building.
At the time, Securicor only allowed couriers to carry one bag of cash into a bank or business at a time. So, Peter was going to have to make several trips back and forth to the van to make sure the bank staff had enough cash for the day.
After delivering his first bag, Peter had to wait for the tellers to arrange the deposits and keep a log of the bill denominations. This process ended up taking longer than Peter expected. Reports aren’t clear if this delay was any different than normal days at the bank, but for whatever reason, the tellers were just slower that day or were being extra meticulous in counting the money.
While waiting inside Peter radioed to Eddie out in the van to let him know that the deposit process was taking a little bit longer than they’d anticipated…oddly, the only thing he heard on the other end of his radio was silence.
Peter didn’t think much of it at the time and just figured his radio was getting interference inside the bank or maybe Eddie just hadn’t heard him.
After another minute or two, the tellers wrapped up with the first deposit and Peter stepped outside to get another bag of cash, but when he exited the building’s front doors he was stunned to discover that Eddie and the Securicor van were gone.
Peter immediately called the police because he thought either one of two things had happened.
One, someone had overpowered Eddie and stolen their van.
Or two, Eddie had turned on his employer and robbed Securicor blind.
Either option wasn’t good and Peter knew he had to report the missing van right away.
The short amount of time that had gone by while he was inside the bank meant that whoever had the van and its millions-of-dollars-worth of contents, whether those people were hijackers or Eddie himself, they couldn’t be too far away.
Peter alerted the police and within a matter of minutes an all points bullet went out for the missing van and its driver, Eddie Maher.
British news reports aren’t super clear on when exactly the authorities in Felixtowe narrowed in on an inside man theory but at some point in the first few hours after the robbery, investigators determined that Eddie was the prime suspect and more than likely had orchestrated the heist on his own.
Peter Bunn was investigated thoroughly in the wake of the crime but it was quickly determined that he had no involvement. He appeared to be just as blindsided by Eddie’s actions as everyone else was.
There were a lot of things that investigators learned in the first 48 hours that pointed to this robbery being the act of Eddie alone.
For one thing, witnesses outside of Lloyd’s bank had reported seeing the Securicor van drive away less than a minute after Peter got out and went inside with the first money bag.
These witnesses didn’t report seeing another person or a group of people get into the van or hijack the driver. So, that fact alone was a big indication that Eddie had more than likely driven off voluntarily.
I assume video surveillance from the bank may have corroborated this too, but news reports don’t mention anything about video evidence. So, it may have been a tool law enforcement used in this case or might not have been. It’s unclear.
Either way, to better understand what they were dealing with, police started at the most logical point and quickly began examining Eddie’s work history with Securicor. They discovered that Eddie’s employment with the company wasn’t very lengthy, in fact, it appeared he was one of the newest van drivers the business had hired.
Eddie first started working for the company in the fall of 1992. At the time, Securicor was one of the largest security businesses throughout the United Kingdom. It’s since merged with another company but in the early 90’s Securicor was equivalent to a Brinks or a Loomis armored truck service.
The job required that crews work in two-man teams making pickups and deliveries in the area of Ipswich, England. This part of the U-K is about two hours Northeast of London and sits along the North Sea. Felixtowe itself is right on the coast.
Eddie and his partner Peter had only been working together for about two weeks prior to the heist. The men were not particularly close and Peter admitted that he knew very little about his co-worker despite the long hours they’d worked together in close quarters. Because Eddie was the less-experienced employee, he would always stay in the van and Peter worked as the courier or bag man.
On a typical delivery day, the men would stop at several banks and businesses on their assigned route. Securicor had a policy of making sure other employees for the company loaded the bags of money into the van before the start of each day, that way neither Peter nor Eddie knew how much they were transporting.
According to BBC News, on average Securicor vans would only hold a few thousand pounds in cash but there were a few routes in the delivery area of Ipswich that stopped at specific banks. Those routes transported MUCH more cash.
Investigators reviewed Eddie’s shift requests leading up to the robbery and realized that at some point he’d figured out which delivery routes and vans carried the most money.
