Monday, March 17, 2008

Montreal's connection to the Great Train Robbery

Recognize this house in the Mountain Ranges area of Rigaud? Is there a secret treasure hidden in the basement? We're not saying there is ...but we're not saying that there isn't either.
   Forty years ago Charlie Wilson was apprehended here after living in the then-expensive $40,000 home since 1966 with his wife Patricia Osborne and four daughters, five years after he took part in Britain's Great Train Robbery, which saw a massive supply of cash get nabbed, most of which was never recovered. Wilson screwed up by inviting brother-in-law George Osborne to visit from the UK for Christmas. Cops waited three months before busting Wilson, who was living under the name Ronald Alloway, a monicker borrowed from a Fulham shopkeeper. Cops were hoping that Wilson would lead them to the last unapprehended suspect, Bruce Reynolds, the brains behind the 15 member gang, who was the last to get caught. Of course Ronnie Biggs eventually took off to Brazil but only after he'd escaped from prison.
   Wilson had joined a prestigious golf course in Hudson and many in the community signed a petition urging authorities to allow his wife and children to stay in the country.
   His wife later wrote an excellent first-person magazine account of her 16 months in Hudson, which she describes as paradise, but notes that getting herself and her three young kids to remember to use their fake name Alloway was very difficult. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Any idea what became of the wife and kids?