Odd Man Out: The Last Straw - The Controversial Autobiography of the Great Train Robber
Odd Man Out: The Last Straw - The Official Autobiography of Ronnie Biggs
If you are looking for a thrilling and captivating story of one of the most notorious criminals in history, you might want to check out Odd Man Out: The Last Straw, the official autobiography of Ronnie Biggs. In this book, Biggs tells his own version of his life, from his involvement in the Great Train Robbery, to his escape from prison, to his decades on the run, to his return and release in Britain. This article will give you an overview of who Ronnie Biggs is, what his book is about, and how you can download it as an ebook.
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Who is Ronnie Biggs?
Ronnie Biggs was born in London in 1929. He had a troubled childhood and started his criminal career at a young age. He joined the Royal Air Force during World War II, but was dishonorably discharged for desertion. He then became involved in various petty crimes and robberies, until he met Bruce Reynolds, the mastermind behind the Great Train Robbery.
The Great Train Robbery
The Great Train Robbery was one of the most famous heists in history. It took place on August 8, 1963, when a gang of 15 men stopped a mail train carrying 2.6 million (equivalent to about 55 million today) from Glasgow to London. They used false signals to trick the driver into stopping at a remote location, where they overpowered him and his crew. They then transferred the money bags to a waiting truck and drove away. The whole operation took less than 30 minutes.
Ronnie Biggs was not one of the main planners or executors of the robbery. His role was to find a replacement train driver who could move the train after it was stopped. However, the driver he hired was unable to operate the locomotive, and Biggs had to help him manually uncouple the carriages. This caused a delay that allowed some of the train staff to alert the authorities.
The police soon launched a massive manhunt for the robbers. They found their hideout at Leatherslade Farm, where they left behind fingerprints, clothes, and other evidence. They also traced some of the money that was spent or deposited by the gang members. Within a few months, most of them were arrested and put on trial.
Ronnie Biggs was sentenced to 30 years in prison for his part in the robbery. He was sent to Wandsworth Prison in London, where he spent 15 months before making a daring escape.
The Escape and the Chase
On July 8, 1965, Ronnie Biggs escaped from Wandsworth Prison with the help of three other men who scaled the wall with a ladder and cut through the bars of his cell window. They then drove away in a furniture van that was waiting outside. Biggs later revealed that he paid 40,000 (about 800,000 today) for his escape plan.
Biggs then went into hiding and changed his appearance with plastic surgery. He first fled to Paris, where he obtained a fake passport and met his wife Charmian and their two sons. He then moved to Australia, where he lived under the name of Terry King. He worked as a carpenter and a set builder for a TV station. He also had another son with Charmian.
However, in 1969, Biggs was recognized by a journalist who tipped off the police. Biggs managed to evade capture and fled to Panama, where he boarded a flight to Brazil. He left behind his family, who later returned to Britain.
The Life in Brazil
Brazil became Ronnie Biggs' home for the next 31 years. He lived in Rio de Janeiro, where he enjoyed the sun, the beach, and the carnival. He also became involved with a local dancer named Raimunda de Castro, with whom he had a son named Michael.
Brazil did not have an extradition treaty with Britain at the time, so Biggs was safe from being sent back to prison. However, he was not free from trouble. In 1974, he was discovered and arrested by a British detective named Jack Slipper, who flew to Rio to bring him back. But Biggs appealed to the Brazilian authorities, who refused to extradite him because he had a Brazilian son.
In 1981, Biggs was kidnapped by a group of mercenaries who planned to smuggle him to Barbados, where he could be extradited. They drugged him and put him on a yacht, but the plot was foiled when the boat was intercepted by the Barbadian coast guard. Biggs was released and returned to Brazil.
Biggs became a celebrity in Brazil and around the world. He gave interviews, wrote books, recorded songs, and appeared in movies and TV shows. He also received many visitors, including some of his former accomplices and his family members. He even met with Jack Slipper again in 1994, and they posed for a friendly photo together.