Records showed that in January of 1993, just a few months after starting his job with Securicor, Eddie had requested to work the specific route that included the stop at Lloyds Bank on the day the robbery took place. He told his employer that he needed to drive that specific route so he could finish his shift early and make a doctor’s appointment.
Authorities theorized that Eddie didn’t actually plan on going to the doctor, they believed he had specifically asked to be in the van that stopped at the bank because he knew it carried the most amount of cash.
According to news reports at the time, the van Eddie was suspected of driving off in was carrying more than one million pounds, equivalent to $1.5 million and that’s just what it was valued at in 1993. It would probably be worth a lot more in today’s currency.
Even with Eddie’s employment records and suspicious shift requests considered, authorities still didn’t have a lot of hard evidence to explain or prove WHY Eddie would want to steal the money.
More important than knowing his motive though, was figuring out where he and the cash were.
To help answer that second question police investigators turned to Securicor’s Datatrak System to try and locate the armored van. They figured Eddie probably wasn’t still driving it but finding it would be a valuable clue in moving the investigation forward.
All of the company’s trucks were equipped with this system and it was designed to alert Securicor headquarters the moment a delivery van veered from its assigned route, but according to BBC News, on the day Eddie took off, the system was acting up and glitchy, so it never reported that he’d gone M.I.A.
When police were finally able to track down the van, they found it empty near Felixtowe’s waterfront.
According to The Telegraph, the only money left behind was around 2,000 pounds in coins. Everything else had been cleaned out.
Evidence at that scene and from surroundings businesses showed that in the minutes after Eddie left Peter behind at the bank, he’d stopped the armored van next to a Toyota minivan along the waterfront and transferred approximately thirty bags of cash into it. Each money bag contained 5, 10, 20, and 50-pound notes.
Investigators searched for the minivan and quickly found it abandoned in a parking garage in the town of Landguard Fort, about 5 minutes driving distance from the waterfront.
According to The Telegraph, the Toyota minivan had been reported stolen from east London months earlier in November 1992.
Evidence at the parking garage showed Eddie had transferred the stolen money a second time and put it all into a sedan. According to The Independent, when authorities tracked down that car, they found it partially burned about 60 miles away in Essex. Inside were the remnants of a Securicor guard’s uniform.
The missing money was nowhere in sight.
The discovery of a second getaway car all but confirmed for investigators that Eddie had most definitely planned this heist ahead of time and taken all of the necessary steps to utilize multiple vehicles and rendezvous points.
Police were left asking, who was Eddie Maher? Where had he gone and how did he always seem to be one step ahead of them?
The answers to all of those questions would come, just not as quickly as authorities wanted.
Not long after discovering that Securicor armored van driver Eddie Maher had absconded with more than a million dollars worth of British pounds…police searched his home in Essex, England.
They’d learned from his employer that he lived with a girlfriend named Deborah and together they had a three-year-old son named Lee.
When officers got inside the couple’s house, they found nothing. No one was home and upon closer inspection, detectives realized that clothing, personal belongings, and several pieces of luggage were gone.
This indicated to police that Eddie, Deborah, and Lee had known authorities were coming and had left the area. Possibly even left the country.
As investigators combed through travel records and found that a woman and boy matching Deborah and Lee’s description had flown out of England the night before Eddie executed his heist. The flight the mother and son were on was bound for Boston, Massachusetts.
But by the time British police got in touch with the U-S authorities, Deborah and Lee’s trail was cold. More than likely, investigators surmised the mother and son had been given fake identifies to travel under once they arrived in the US.
According to reporting by The Telegraph, U.K. officials carefully monitored every port and airport for any sign of Eddie, but they found no trace of the missing security guard leaving England.
With efforts to determine the family’s whereabouts thwarted, for the time being, investigators started looking more into Eddie’s background. They dug all the way back to his childhood. They wanted to know what his life story was. They need to answer the questions: who was he and why had he done this?
What authorities learned was that Edward John Maher, who everyone called “Eddie”, was originally from a large family in east London.
His father, James, immigrated to the United Kingdom from Ireland after World War Two and married Eddie’s mother, Elsie. Both of Eddie’s parents had been previously married and together they brought six kids each to the new marriage. Eddie was born in June of 1955 and was the third youngest of twelve children.
In his autobiography, it’s reported that Eddie grew up in a world of chaos. Not only was he just one child in an insanely large family, but he’d grown up in a post-war England that was in a constant state of instability and change.
The author of the book wrote that Eddie became embedded in a movement of the late 1960s that glorified shaving one’s head and embodying extreme masculinity. Eddie reveled in this subculture of head shaving, black leather jackets, and combat boots and ended up getting into some trouble with the law during his early adulthood. Eventually, he decided to enlist in the British Army to keep himself out of jail.
For a few years, Eddie had spent time serving in the British military and became a member of the Royal Green Jackets, an infantry regiment. He served two uneventful tours of duty in Northern Ireland as a sharpshooter and then eventually decided to leave the armed services.
As a civilian, he worked for 12 years as a firefighter for the London Fire Brigade but that career came to a close in the 1980’s when Eddie injured his back and arm while on duty. BBC News reported that when he left his job as a firefighter Eddie was issued a substantial payout for his injury and left the job with a quote — “satisfactory service record”—end quote.
With his money from the settlement, Eddie opened a pub in the village of Higham in Kent, which is about an hour Southeast of London. He called the bar Gardener’s Arms Pub and was able to eke out a meager living for a while. According to The Telegraph, a fire tore through the business in the late 80’s and essentially closed it. At that point, Eddie was left in a lot of debt and was approaching middle age.
In his autobiography, it states that he had to reevaluate the path of his life and future. By early 1992 he was out of work and began training to be a locksmith.
During the time he’d opened and closed the pub he’d started a relationship with a woman named Deborah Ann Brett.
Deborah worked as a stewardess and emergency services operator for the Essex police department and initially met Eddie at his pub.
Not long after dating in the early 1990’s, Eddie and Deborah welcomed the birth of their son, Lee.
Together, the small family lived together in a quiet, sleepy cul-de-sac in Essex.
That house was the same one police investigators raided and found no one inside.
Interviews with some of the family’s neighbors revealed that the trio kept to themselves and were the epitome of an unassuming young family. Neighbors told reporters that everyone who lived in the cul-de-sac knew little about them but did see the couple driving flashy Jaguar sedans and remembered them leaving often on vacations.
According to The Telegraph, Eddie and Deborah were known to frequently travel to the United States and Canada, despite their employment and financial records indicating they would have struggled to make ends meet.
While living this lavish lifestyle, Eddie had actually failed to establish a career as a locksmith and ended up applying to drive for Securicor.
According to BBC’s reporting, investigators uncovered that Eddie lied on his employment application with the company when he turned it in in 1992. Eddie had failed to disclose substantial debts that he owed and some of his previous criminal convictions. One of those convictions was for a 1977 incident in which he’d robbed a milkman.
With all of this background information in mind, authorities felt more certain than ever that they were dealing with a calculating and cunning man who was not going to be easy to catch.
To help smoke Eddie out, Securicor offered a 100,000-pound reward for Eddie’s capture and the return of the stolen money. In the months after the crime Interpol, Scotland Yard, London Police, and pretty much every European law enforcement agency circulated Eddie and Deborah’s pictures across the globe but no trace of the family was EVER surfaced.
Eddie earned the nickname “Fast Eddie” and sort of garnered this folk hero image for managing to disappear with more than a million pounds without firing a single gunshot.
British media started referring to his robbery as “the perfect crime” and for lack of a better term, that’s exactly what it was.
But that was 1993 and a lot can change, the more time goes by.
The story of “Fast Eddie” may have been fading in the minds of the British public, but international law enforcement investigators trying to find him weren’t so willing to let his crimes go unremembered.
It would take nearly 20 years, but eventually, they would get their man.
In October 2011 in the small town of Ozark, Missouri Jessica Butler got married.
Her husband, Lee King was her world and she couldn’t wait to start their new life together.
Sure, she knew Lee had had a few prior relationships with other women and he even had a few kids with those women, but for Jessica this marriage was their final commitment to leave their pasts behind them and start anew.
She had no clue how wrong she was.
According to the New York Times, just a few months into their marriage, Lee made a startling revelation to his new wife. After drinking a little too much one night, he divulged that his family, which included her new in-laws, had a lot of secrets. The most shocking bit of information Lee shared with Jessica was that his father, Michael Maher, was not who he said he was and was actually an international fugitive from England who’d stolen more than a million dollars.
Other news reports we found say that Jessica’s recollection of how Lee revealed his father’s identity and former life varied. Some say she googled the name “Fast Eddie.”
Either way, as you can imagine, she was pretty freaked out by the claim. At first, she had a hard time believing her husband’s father was an international fugitive. Some reports state she thought that maybe her husband was just joking or exaggerating a story he’d heard or more than likely misheard.
After stewing a little more on Lee’s confession though, Jessica started to think more and more about her in-laws’ unusual life story or at least the parts she’d been told about.
For one thing, the family all had English accents, which Jessica knew were genuine.
Then there was the fact that sometimes Lee’s mom would go by both the first name Sarah and Barbara. It seemed like with different people, she’d be called different things and even she couldn’t quite keep her own name straight.
There was also her in-laws’ state of living. When Jessica first met them, she’d learned that they’d lived all over the country and never stayed in one state for too long. Also, neither of them worked and didn’t seem to need to work when she first met them, but by 2011 they’d both gone back to having full-time jobs.
At one point Lee’s mother had told Jessica that the family used to have more money but had lost it all in the housing market crisis and economic collapse of 2007 and 2008. At the time, Jessica thought that could have been true since a lot of people lost money in that crisis.
As Jessica was internally questioning her in-laws’ true identities, her father-in-law who she knew as Michael was working as a technician for a local cable company called Suddenlink. He earned approximately $1,600 a month and her mother-in-law cleaned apartments part-time. They didn’t seem to be living lavishly. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Her in-laws were normal people living normal lives.
They lived in a quiet neighborhood in Ozark, Missouri, where nothing ever happened. Jessica came to know Lee, his younger brother, Mark, and their parents as a tight-knit bunch and generally kept to themselves. Everyone around town knew them locally as “the English family.”
There was no way, Jessica thought, that Lee’s family was on the run from international authorities.
The thought just seemed too wild.
But according to reporting by the New York Times, Jessica’s mind changed just a few days after Christmas 2011.
Reports aren’t super clear on what exactly triggered the next series of events, but around the holidays in 2011, Michael Maher cornered Jessica at her and Lee’s home. In a fit of aggravation, he grabbed her arm and got in her face and said quote — “I know you know. I will kill you. I will bloody kill you.”–end quote.
I’m not sure, based on the research material that is out there, whether Jessica’s curiosity about her husband’s family became apparent to Michael or not, but I think it’s safe to say something definitely got back to him to make him confront her like that.
What Jessica didn’t know at the time was that Michael Maher was actually Eddie Maher.
According to multiple news reports, for most of the mid 2000’s Eddie had been living under his biological brother’s name, Michael.
Michael Maher, the real Michael Maher, was actually still alive and well back in England. No one knew his long-lost brother, Eddie, had assumed his name and was now living thousands of miles away in America in Southwest Missouri.
In the weeks after her father-in-law cornered her, Jessica’s concern about her husband’s family not being who she thought they were only grew worse. She began to fear for her life and the life of her and Lee’s young son.
After a lot of thought, she finally sent an anonymous tip to the local police department in Ozark and reported that she suspected that Michael Maher, was actually a wanted fugitive from England named Eddie Maher and he was living in the small town hiding out.
According to CNN’s reporting, police in Ozark didn’t sit on this tip about a “possible fugitive” living in their midst.
They jumped on it right away, which proved to be something Eddie Maher never saw coming.
According to ABC News, after Missouri police and the FBI did a little bit of digging into a tip from Jessica King they realized that an Englishman who living as Michael Maher in Ozark, Missouri was in fact Eddie Maher, a fugitive who’d been on the lam for nearly 20 years.
It didn’t take investigators long to discover that the real Michael Maher was still living in England. The fact that Eddie had assumed his biological brother’s name was a sort of obvious red flag to police and indicated that he was either getting desperate or he was so arrogant that he wasn’t hiding his tracks as well anymore.
The feds roped U.S. Immigration Services into their investigation and together the two agencies dug further into Eddie’s past movements and financial records and that’s when they hit pay dirt.
The Springfield News-Leader and Press reported that immigration records showed that the night before the armored van robbery in 1993, Deborah Brett and three-year-old Lee Maher had flown into Boston under the fake names Sarah King and Lee King. One month later, in February 1993, Eddie flew into the U.S. using the alias Stephen King on a forged passport.
In a matter of days, the trio met up in Dallas, Texas where Deborah and Lee had been lying low for a month waiting for Eddie to arrive.
After that, the family traveled to Las Vegas and Eddie and Deborah officially got married. Like everything else in their life up until that point though, their marital union wasn’t exactly legal because they were using fake identities on their marriage certificate.
Eddie and Deborah continued to live under their fake names and Eddie even adopted a similar look to iconic author Stephen King. He grew a beard and donned thick oversized glasses. According to BBC News, Eddie told anyone who asked him about what he did for a living that he was a former photocopier salesman from Essex, England who had sold his business and came to America for a fresh start. Apparently, no one really questioned him about this story.
Investigators believed that Lee had lived most of his life never knowing his true identity or the fact that his last name wasn’t King.
After leaving Las Vegas, Eddie and his family moved to Woodland, Colorado and bought a home for $120,000 in cash. They lived there for a few years, then moved to a more remote area of Colorado and lived on 80 acres of land.
Eventually, they sold that property and moved to New Hampshire.
The one pattern the FBI noticed in Eddie and Deborah’s life was that they never stayed in one place long enough to plant any roots. Aside from the few homes that they’d bought outright in cash, they often rented properties or apartments for short periods of time.
According to the New York Times, in the span of almost two decades the family lived in Texas, Colorado, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and eventually settled down in Ozark, Missouri.
In 1997, Deborah gave birth to a second son, named Mark, who authorities believed had grown up almost entirely unaware of his family’s backstory. Lee on the other hand had been old enough at the time of his family’s move from England, to realize that something wasn’t right with his parents, especially his dad’s secrets.
By the early 2000’s, the family had been living off some of the stolen money that Eddie had managed to smuggle into the country but funds were drying up and their fake identities as “The King family” were growing obsolete.
Because Eddie only had a passport that stated he was Stephen King, and not a green card, he had a hard time finding legitimate and lucrative employment in the United States. According to the BBC News and The Daily Mail, it’s at that point that Eddie decided to assume the identity of his actual brother, Michael Maher.
According to Fox News, Eddie, living as Michael Maher, was forced to file for bankruptcy in 2010 and was required to complete a course in personal financial management.
Those records showed that in December 2010 he had less than $100 in his bank account, which may make him one of the brokest armored truck robbers we’ll talk about in this series.
ABC News reported that in 2012, around the time investigators were gathering all of this information and confirming Eddie and Deborah’s movements for the past two decades, their eldest son Lee was arrested on unrelated motor vehicle charges. Police were holding him at a nearby station about six miles outside of Ozark.
As authorities had hoped, Michael Maher, A.K.A. Eddie, came to the police station to bail his son out. In the brief time Eddie was there, an officer started to subtly question him about his identity and his family’s history in the Midwest.
Eddie’s internal alarm bells started going off and almost immediately after leaving the police station he began preparing to disappear again.
According to an FBI criminal complaint obtained by ABC News, Eddie told Lee that they would have to leave the area as soon as possible. He reportedly made threats against Jessica, Lee’s wife, suspicious that she’d gone to the police. Eddie strongly believed Jessica had been the person who’d tipped off the authorities and was the sole reason as to why officials were questioning him about his identity. According to the complaint, Eddie actually told Lee that he would kill Jessica.
Within days of bailing Lee out of jail, Eddie and Deborah gathered their possessions and ran to a motel outside of Ozark, Missouri. After laying low there for a few days, Eddie decided to go back to his house to fetch a few belongings and it was then that FBI agents who’d been watching the house finally struck.
They quickly took “Fast Eddie” into custody after nineteen years on the lam.
According to FBI special agent Josh Nixon, who spoke to the press following Eddie’s arrest, Eddie was reportedly not surprised when he was taken in. Nixon said it seemed like the 56-year-old felt a sense of relief to finally stop running.
The story was only halfway over at that point though. The U.S. authorities and British courts had to come up with a plan on how to charge Eddie and get him back to England to stand trial.
According to Fox News, after arresting Eddie FBI agents found several firearms in his possession, at his home and in a storage locker in Ozark.
The fed charged Eddie with being an illegal alien in possession of firearms and subsequently turned him over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Eddie agreed to be deported back to England in July of 2012.
The next year his trial got underway in Ipswitch’s Crown Court. He was finally facing responsibility for the 1993 armored van robbery in Felixtowe Court records state that Eddie initially entered a plea of not guilty but soon changed his mind and plead guilty to the robbery.
Because of the heist’s non-violent nature, the crown court only sentenced him to five years in prison. He served an abbreviated sentence and was ultimately released in January of 2015.
To this day, Eddie continues to assert that he was forced into committing the robbery by an unnamed mysterious gang of mobsters that pocketed most of the money and forced him to go on the run.
Eddie published an autobiography in 2017 about his life and called it “Fast Eddie: My 20 Years on the Run as Britain’s Most Wanted Man.” We used the book as research material in putting together this episode.
In the publication, Eddie claims a gang of mobsters put him up to the crime and threatened his family. However, throughout the book, he never provides any proof that this gang of mobsters ever existed.
In 2017, Eddie spoke in a live-interview with the British television show This Morning about his crimes. He stated that like anyone who sits in a truck with bags of money as seats, he was tempted to steal the cash but continued to maintain that he committed the robbery under duress.
British police continue to refute his claims and believe that Eddie masterminded the robbery himself and was motivated by his own greed.
It’s still unknown what happened to the money that he made off with from the Securicor van back in 1993.
Now, almost 30 years later it’s still unaccounted for, which only adds to the mystery.
Authorities have never been able to prove if Eddie physically transported the stolen cash to the U.S. or how he could have exchanged it or gained access to it once he was in the states.
Only Eddie Maher knows the answer to that.
The Daily Mail reported that Deborah Brett and two other people in England were arrested and charged for assisting an offender and conspiracy to commit theft in relation to the 1993 robbery. The other people arrested were suspected of helping Eddie and Deborah manufacture fake passports. The crown prosecution later announced that it was cancelling those individuals’ bails and actually dropped all charges.
According to a 2012 BBC News Article, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement department stated that Deborah and Lee were both going to be deported back to England. Eddie Maher is banned from ever entering the United States again.
For her help in landing Eddie’s capture, Jessica King, his estranged daughter-in-law was awarded 10,000 pounds of the initial 100,000-pound reward.
Today, “Fast Eddie” remains a strange figure in English folklore circles. People seem to be mesmerized by the fact that someone was able to rob a million pounds from an armored van and disappear without a trace for decades.
After researching this story though, I’d ventured to say Eddie Maher shouldn’t be considered a folk hero. He may have committed “the perfect crime,” but he’s far from being the perfect criminal.
Armored is an audiochuck original.
Hosted by Jake Brennan.
Research and writing by Micheal Whelan with writing assistance from executive producer Delia D’Ambra.
Editing by Eric Aaron
So what do you think Chuck, do you approve? *howl*